12:58, I set up the projector (connect my colleague's laptop to the projector) and set the presentation to the first slide. I rehearse within my mind, how I'll begin the meeting. Typically the firs mistake I usually do in every presentation is over-engineer what I should say. So at the least I was doing my mistakes in the right order.
1:00 PM - I speak and say "let us give a couple of more minutes for people to walk in". Then I breathe hard. Its now a habit. I dont want to forget to breathe and then figure out 5 words into the meeting that I need to breathe. For some reason I feel good about this meeting. It was hard to get time on so many people's calendars. Even harder to align their calendars to one single slot.
1:05: I start the meeting and say "thank you all for making time to join this..." and I see an Instant Message in Skype pop up in my laptop. I hesitate.. stop mid-sentence. Stop speaking. Go read the IM. For a moment, I am unable to process the information. Then I type in skype:
Me: "can you give me 30 minutes"
Wife: "what do you mean.. what are you saying... enna olarare.. "
I am aware of quite a few eyes looking at me. I go to my colleague and whisper into his ears ".... what do you think. should I go?. and his reply was "hell..ya! you better leave !". So I look up to the meeting attendees and say " I will have to excuse myself now....
..I just found out that my wife is going into labor. "
P.s; By the time I found my way out of the building, my wife had already driven the car from home to the front of the building. Only for me to say "I think we have to stop on the way, I need to pick up the cord blood papers and fax them. I forgot."