Saturday, May 15, 2010

Timing

There are days that you will never forget. You remember the same date year after year. A year ago on this day, I was getting ready for the most important meeting of my work life (up until that point). I don't think I could put into words on how much was riding on that meeting. I was presenting to an audience of about approximately 10 people, and almost all of them were kind of senior level people in the company. I was making a case for a very sensitive/contentious project to be approved. The audience were expected to get very emotional about this project. 1:00 PM was the meeting start time. A colleague of mine and I had put together obscene amount of time in getting a deck to a presentable shape. I was dressed very formally for the occasion. I was also very nervous. Various play-outs of this meeting had gone on in a recurring loop during my previous night's very disturbed sleep. That was my fist big presentation to such a senior audience. Since my management chain was going to be in the room, I was extra keen not to screw it up ( My default style is to screw it up - I am generally an expert on that subject). Not to mention, I am generally not good with presentations at all.

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."

13 comments:

neon said...

".... what do you think. should I go?"

Haha, classic!

Patrix said...

Priceless. It is almost as if this happened to make it a memorable blog post :) Hope everything else that followed went off smoothly

Anonymous said...

Happy 1st birthday to your little one!

Mamatha

MLC said...

hakkie-annaen! pondaati delv date (or evn closr to delv date) time le dhaan ivvalo imprtant-a irukura oru meetng-a schedule pannardhaa??

Anonymous said...

Happy 1st birthday to your daughter...

Sarang-

Saravanan said...

Unga kadamai unarchiya nenachi pullarikkuthu ponga. Kadasi kaalathula unga paadu thindattam thaan. saapadu kidaikarathu santhegam thaan.

blackaccord said...

bayangara dramatic-a irukke... tell it to GVM and he will make a movie out of this...

MaySan said...

You had a meeting on a Saturday, when you wanted the baby to be born on a weekend, so that you could do away without taking leave!!!

thepsychologic said...

I am tempted to ask this... she actually texted you on skype than call :O ?

Alan Smithee said...

While you were thinking of getting a project started, your wife delivered. Respect.

Hawkeye said...

neon,

:-) my colleague still gives me a hard time.

patrix,

:-) yes it was a marathon labor session until the next day. just that up to 6 months after that day my manager used to ask 'how old is your daughter' and I'd go "6 months" and he'd say "no approval in sight for 6 months". :-)

mamatha,

thanks

MLC,

ellam namma kai'la ya irukku.

sarang,

danks

saravanan,

kadasi kaalam varaikkum yen poganum. nighazhvu kaalame thindattam dhaan.

black accord,

in his movie it will happen when hero is narrating story to a producer.

Mayura,

meeting was friday afternoon. yes. my ideal situation was delivery on saturday so that i need not take any leave. just that oru 2 hours early'a weeknd aramichitaanga

thepsychologic,

not that i am very good at knowing where my phone is all the time, but cell phone was silent. and she had called.

alan,

:-)

Anonymous said...

Congrats Dude.. Athellam seri.. Boy or Girl?

-G.

Giri said...

ஒண்ணாம் கிளாஸ் பதிவு.... வாவ்..!