To describe ‘odd’, well…I have a penchant for saying the wrong things at the wrong time to begin with. In a life that is cruel most of my waking hours, a job that regularly puts Sisyphus to shame, a salary that makes we want to get things from charity shops, a back problem that would lead the simple minded to believe that I lead a secret life of an acrobat and run a circus…oh where do I begin!...it doesn’t help when I end up making one of the biggest errors in modern times, in a high-profiled client meeting.
Like most things in my strange life, this meeting wasn’t predecided. I just happened to be the next in line when the boss fell ill. So here I was, set to travel 4237657 miles (a mild hyperbole) to a client meeting one usual drizzly morning, with an outdated laptop and a broken umbrella…a rather sad picture isn’t it…makes we wanna take a bereavement leave.
Jojo, the landlady’s beast of a dog has taken sudden pity towards my state of affairs here. He doesn’t scream for my blood anymore. Perhaps he has started to respect the general despair of a post modern woman…how Satre-esque!!
So old Jojo watched me dispassionately as I trudged along with my broken paraphernalia towards the railway station; off to Crawley, on a career-making (acute chances of being quite the opposite) client meet one February Wednesday.
After a couple of hours of toil in unbelievably overcrowded trains, random big blue buses, and trundling along in the slush, I reached the coveted premises. The hair that was carefully straightened in the morning to look mildly sexy had curled up into winterberry shrubs…the eyebrows that I hadn’t had time to shape, looked tropical…and my black trousers had Andy-Warhole-ish mud patches…perfect!
Hopefully, I’ll talk such a lot of sense in there, people wouldn’t care a damn about how ghoulish I looked. Nice, comforting, self-induced halo.
So with crossed fingers and a thumping heart I began. This was a room full of tight-lipped, zero-inclination-to-smile men, staring at me...waiting for me to tell them I had a lousy solution that wouldn’t meet their needs, but I would still make them believe that it would…then I would run off with their money, grinning impishly through my spagetti hair.
Ahem! the first reaction to what I had to say wasn’t as bad. The men warmed up to the idea that my solution wasn’t completely unbelievable. The session went on.
I had said earlier that I have a penchant for the odd. To clarify, I watch too many movies, I am definitely in the wrong profession, and this realization makes me think of movies all the more, especially at wrong times. So in the middle of my rather sombre presentation, I gawked right at the client on the opposite end of the table and asked the most improbable question of my life…’Are you related to Robert De Niro?’ The poor man choked on his evening tea. The group burst out laughing at this Bridget-Jones-ish attempt to look retarded, and I knew my job was on the line.
It’s always been. Will refrain from documenting what went on after that in the meeting. It would suffice to say, I am on hiding since then.