Wednesday, October 24, 2007

how to embarrass yourself at work (part 2)

as usual, something that happened to me, but again a few weeks ago - i'm still playing catch-up with the posts i've typed on my cell:

for reasons i'm not sure i should disclose here, i had a week of interviews scheduled at work. prior to the whole interview process, my group of joinees had a couple of weeks of presentations by the people who were to interview us later.

i had an interview scheduled on a certain day (thursday, to be precise...wonder what's it with me and doing stupid things on thursdays :P). so i was supposed to be interviewed by this one guy (i shall save my creativity for someplace better and simply call him mr x) at the cafeteria at 3:30pm sharp. as most cafeterias go, this one is pretty roomy with plenty of tables, with around 4 or so chairs around each table. 3:30pm being the time when people (myself included :P)who've had an early lunch start feeling hungry again, the place was moderately occupied.

that's when my usual handicap struck: i have an absolutely terrible memory for faces, names and especially forming any connection between the two :D. so i was now looking for mr x, who is supposed to be seated somewhere at one of the 30-odd occupied tables in the cafeteria. lots of vaguely familiar faces, some with people who i know are being interviewed (mostly from the look on their faces ;)), and many unfamiliar faces too. damn.

i decided to narrow down my options. mr x didn't mention anyone else in his email and calendar appointment, so i assumed he would be alone.

strangely enough, that eliminated all but one table from the contention.
zoom in on man seated alone at a table.
pan to my wrist-watch.
3:35pm.
damn.
late, but hopefully not too late.
pan back to man.
looks vaguely familiar and slightly senior.

since i'm relatively new to my (new :P) job, i usually assume any senior-looking guy who looks familiar is a someone i've seen during one of those presentations.

so far so good.
he has a plate in front of him.
oh-kay.
plate is empty.
damn. that means he arrived long ago.
he's staring at the plate.
double damn. he's probably frustrated at having to wait for me.

at this point i was thinking: better late than never. i could always apologise for having not recognized him, what with the spate of interviews and all. i could pretend to have been searching for him all this while (which i was, but he was obviously early while i was not :()

walk up to guy.
"excuse me? are you mr x? i'm sorry to have kept you waiting."
"oh, i'm not mr. x"
"oh...i guess i'm mistaken then. i have an interview with him in the cafeteria and i can't seem to find him. do you know mr x?"
"no, i don't"
proverbial foot in mouth.
i run away.

in a stroke of desperation fuelled inspiration, i remembered that the intranet has a searchable corporate directory, and most people have been kind enough to put up their photos up to, but they typically do not update them from the day they join the office. still, something better than nothing.

i race to my desk.
unlock computer.
open directory.
breathe atleast 5 times while directory opens.
enter name. hit search.
breathe atleast 10 times while directory loads.
photo on screen.
take deep breath.
verify name.
look at photo again.
light skinned, middle aged man with short hair and a mustache.

the guy i had approached earlier was clean shaved and bald. thank god they didn't know each other. wonder if that guy was just trying to not add insult to my injury.

take deep breath.
look at photo again.
run out.
run back and lock desktop.
run out.
see 3 men enter the floor from a nearby entrance.
man 1 looks familiar.
man 1 smiles at me.
man 1 has a mustache.
man 1 is light skinned.
man 1 has short hair.
bingo!

i slow down while heading to the cafeteria. didn't want to look weird, running in front of them to catch a table while they amble lazily behind. besides, my breath is already 20 metres behind me, and my heart is definitely on my keyboard. i slow down to a very measured amble, so that they catch up with me at the cafeteria door.

i swipe my id and open the door.
man 1 is talking to man 2 and 3.
i turn around a metre away from the door.
collect my wits.
"hi, are you mr x? we were supposed to meet."
"no, i'm not. i recognise you. you're kristopher. i interviewed you two days ago."

ahhhh...uhhh...can't talk with both feet in mouth. make best possible attempt at mumbling "too many interviews. too many people. please kill me now"

run back to my desk.
bury head into keyboard.
try to bang head on keyboard.
almost break keyboard into two.
decide i can kill myself more effectively with mouse instead.
ask everyone i see to please kill me, quick.
someone drags me to cafeteria.
man enters cafeteria behind me.
walks up to me and shakes my hand.
asks me if i want to grab a coffee.
offers me a seat.
"hi kristopher, how are you?"
man is alone.
man has mustache.
man has short hair.
man is light skinned.
man looks familiar.

apparently man recognises my face from searchable corporate directory.

1 comment:

Meghna said...

lolzzzz!!!!u didnt recognize the man who interviewed u 2 days back!! dats some ignorance man!!! :D it atleast makes good material for a fun post!!keep posting!!

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