For me, yesterday was a hectic day and today was mere inches away from being a disastrous one!
Okay, let me explain. Today, 2 senior most officials from my company’s global HQ in Germany landed in Karachi to meet us and get an in-depth insight about our working. Since my company is a small but vital part of their giant organization, this visit was termed as the most important event of the year by our local management.
Office wide renovations and cleaning was underway for past one month as all managers and heads of different departments were preparing themselves for their arrival. Presentations were prepared and rehearsed several times by them because even a slight margin of error would be like a train wreck.
So, the big moment finally arrived at around 11:30 AM local time here when those officials stepped inside the office. Everyone got alerted up and there was a pin-drop silence on the production floor, where I work. After touring the ground floor, those officials walked upstairs with MD and head of production department. My manager was called up by the MD as he introduced him to the officials. MD kept on briefing the officials about production department’s daily procedure and working. One of the official noticed the scoreboard screen, which display the hourly count of products being produced by each team in production dept.
And name of my team was on top of the list!
He immediately asked the MD about my team’s whereabouts and MD pointed him to my team lead desk. He almost ran towards my team lead and shake hands with him while congratulating him for being on the top. Since I sit right in front of my team lead seat, I had no choice but to get up and shake hands with the official too. That was the moment when all eyes across the whole floor were locked on me.
And I’m talking about 80+ pair of eyes here!
I’m saying so because we were told by the management that officials will not interact much deeply with everyone, so what I did was something no one was expecting up at all. Heck, what the official did in first place by running towards my team lead and shaking hands with him was also unexpected. So, what I did was nothing but good manners.
I then also introduced myself to the official, while MD stood next to me. The official asked me about what I do here and what am I working on currently. Since those were pure technical based questions, so I’m not going to bore you up with that. But I would like to tell you that I didn’t managed to answer him up properly. Yes, I got nervous up a bit and was unable to sync my mind with what I wanted to say. My manager helped me out a bit on this and the official seemed impressed. MD also diverted his attention and the official moved ahead. I felt so relieved then.
And as soon as both officials stepped out from the floor, life returned to normal. I was approached by many colleagues who jokingly teased me about this unexpected encounter. Yes, this was totally unexpected as this wasn’t suppose to happen at all and no one ever imagined it too. Except for me!
Yes, that is right!
Since yesterday, my mind kept on thinking about what if those officials pick me to show them how things proceed in production dept or more. I swear from the bottom of my heart that my mind didn’t stopped imaging scenarios like these. But I didn’t paid attention to them because those were just thoughts, nothing else. But what happened with me today was certainly out of the blue.
And my nervousness was just because of the presence of MD and my head of department. I didn’t mind about those 80+ pair of eyes being locked on me but those two special pair of eyes certainly put so much pressure on me. I literally felt if my tongue slip up, even slightly, it will be bad for me. Because this tour means so much to my company’s management and screwing it up is not allowed at all.
So, I didn’t spoke much and kept myself quiet. This might not be what my company’s management was looking for but at least I saved myself from something inevitable.
What do you say?
I wrote the above before leaving office today as I planned to publish this from home. But what happened before I reached home made me realize that some people, no matter how much they educate themselves or act as civilize human beings, are bound to act like a jerk.
One of my collegues, who holds the same job title as mine in production department, jokingly informed a guy from Software department about “the blunder” I made in front of the official earlier. That jerk must have heard it from someone else and considered my reply to the official as a joke. As if he could have nailed it perfectly if he had been approached up by the same official.
This pissed me off so much but I didn’t replied to that jerk because I believe in maintaining a difference between myself and people like that jerk. This may sound not the right approach to you but this feels right to me.
And I also found out later the official who questioned me had a vast experience in finance and team management area. Despite that he asked me a technical question regarding my work, just to get a know how of what I do. And yes, I admit that I made a blunder by not answering him up clearly because me and others were told to mind our own business during the visit, we didn’t planned ourselves for this unexpected event. Does this qualifies what and how I responded to the official as a matter of joke?
For many, like that jerk, this was nothing but to make fun of those who were just an inch away from making a complete disaster.