Saturday, June 25, 2011

And For The Record I Was Lost

Thursday I got lost.I drove for two hours circling around, paying about a hundred dollars in tolls, running out of petrol, and guess what? Forgot to charge my phone so it kept beeping to tell me, hey, I'm running out of battery. I prayed, I screamed, I begged, I implored, and still I circled.

In all the wrong places.

No petrol station.

No more petrol.

Yet another toll booth. I asked the guy. Hey? Petrol station? Anywhere? Anywhere?

He smiled. Nodded. Said...just follow the signs for KL.

I asked Hulu Langat? How do I get to that exit?

The serene smiling Buddha said...just follow the signs...the signs for KL.

OK, so I was getting somewhere. The first good thing was finding a proper petrol station. And getting some food into my baby that had been shuddering frighteningly in the middle of nowhere. That would have been the icing on the cake.

And the next was finding that fricking exit. Yes. 9th Mile. Only I went straight along the road, ended up on the outside, turned back and went straight to the...police station.

A cheerful officer came out to show me the way. He gesticulated...go straight along this road, you'll see a sign. A big sign. You cannot miss it.

Problem is...go straight along this road could have been in two directions. He didn't think of that. And of course, I didn't see the sign. Because the road I chose, there was no sign. Double back in heavy, heavy traffic. A traffic light that doesn't change for hours.

The PA has managed to make one more call to my dying phone. She estimated that close as I was, I'd be there in 10 minutes tops.

Stuck at that traffic light it had already been 20.

I was so so late, it was not funny. I could feel my stomach heaving and churning. I felt my throat close up, a recent symptom of stress. My forehead burning. Roiling is a good word. I was a roiling cauldron of emotion. Only the bad ones.

The PA seemed more amused than anything. And sarcastic. She said, go ahead, take your time, we have nothing better to do but wait for you. And when finally, finally, I was on the right road, and saw the bleeping sign and made my way up the bleeping right road, and found the place (oh glory, glory) and got out the car and ran for it...she came smiling sweetly and said...people have gotten lost before, they've been late before, but never two hours.

Smirk, smirk.

I don't know why she hated me so much.

You know how some people smile and you feel like they're chewing ground glass?

You know how some people are perfectly civil to you, and you feel like they're spewing vitriol?

That was her.

But perhaps I'm being unfair. I mean she had only blocked the interview by pretending her CEO was not interested and had postponed it indefinitely and telling him I had found someone else to interview.

She laughed on the phone, speaking to me, in one of my numerous phone calls and said...yes, yes, I'll see him today, I'll ask him again. It doesn't look good though, I have to tell you.

Yeah, I have to tell you.
Couldn't lie to you
Wouldn't want to do that
No, we both wouldn't want that.

Operator the line is dead.

And finally, I said, fuck this, and sent him an email directly. And he said...surprise, surprise, I thought you were no longer interested. And proceeded to give me a time instantly.

A time, mind you, that I had already missed.

And being an important CEO of a listed company, he was chock a block with other meetings.

And my photographer had already come and gone.


I arrived. Was treated to her unctuous smiles and "you just sit there and cool off, calm down, my, my, but you're late, really late, no one has ever been this late before."

And her boss turned and glanced at my disheveled self and said...take your time, don't worry. And then although there were two merchant bankers and one VIP already there, waiting on meetings, and let's face it, much higher up the food chain than some stray reporter, he proceeded to give me a one-and-a-half hour interview.

She stuck her head in halfway, grinning like a banshee...I'm so sorry, but they've been waiting too long...what do I tell them? It's time.

Hurry up please, it's time.

Hurry up please, it's time.

Hurry up please, it's time.

Hurry up please, it's time.

And he nodded calmly, waited for her to close the door again, and went on talking.

I said, I'm sorry this is all my fault.

He said, don't worry about it, they can wait.

And so they waited.

And I staggered out of there one and a half hours later.

Found my way home with no trouble at all.

And promptly fell ill from all the stress on Friday. When I had to file the story.

But I did. Oh Sigmund. I did.


Anonymous said...

What an absolutely dreadful day. I hope you're feeling better. I have had the misfortune of meeting several executive pets like the one you described, and their over-inflated sense of self-importance is usually their undoing. They'll eventually do something horrendously stupid, like charging personal items and meals to the company expense account, or say they're attending an off-site meeting during business hours only to be caught at the salon getting their hair styled. The presumption of unlimited entitlement eventually leads to carelessness...

Which brings to mind another lovely quote (such a shame it could not be sent anonymously to such a deserving party):

"Here lies a toppled god, her fall was not a small one. We did but build her pedestal, a narrow and a tall one." --Tleilaxu epigram

Jenn said...

Good one Perl! :-)

I'm all better now. Had a lazy weekend not doing a jot of the work I was supposed to be doing and then, and then...had a blast on Saturday night...dissipation...oh....dissipation.

Anonymous said...

Oh, excellent! I am fighting the same impulse. I should be working on a backlog of code changes today, but I am just not feeling like spending the day up at work (remoting is workable, but not ideal). Also, the daily temps have been in the 43C range for weeks, and I'd much rather lie on the cool floor tiles under a fan, reading Lovecraft or classic sci-fi instead, hmmm... :-)

Jenn said...

Do you have to? Can't you do it Monday? Weekends are for weekending...doing nothing at all...or reading Lovecraft. ;-)

Anonymous said...

(smiles) Alas, your wisdom won out in the end. A bit less work got done this weekend, and the sky did not come crashing down after all. Thanks! ;-)