Had an important client presentation yesterday. Spent a considerable part of the weekend obsessing about what to wear and whining about need for another suit. Seriously, if I wore my pin-stripe suit again, for the 14th time in a row, my boss might give me a raise and the clients might just feel sorry for me and award us the project. Of course, couldn’t let my outfit prove my worthiness and do all the hard work. I am a woman of principles.
See, if it were a black suit, it would have been fine… no one really notices. But a pin-stripe ensemble (yellow and red) with frayed collars and a huge patch on the front is bound to make people recognize me even while they are in coma.
So Monday morning, looking all confident and ready to conquer in my new suit (purple and orange), I arrive on time… a few minutes earlier even. My boss smiles benevolently. My suit is already doing its trick. ‘Lets go over the presentation quick.’ He murmurs while we have 10 minutes to go. I seem to be in good shape and good clothes.
So we walk into the war zone and get introduced to clients and other consultants. While the others are signing the attendee’s list, I look for my pen. Couldn’t find it. I see my lip liner, eye liner, mascara (different types), but no freaking pen...not even a pencil. Frantic eye contact with boss… explain the situation with hand gestures. He hands over his only pen; I sign and give it back to him. Couldn’t he have brought two pens? Now people are exchanging their business cards. I scan my purse and horror of horrors, find mine missing. I remember forcing the last ones in my wallet on my friends just to show off. I have fifty hundred of them lying in the office that pop up at the most inopportune times. My boss hands over his card and tells me to write my contact details on the back. I take the card and give him a helpless look; he takes deep breaths and gives me the pen.
We finish the presentation without any glitches expect during the times when I had to pause and borrow a pen to write notes … sometimes writing with my fingernails dipped in mascara. Overall, I think it went well.
So I take the clients for lunch, as my boss has to leave for another meeting. They say they’ll follow. We are on the interstate and I see a toll plaza coming ahead. I pull over to the side and flag down their car.
‘Can I borrow 60 cents please? I forgot to bring change.’
The onus is all on my attire now.