October 14th 2020

Today I woke up at 9:07 to a phone call from my boss asking me if I was going to be joining the meeting that I was supposed to be in that began seven minutes ago. I mumbled a garbled response and logged onto my computer.

In the (virtual) meeting, like 15 people I work with were sat there, waiting for me to join, because the literal point of the meeting was to find out the results of a test I was supposed to wake up at 8am to do on our website.

I joined the call with no camera on, and was greeted by Jon, the project manager saying, “Hi James, we’re just waiting to hear the results of your test”.

Maybe I’m not quick enough, or not deceitful enough, but I guess I could have lied and said “Sorry, it took a bit longer than I expected, and I wanted to make sure the results were 100% accurate before reporting on them”. That might have worked.

Instead, I said “uhhhhh, yeah, let me just stall for some time while I run the tests now”

“We thought that might be the case,” said Jon. For the next five minutes I fumbled and mumbled and grumbled some bullshit, made an observation which turned out to be inaccurate, and concluded that I’d need some time to catch up with the developer to confirm that it was working.

I didn’t see his face, but the CEO was in that meeting. Apparently he didn’t look impressed. I wonder why!

As it turned out, when I’d completed the tests not under the watchful, impatient gaze of 15 people who were all fully aware that I’d been awake for less than three minutes, everything worked fine. Really, I should have just led with that.

“Yep, everything’s fine. Good to go.” And that would have been that.

Instead, basically every meeting I was in for the rest of the day started with some derivation of “Oh James, you’re awake!”

I’d actually been doing quite well at work recently. I’d been feeling good about myself. This knocked me down a peg though, which was perhaps what I deserve.

Until tomorrow, well played, James, well played.


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