The newest client of my company had its event in the evening at a five star hotel where I was heading towards. I finished my other calls of the day early and I was the first to be there at the venue apart from a few event coordinators and my senior who was busy doing a tango with a phone in his right ear, hearing a mic test through his left, watching the carpenters through his right eye and a reserved left eye to watch for the clients entry.
All of us finally settled together to have a brief of the event. My eyes couldn’t miss this person of a goliath stature with a pair of thin rim spectacles doing a balancing tightrope act on the edge of his nose. He had a grim expression on his face as he closely scrutinized a piece of paper with writings in blue scarred by edits in red. Just when I was observing things around, He saw me rushing to my events team to erect a branding signage that had given way. My glance returned to the gentle giant since by now I thought that he was the Vice President from my client’s side. My doubts were clarified when he introduced himself as Pablo, the compere of the evening. He gave his Goan aloha smile as though he cast off the grim-faced expression “Mask” effortlessly.
The client team made a grand entry led by the marketing manager who had just escaped from Shakespeare’s play – Taming of the Shrew. Following her was the Vice President of marketing, who had a rectangular pale face and almost similar shaped PDA phone with a wireless earphone blinking a bright blue light. He looked like a taxiing aircraft ready to take off at the drop of a towel. The Lady manager da’ marketing made her first fully loaded attack on poor Pablo and his script.
The red marks on his script increased courtesy the editing scissors of the client. He came to me and gave me a look that clearly showed that his script was turned inside out and he was certainly not having a good feeling about it. The frown on his face was like that of a dull student who just received his report card with many failed subjects, with the prominent and ruthless red marks. He sprayed his cinnamon flavoured mouth-freshner, waiting to blurt out the remade script, and in the due course of the event managed to deliver a splendid performance by holding the show and the attention of the audience together.
The conference ended with people rushing to the bar counter for their share of drinks like children running to the sandwich seller during their slim lunch break. Pablo managed to get his fair share and sat to enjoy with his drinks, while I sat with my usual mocktail sans liquor. I met up with most of the guests who were the top technology decision makers from various large companies based in Mumbai. Pablo, was trying to flirt and “tame” the shrew by being courteous to her asking whether she had dined, but he withdrew at her cold stares. He winked at me as I smiled watching that scene. He asked me for my feedback on his presentation while appreciating me for being a young and proactive member of a nice events and media company that could garner the business of a large client .
Pablo remarked “Nagesh, do you see this lady here with her bosses and the way she is fighting with her sales people who are volunteering at the desk? She almost made a royal mess of the show. You would have certainly seen some of the guests simply walk out of the show. “Its their ego that has spoilt things without which the show may have been better” . I could see a bit of frustration in his speech which was not just because his script was messed up, but as he claimed the show could have been better like the many others he compered.
He further said “I liked the way you were working with your events folks without a worry that your arrow shirt would get a stain. This attitude of yours will see you go places higher”. Anybody likes a good praise, with me as no exception. Just when I was about to be carried away, Pablo warned me, “Nagesh, don’t be like them ever… They have Ego.. in your case there is a small difference.. its WEgo. Both of you manage to get your work done , but in your case everyone is happy and content and the surroundings is full of celebrations! Where as in their case of Ego, its only frustration” Just that W mattered a lot indeed. Thanks to Pablo and the extra pegs that made him open up a lovely conversation, I had an important message about modifying my weaknesses just by a letter and turning things around for everyone’s happiness and success.
My faith in learning and getting from simple things and people around me in all forms, got strengthened further. Despite Pablo being drunk, he had a message for me that came out through our conversation.
After that day, I smile wider at my every colleague and take pride in being their man Friday at times when they need my help. That’s when I remember my friend Pablo.