Saturday, September 20, 2008

being with the bigwigs

after almost 3 hours of figuring out what to wear, i finally decided to go for a black collared shirt, a pair of chinos with a fine hound's tooth print, my white patent leather shoes and a white belt. i loaded my laptop, readied my gear and went to bed. i woke up exceptionally early this morning. paced around a bit, checked my gear and did my morning rituals. 715... time to leave.

i got to libis at exactly 845am. went to coffee bean, our designated place of meeting. was greeted at the door by a cute barista who reminded me of a guy i once dated. incidentally, their names rhymed. curiously, i think he too is "ehem". but that's not really the point of this story. made my order at the counter, their largest americano. cute barista attended. i took my seat at a cozy corner and texted my partner that i have already arrived. she texted back that she was a few minutes away. barista made his way to my table and gave me my order. gave him a smile and my warmest thank you. noticed that apart from me, none of the other customers were served at their tables (interesting...) a few minutes later, my partner arrived and we started to discuss work. the air was casual which ironically, made me a bit worried. technically, i like a heightened state of anxiety prior to a presentation as it keeps me sharp, but since we were so efficient with this proposal, we never really got to a point where we were rushing for time.

915. we printed out our contract and continued to discuss the details of the proposal. decided to go to the loo and asked cute barista where it was. he directed me to the carpark... sadly, it was still closed. noticed that as i walked back in coffee shop that he was watching me the entire time, asking me the moment i entered the door if i found the loo. how nice. told him it was still closed. he suggested the upper level. told him it wasn't urgent and i cud wait. i made my way back to my partner.

930, we received a message from our clients that they will be a few minutes late. no biggie, more time for us to get comfortable. again, the casual air was unerving. 945, our client finally arrived. surprise surprise, she brought higher management in tow. "we're dead!" my partner said under her breath. we were introduced to the dad and the mom of my client. dad sat in front of me while mom in front of my partner. despite their friendly demeanor, you know that these are people who know their stuff and basing from how they asked their questions and how they scrutinized our design, that they know their stuff really well. the presentation went well as far as i'm concerned. i believe we were able to address all their issues and they all seemed quite pleased at our proposal. there were a few revisions to the design but generally, i think we have it in the bag.

our client then asked if we could go see the site of project 2, which we will be proposing for, also in the area. we left coffee bean and walked to the new mall being built around the corner. cute barista followed us with his gaze from behind his station.

we arrived on site and were greeted by the site supervisor and coincidentally, the property developer was also there. we had the usual introductions and shook each others hands. it then struck me like a pile of bricks.... i, little boy from the ghettos, was now in the midst of giants.... businessmen and women, the movers and shakers who represent the country's largest and biggest industries.... what was i in the scheme of things i wondered? for a brief moment, i felt like a pauper in the midst of royalty.... insignificant. but then, i realized i have shaken hands with more powerful people before and felt nothing, not even the least intimidated. so as quickly as it came, i regained my composure and resumed to do my job.

after the site visit, i even managed to engage in a casual chit chat with one of my clients regarding how business is going. despite its brevity, the talk was rather enlightening. oh my goodness, what a thrill it would be if all this comes to reality.... doing projects and designing for these people. i can just imagine what i'll be able to learn!!!

keeping my fingers crossed.

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