Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Friday, May 08, 2009

A Series Of Unfortunate Events

I rarely talk about my day-to-day stuff at work here in The McVe Show because, well, it ain’t that entertaining, dudes and dudettes. But yesterday I had a series of unfortunate events that made the past two days one for the McBooks.

* * * * *

Wednesday evening my team and I braced ourselves for an overnighter for a 2:30pm major presentation on Thursday to a general manager. But we also had a second major presentation at 4pm to—whoa!—an ambassador. So our team was to split up, with me presenting to the GM and our writer presenting to the ambassador.

As I was in the middle of explaining our campaign to the GM, my phone was buzzing non-stop (it was on silent mode) with text messages. Finally, our client’s secretary peeped into the conference room and looked for my account manager. “I’m sorry ma’am, but your CEO just called,” she told my AE. “It’s an emergency.”

My AE went out to take our CEO’s call. When she came back, she whispered to me: “They need you to email the copy for the 4pm presentation.”

Yikes! You see, we were presenting to the ambassador revisions on a storyboard presented earlier. The revisions were all on the visuals; copy was approved intact. But while we were revising the storyboard, no one asked me for the copy. Meanwhile I assumed that, should my artists need the copy, they could always get it from the AE assigned to the project (since he also had the approved copy). But as it had to happen, our AE got sick and didn’t go to work that day. So who was the only one who had the copy? Yours truly.

But since I was face-to-face with a GM, I had no choice but to wait for our meeting to end. Then I whipped out my SmartBro, plugged it in, and went online. It was already 3:45pm, and my writer was still in the office, waiting for my copy to be emailed so she can cut-and-paste them into the visuals. But it was taking forever for Yahoo mail to attach my Powerpoint file. Then suddenly my SmartBro popped a window, saying the connection was cut. I tried to connect again several times, but failed. “Good lord, no more load?!” I wailed out loud. My AE offered that we use her computer instead. So we had to transfer my file to her laptop so she can use her portable internet connection. It was taking longer than usual to send, but eventually it did. By then we were in my AE’s car on our way back to the office. Suddenly my phone rang; it was my writer, panicking: “The file you sent me was corrupted! I can’t open it!”

So I had my AE bring me to the ambassador’s office where I met up with my writer and, right outside the boardroom, we were able to place the copy on the revised visuals while, inside the boardroom, our account director and our CEO had been praying for the past 30 minutes that our turn to present would be delayed. When I finished fixing up our storyboard, I realized I needed an internet connection because I needed to show our clients a clip from YouTube. In desperation I tried my SmartBro again. It worked! Apparently it wasn’t a lack of load but problems with the Smart signal earlier.

Major presentations can be nerve-wracking. You need to stick to the script yet you also need to observe clients’ reactions so that you can adjust and improvise right there and then. Doing two in one day is not something I’d sign up for voluntarily. But I guess eight years in the business prepared me for such emergencies.

Both presentations ended up with approvals. Now I can just look back at those series of unfortunate events and say, Someone up there really insisted that I present for both.

When I got back to the office, my AE went up to me and asked, “Are you okay now?” I smiled at her. All throughout the afternoon people around me were in extreme panic while I just kept a generally calm exterior, sometimes even joking about the situation. I too was just as worried but I decided to focus instead on solving the problem first. That, and repeating the mantra “This too shall pass” really helps. Exhaling long, deep sighs while shaking my head also does wonders to keeping my equilibrium.

6 comments:

Pedro Penduko said...

jerking off in the men's room after a major emergency like that also helps in relieving stress. I would do that too when i was once part of that crazy world called advertising. ;-)

oh, and athletes are encouraged by their coaches to "slap the monkey", "beat the bishop" or "wag the dog" before the game/competition to relieve the stress and relax them.

Theo Martin said...

nice nice attitude mcvie.

london boy said...

gosh, i wish i have your composure.

i almost fainted in a meeting yesterday 'cause of too much stress.

:(

i'm a narnian said...

congrats mcvie! :)

Ming Meows said...

iba na talaga ang nagagawa ng internet. we all have a share of this kind of events.

Herbs D. said...

remember how the Baudelaires had to get out of the VFD Village using a loaf of bread and one jug of water?

this is somewhat just like it. ang fierce mo talagang bakla ka!