New luck toy

West Seattle Chinese dive bar

West Seattle Chinese dive bar

When Dawn used to go out of town the kids would get into bed with me and we’d watch Shaun the Sheep, about as much maternal comfort as I could offer, a warm body and a laptop.

Dawn left for DC this morning and her phone alarm went off around 4 and she leapt to steady it, but both of us had been up for a while, knowing it was only a matter of time.

I told the kids I had my first big meeting at my new job, my first day with a new client, had to go just right. Charlotte combed my hair and said I needed to blend in at first and then later, I could be myself.

It was like one of those nightmares from college where you can’t find the room for a final exam. It normally takes half an hour for me to get to the Microsoft campus but leaving at 9 it took twice that, and I had less than 10 minutes to find the room, test the Skype connections, use the bathroom, try to look natural.

I circled the floor but couldn’t find the room, then realized the room was in a different building. I grabbed a room that looked open but said it was private (for a VP), connected the Skype ID through Outlook, sent an email apologizing for the change in plan, then another update with the new room.

We settled in and somehow everything worked. They even had bags of tea and a water cooler with cups, and when the audio came on it was like a movie theater. An admin popped in and scowled at me but I didn’t budge.

My plans for the meeting were intricate and detailed and, as things normally go, didn’t go as planned. But it flowed along alright and I did my best to manage the conversation, which is a strange kind of art, enabling decision-making with higher level people, finding and asserting authority when it’s yours to create; it seems no one gives it to you freely, they’re more likely to take it away. We’re like dogs like that, somehow.

And later, back at home, I remembered Charlotte said something to me about luck, she wished me that, and I thought maybe that really worked, because I had some luck and needed it. I stole a VP’s secret conference room and all the connections worked and no one kicked us out and all that in under a minute, in front of a new client.

Dawn texted me from a sports bar in DC watching the Seahawks game saying wish you were hereβ€”and the moon has the look of a panther’s eye now, the white-gold set in a sea of black, angling its way behind the trees, what’s left of the leaves.


Categories: musings

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14 replies

  1. Oh, my word – how stressful! Your quick thinking pulled it off though Bill – I’d still be trawling around, searching for the right room! Sounds like it went really well and not an easy thing to pull off – that kind of many-headed conversation sounds like trying to tame a hydra!
    Very well done you!
    Though, of course as well as Charlotte’s good wishes, I reckon a little bit of Shaun the Sheep magic wore off on you – my husband animated on most of those series so odds on it was his fingers you saw at work behind the scenes. A little bit of Bristol luck winging across the ocean πŸ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

    • That’s marvelous about your husband. That program is true brilliance, through and through. Did he work on the film also?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Bill. I’ll pass that on πŸ™‚ Yes, he did work on the film too, mainly the restaurant scene, where the sheep try to pass as human and people end up with fish on their heads. Most of that was him. He worked on Aardman’s ‘Pirates’ film too. He’s a very clever man and I dine out on his talent as often as possible πŸ™‚


  2. Ugh, that doesn’t sound like fun at all. But glad you pulled it off, Old Sport.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The old college spirit! I think I wouldn’t have made it out of the bathroom … 😐


  4. As me dear old Dah would say: things happen for a reason. Glad they worked out, but more glad you kept your writing poetic and ended on that nice note about the moon looking like an eye.

    My wife and I have, for whatever reason, allowed ourselves to smoke the periodic cigarette. We hadn’t smoked one for three years, but we both don’t mind and like our relationship with tobacco now. We went outside last night for a mug of decaf (blasphemy, I know) and a cigarette, and we couldn’t stop staring at that crooked crescent through the branches, sparse with leaves, trembling in the wind and periodically marring that pale shape, so stark against the inky night.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s a nice way to think about luck, a commodity we can give and get. Neat looking place in the photo, too. Sounds like you thought quick and acted quicker, saving the call. You’ll learn the landscape and where those darn room are.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like the meeting went well, insofar as meetings go. But watch out for that admin, he’s got you pegged now. πŸ˜‰

    I’m guessing you’re a Wallace and Grommet fan too?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. glad it all worked out in the end. and i love shaun. my backup plan would have been to stream shaun videos to the group if all else fell through.


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