Selamat Hari Raya. I just got back to work today. Hmm... everybody else in office is still in the Hari Raya mood but... my staff and I have been running around like headless chickens.
Too many urgent things are due and pending 'No 1' approvals, in particular the costing for an international trade mission next week. To make matters worst, both of his PAs are still on leave. I had taken a big risk in asking Mr Designer and his partner to proceed with 3 brochure designs for the mission without prior approval on cost or agency selection. I couldn't wait, there was very little time left. It was either them or nothing, their costing is already much lower than the other agencies and I know his design standard. But I did warn them about this not materialising at all though.
I felt bad too, knowing how hard Mr Designer slaved over the designs during the Raya week. I myself wrote the text the day before Raya (to my mother's disapproval). I got back to KL on Saturday evening and on Sunday, 11am, we met up at KL Sentral to go over the designs. He actually produced 3 really good ones, normally I couldn't even get 1 from a small Bumiputera agency, especially not for a rush job like that. He has also taken the caution to make it 'safe' for a traditional decision maker's consent. After his partner left, Mr Designer and I went to Hilton KL to finalise the details. Then, we talked until 5.30pm. It had been a week and I kind of missed him.
Walking into the office this morning felt like walking on fire. It felt like being burried in ice too, I was shivering. The revised designs were due by 11am but until 12noon, they were still setting up their new printer. I was worried that 'No 1' 'mode' might change or he might have an outside appointment after lunch. I rushed them. It was almost 1pm when Mr Designer's partner arrived with the A3-size print-outs. I noticed that Mr Designer was meticulous with the finishing touches and menial amendments. It was perfect. His partner waited while I went to see 'No 1'.
As I stepped into 'No 1's' office, I could feel the overpowering negative energy coming from him. It was before I even show him the designs. That behavior is common when it comes to the 'need to spend money'. Come on, PR is a cost centre, and we still have 90% of our annual budget left! His negative facial expression, tone of voice, harsh comments, man, that was a killer. Thank god, miraculously, he chose the safest design there and then. I only needed to amend the text. He also approved the costing for another small project that Mr Designer is doing on his own, at a very low rate too.
I was relieved but I felt like all my energy have been sucked out. It was as if my battery got exhausted from that brief 10 minute-meeting with him. And now I realise why I hate going to see him so much.
His partner and I had lunch after that. My Designer didn't pick up any of our calls. Apparently, he 'konk out' from staying up all night to do the revisions and clean up the designs (based on my feedback). He was lying on the sofa in his partner's office when he left at noon. His partner joked about pouring water on him when he returns. He hadn't even eaten anything for the day yet. LOL!
He forgot to serve his partner the cake that I gave him yesterday, yeah, in my favourite Sri Lanka sourvenir bag. It was my mother's Raya specialty - mocha with fruits & nuts - I brought a whole cake for him, all the way on the plane too. I think he thanked me at least 5 times, he even sms me last night to say that it tasted nice. Ehem... I didn't recall that kind of appreciation when I did the same thing for The Kebaya Man last raya:p.
Anyway, his partner and I had a good talk about Mr Designer. I was just beginning to realise what a huge risk he took by breaking up with his fiance, after being in a serious relationship for 4 years. By that, he had to start from zero, no money, no car, no laptop, etc. He also moved out of her father's house that he rented with his friends without securing a proper place to stay; it was located next to her family home and he needed to get out fast. Yeah, she is wealthy and he was sort of dependent on her. That move called for a lot of guts, which was why he took the plunge without thinking about survival. If he had paused to think, I doubt that he would even follow through with it, it was way too scary.
Hmm... I'm learning something new about him everyday:)