I returned to my desk after my lunch break and saw there were some voice messages waiting on my phone. I listened to the first, from a customer, jotted down a few notes, then proceeded to the second message.
“Terri! It’s Bob! Are you coming to the meeting? We’re all here! We’re waiting for you! See you soon!”
My thoughts began to race. “Meeting? What meeting? I remember there being talk of a meeting but I didn’t get a meeting invitation. Do I remember seeing a meeting invitation? Holy CRAP… I get a hundred emails a day. I probably deleted it. I’m such an idiot. Quick! Check the Outlook calendar…… There’s nothing there! Of course there’s nothing there, moron! If it were there, the automatic meeting reminder for disorganized people would have popped up. Oh sh*t. How did I miss this. Just grab a pen and paper. RUN!”
As I rode the elevator up to the floor where the meeting was taking place, I was mentally trying to figure out an excuse and berating myself for being disorganized. How could I let this happen?
I slipped into the meeting, a few minutes late, and most of the others in attendance politely ignored my late entrance. But not Bob. Bob leaned back in his chair, speaking behind the woman next to him and whispered, smiling, “Where were you?”
I just gave him a vague smile and waved him off, trying to indicate I’d explain later, after the meeting organizer was done talking (and when I could come up with a decent excuse.) But Bob wasn’t playing nice. He repeated, “Where were you?”
So I gave him a sarcastic smile and whispered back, “Partying.”
The exchange didn’t escape the attention of my boss, sitting next to me. She looked at me and asked, “What’s going on?”
Now I knew I was busted, so I told her I had just returned from my lunch break when I found Bob’s voicemail and rushed upstairs as quick as I could, but that I had no meeting on my schedule. I REALLY, REALLY did NOT want to admit that to her. I was hoping everyone would just assume I had been delayed by very important business, but there was no hope of that now. She promised to double check her invitation for the list of attendees when we finished at the meeting.
Now I was REALLY panicking, thinking if I had just messed up and failed to respond to the invitation, or worse, DELETED it, (because, trust me on this… that is something I would likely do) then I was really going to look bad in her eyes. I could barely focus on the meeting because I was so sure I had really done something stupid. I am really not comfortable with feeling embarassed and stupid and I was now soaking in embarassment and stupidity.
After the meeting, my boss again promised to look at her invitation and see if my name had been included. I ran to my desk and scoured my inbox and deleted messages. I could NOT find anything, but was still sure I had messed up. I figured if I could find it first, I might stand a chance of creating some logical, albeit lame excuse for not living up to her standards. (Ummmm…..yeah, it looks like I DID get it, but I was so tied up in a very important….. ummmm…….. uh…. My computer has this weird glitch and it’s been randomly deleting….. ummmm….. You know all those spam emails we get? Well it seems not only are they making sure we’re well informed about our male-enhancement options, but they’re stealing meeting invitations too…… ummm……The dog ate my meeting invitation???)
In the meantime, my boss called me. I held my breath and it seemed like hours before I heard the words, “I just opened up my invitation and I can see you were not included in the list of attendees. I’ll try to make sure I check that from now on to make sure everyone is included.”
BIG. SIGH. OF. RELIEF. I hadn’t screwed up. The meeting organizer, TRISH screwed up! Even better is the fact that Trish sent out a small recap of one of the points of discussion, specifically noting her apologies to me for neglecting to add my name to the list. So take that BOB! Nyahhhhh!
I feel so much better. Except now I wish I knew what the heck was discussed in that meeting!