<--Added on 8/22/08 for migration to TPB -->
Mayhem in the morning
On my first visit to US, we came as a little group. After the lengthy immigration procedures, we checked into the hotel Sunday night. Slept and reported to office the next morning and felt very normal. The clients were surprised that we looked quite okay without any travel hangover. Anyway, we were let off from office very early at 3 pm and spent the whole evening playing tennis.
I and my manager were expected to have the first meeting with the client Tuesday morn at 8am. I went to bed feeling very much normal but was unaware that the dreadful jet lag was slowly and surely setting in.
That night I had the craziest of nightmares. I was writing my 12 std exams, it was the eve of an exam and I had studied nothing more than 4 or 5 pages out of the 445 page textbook the entire year!! There was tremendous slogging in the dream itself and suddenly hearing some persistent ringing noise(in reality the phone), woke up with a start the next morn. I was actually sweating when I woke up and when finding it was all a dream, allowed myself a big sigh of relief! Gave a few thumps on the bed in joy, having got "out" of such a critical situation.
Just then I looked at the clock and it was 7:45!!! I jumped out of bed with a shriek, in utter panic. First meeting with the client in 15min, no car and I've just got up - for a few seconds, I raced around like a chicken whose neck had just been chopped off! Promptly changed into formals, glanced at the mirror, "arranged" my hair with bare hands and rushed out, there was no other alternative. Thankfully this wasn't India so it wasn't dusty, and with the temperature being normal in early August, you don't look that bad even if step into office straight out of bed. [My roommate had done the same trick in India a year earlier, and maybe that's how I was emboldened to try the idea!]
Raced to the hotel reception where the driver was just starting the shuttle to my company, got to office, frantically searched for the elevator, cursing the fact that my seat was in the 19th floor. Wonder of wonders reached my office at 8:05, the American guy had not yet joined us! My Indian manager said he had called me thrice from office and I casually told him what had happened, triumphantly smiling that the American hadnt turned up yet. The shocked look on my manager's face was unforgettable.
What a good thing the driver was just starting the shuttle, else I would have taken off on a mad run on the freeway and got arrested by the cops!
After two hours as I shook hands with the client chap, I didn't forget to tell him(inwardly of course), 'Bless you dude, you ain't got the faintest clue that you've just attended the wildest funny-shit meeting in your life!'
Thereafter, for the rest of my tenure in that office, my warmest niceties were reserved for him.