He was supposed to be on a conference call with me, we were doing a presentation to other senior North American colleagues. We had prepared for it over the past week, had done a run through the day before. I was doing the initial talking, and would hand over to him for his section. He was late, I had one of the men in the meeting give him a call… no answer. I started without him.
We got to his section and he still hadn’t turned up. I swore silently, apologised to the meeting participants for what would no doubt be a ‘bumbling through’, and presented his content myself, inelegantly and awkwardly. He showed up 10 minutes before the end of the meeting, to cat calls and derision from everyone. He was terribly, awfully apologetic, he had mistaken the start time. I let the furore on the call die down, he was still apologising.
“Jerry, sit at the back of the class and be quiet”.
There were sniggers.
“Okay…” he replied. *silence*
I laughed and finished off the meeting.
Afterwards, he was so so sorry, he felt just horrible, he said he wouldn’t feel right until he made it up to me. He offered to help with similar meetings in other regions (which may well be 2am in the morning for him), sincerely and genuinely wanting to make amends. I wasn’t angry, but I was annoyed, I didn’t reply to his messages.
Later that day, I sent out an email to Europe and Asia Pacific, volunteering his services for these midnight and early morning meetings without checking with him further.
He sent me this response:
Thank you Ferns!
He *thanked* me for punishing him. And, lower case sign off?!!! Really?!! So funny!
That just about made my day.