... in which I kill time by the hour ...

Apr 27, 2011

Open up, Earth, and swallow me whole...

Let me start off by declaring that I naturally have a one-track mind. It's pretty much impossible for me to multitask. If I'm focusing on one thing, then that's the only thing I can concentrate on; everything else be damned. Y'all got that? OK, good, keep that in mind.

Now, what happened was that my friends and I were panicking in University yesterday because, being the incorrigible procrastinators that we are, we had unwittingly left one of the key tasks of our Computer group project untouched: interview some lecturers and the Dean of the University about our topic.

And the really ugly truth? The project - plus an accompanying Power Point presentation - was due the next day (today).

So, there we were, walking in circles in front of the Dean's office, which was disappointingly empty, wondering what to do, where to look for him (obviously, trying to get an appointment at the last moment was out of the question), or whether we should even do this at all (because, I don't care what my Comp professor says, but it's just ridiculous barging in on the freaking DEAN of our faculty and going, 'Sir, what do you know about Blog jargon and would you prefer a laser jet printer over the ink jet kind?' and NO I AM NOT EXAGGERATING).
Anyway, remember what I said about the one-track mind thing? Yeah, this is where that comes in. The ONLY thing on my mind at that moment was the Dean and where the heck he could be.

Then, out of the blue, my friend Naai goes, "There he is! Sir! Si~r!" and practically flails after a professor in a purple shirt who was going up the stairs.

I was so hung up on finding the Dean, I thought it was him. Plus, he had his back to me, so I couldn't see his face. But I really should have known better; I mean, not even Naai - who is a bit of a ditzy, lovable, flail-boat (Nao's got competition) - would have pranced like that after the frickin' DEAN! Before we could catch up, the purple-shirt guy had disappeared up the stairs and Naai was saying, "Come on, he said to come up to his office."

At THAT, I really should have known it was NOT the Dean, because we were already standing in front of the Dean's office! But I, with my one-track mind, ran after Naai to corner "the Dean" in "his office" and wring that interview out of him.

Up on the third floor, Naai and our other group member Di was entering the office belonging to our Comp professor, Mr A, plus three other lecturers. "Did the Dean go in there?" I demanded, following them. Now I can distinctly remember that all my friends looked at me funny when I said that, but back then, it was all unnecessary background scenery for me. I just marched in there and looked round, searching for the Dean.

No sign of him.

FINALLY, I began to comprehend that I was missing something here and grew confused. And when I'm confused, I tend to be denser than normal.

"So, what did you want to speak to me about?" It was our Comp lecturer, Mr A, speaking and I realised HE was the purple-shirt guy.

Wha~ all this time, we had been following HIM?? Hadn't we been looking for the Dean? Why weren't we going after the Dean?? Where WAS the Dean for crying out loud?? - My thoughts at the moment. Like I said, a one-track mind.

At his question, both Naai and Di turned expectantly to me because, as a rule, I'm the one that does all the talking/pleading/inquiring whenever we have to interact with lecturers (or anyone of authority, for that matter). And then Mr A was looking at me too, as were the other three lecturers present (because it was a pretty small office and I assume they all had nothing better to do than to watch the three panicked girls that had burst in so urgently).

"What did you want to speak to me about?" was his question. And my oh-so-satisfactory reply?

" ... why ... are we HERE?"

It might not sound so bad, but I spoke without thinking, loud enough for the entire office to hear, in a blatant WHAT-THE-F**K voice, complete with facial expression to match: [link]

You know those moments of complete silence, which are really 'short but seem to stretch on forever' that they're always talking about in novels? Yeah, well ... when experienced in real life, such moments are full of nothing but BIZARRE AWKWARDNESS.

The moment passed and the lecturer on my right, Mr J, who is a foreigner - American, I think - practically exploded into laughter, no joke. Before I knew it, the entire office was roaring with laughter. It's a surprise none of them were on the floor, rolling.

And if that wasn't embarrassing enough, Mr J grins right at me and lazily drawls, all too amused, "Good question."

Those two simple words ... I kind of died at that moment. I looked - and felt - like such an idiot.

Soon I learned that Naai and Di had wanted to ask Mr A an important question about our project, but I had been so caught up with finding the Dean that I had totally failed to hear them talking about it. And now I was the one that looked like a retard, who the entire office was laughing at.

Bright side of the whole situation? Umm ... well, we did eventually manage to get our claws on the Dean... (And I have one more tale of Mr J, Mr A and me, but I'm too tired to talk about that now. Save it for later.)

But yeah ... this whole incident! Man, it was so embarrassing!
And that famous cliche of wanting the ground to open up and swallow you whole? Yeah, now I know how that feels like.