Friday, April 23, 2010
A Privileged Day
Today was totally unexpected and... awesome.
I am lacking of words to describe what today had in store for me. Though I know the plans for today but I was totally and pleasantly surprised at the outcome of each...
My attendance was requested at two major events that were to happen today.
One at work and another at my son's school.
There was an AGM at work, and as a very small shareholder of the company, I was invited to attend and second the motions that I felt I should support. All went well, after all, I did go to one once before but that was a decade ago.
Today, I got to witness this corporate proceedings and actually understood what was at stake and how things were done. That was a good experience personally.
What was even better, was the lunch that they served after the AGM and EGM were over. Like a privileged VIP, I was whisked away from the buffet spread where all the big shots, corporate proxies and shareholders alike were helping themselves to the food, to a small meeting room where the halal Bento meal was waiting for me.
I had a choice of either spaghetti or chicken rice. I dared the greenish spaghetti and it tasted wonderful.
While seated and savoring every mouthful with another Malay friend of mine, one or two big shots came to check out the halal meal sets for themselves.
They came and mingled as if we had chatted before. For that very first time, the mighty big shots... with all their high glory, dark suits and wise gray hair commanding presence, became human again in my eyes.
Like any other human, they spoke other than work, jibed little jokes and smiled and were most concerned with their health, picky about what they eat. They were baring their vulnerabilities and as fragile as the next person underneath that corporate shield of a suit.
Uncomfortably, like a fish out of water, I mingled with the big shots and the legal ladies in the room until I finished my meal. It was a nice experience and at the same time was uncomfortable with every swallow.
Part of me enjoyed the high-profile time with the "people upstairs" yet part of me wanted to dive back into the water and swim into the dark crevices among the corals... only to look out into the bright lights from the safety of my hide.
Went back to my cubicle and already was time to dash next, off to Sonny's school in the afternoon.
My boss had graciously granted me a couple of hours off work. So by 3:00PM, I was in a cab heading for home... Wifey was so excited about the event that she called to remind me not to be late.
I had time only to wash my face and refreshed myself with a splash of cologne. Packed my dSLR camera and videocam, gulped a glass of cold water and was out again, in another cab en route to Dunman Secondary School.
I had not known what was to come...
The event was grand!
Grander that I remembered when I first attended Sonny's first year there. The difference today was that Sonny was up on stage being emcee for the event!
Awesome pride for this father... no one can take that away from me and Wifey... if only Wifey was there with me.
I was elected Vice-Chairman for our PSG group this year after serving 2 years alongside Wifey. Only the Exco-DSP or Dedicated and Supportive Parents were invited this year so Wifey missed this proud moment of a chance, unfortunately.
I know Wifey was as proud of Sonny as was when I saw the the confidence Sonny exuded and how poised and mature he was throughout event... gracefully executed his lines; good annotation and clearly enunciated each word together with his lady emcee.
Surprise was an understatement... and there were two this afternoon.
I thought our DSP chairman was attending. Like always, he had never missed an event but a text reply from him left me at the VIP seat together with our lady DSP secretary.
Another of our lady DSP VC could not make it either because she just started in her new job the same week.
The shocker was when my name was labeled on a chair in the front row. I sat beside the school's principle and Guest of Honour, along with other VIPs.
I was one of the VIPs! Fancy that! Me?! Wow!
While seated before the event started, I felt other eyes on me, probably wondering who that new Malay man was. The people on the second and the rows behind were HODs, teachers and parents whose children were receiving the outstanding achievement awards... as if all were looking at this man who tried very hard to stay composed and "seasoned" as VIPs.
Yes, I have this inferiority complex issue I cannot shake off, so I ended up being very self conscious the whole time instead of relishing the moment... and that whole evening was a long moment!
Being "forced" to behave like a proper VIPs should, I was left to sneak snapping pictures of Sonny when he first appeared on stage for Wifey before the Guest of Honour arrived.
If my memory served me right, I had always seen VIPs keep their poise all the times. So there I was, keeping still and hopefully appeared as poised as a VIP would be expected to be. It was not as fun as I thought a VIP would feel and I missed lots of photo and video opportunities that would have otherwise be shared for posterity with Wifey.
Of course I do not disregard the utmost honour bestowed upon me. For that, I am eternally grateful.
And if that was not already an extreme honour, my name was mentioned in the principle's opening speech as DSP representation! The principle went on to mention our group's efforts to successfully raise about S$37,000 at the recent Care and Share Day. Double Wow!
I really am thankful to Ms Chong, for being so kind and showing her appreciation for our group's efforts and contributions.
When the prize presentation ended, Sonny announced for the VIPs to proceed down for dinner while the rest of stayed put. Immediately, I felt hundred pairs of eyes were on the VIPs as we stood up and made our way out of the hall.
At the school canteen was a sole round table with a maroon coloured table cloth, set beautifully, fit for VIPs among other tables. The awaiting students greeted us and started serving food that rivalled the 5-star restaurant... not that I have even been to but I had seen the likes on TV.
My heart was fluttering with the flattery that was shown to me... I kept my poise but I know my face was like an open book. Anyone could see the "leaked" joy and awkwardness expressions on my face. I felt so privileged, it was surreal.
The food tasted wonderful but after the hearty meal at lunch plus the 4th eclair I had prior to coming to this event, I was not so hungry. More so, within the company of VIPs.
I noticed that the event was carried out almost entirely by the students themselves, with very little involvement by the teachers or staff on the actual day. That showed tremendous faith and confidence they have, led by the principle herself, on their students.
It was indeed a fantastic effort by the school and finely executed by the students. The items at the event went like clockwork. It left a positive and pleasant impression when I finally left the school for home. Brilliant! Wished Wifey was part of this too.
My Sonny did great! The opportunity and responsibility given to him were huge and he delivered. He has made his father proud of him. He made his mother hugged him so tightly and long when he returned home. He is indeed a precious gift.
The whole day was such a privilege for me. I am thankful for the experiences given.