Sunday, February 25, 2018

February hodgepodge

One of the most interesting (and stressful) experiences I had this month was emceeing a company-wide event. I used to get asked to host a lot of weddings of my friends and also some company events but prior to my Christmas party emceeing stint last December, I can't really recall the last time that I acted as an event host. I am guessing someone from HR saw me during that Christmas party and thought I did a good enough job that they felt I would make a good host. My involvement was aligned with my leadership team so I couldn't really say no. :) The tough thing about this assignment was that our president is an exceptional public speaker and I was told that he has very exacting standards. That I was told this shortly before my emceeing stint didn't make it easier. :) It also didn't help that I only got the script two days before the event, and even then there were still a lot of changes being made.

In the end, I thought I did an okay job. I started out extremely nervous and my boss noticed that my hand was actually shaking during the opening spiel. I stuttered a couple of times. I also forgot to read the credentials of one of our speakers because our president asked my to add something to his introduction and because I had to do a sudden ad lib, I was so distracted that I accidentally skipped an entire paragraph in my script. It was also quite stressful because throughout the day, we had to keep making adjustments to the program. For instance, the conversation during some of the Q&A segments were so dynamic that they had to be extended, which meant a last minute change in the program. Of course, each time we had to make adjustments, we had to ad lib, which also meant that I had to stay mentally sharp throughout the day. And given that there was a theme in our event, I had to come up with ways to tie everything together and make sure that everything I said was still in line with the overall messaging that the event organizers wanted to deliver. I do think that I did pretty well in my segues. After the event, a lot of people were congratulating me and my co-host after for a job they felt was very well done, but in my honest opinion, I thought I did just okay (or maybe above average at most).

What made this event even more stressful was the fact that I had very little sleep leading into it and it ran for almost 11 hours. We started shortly after 8am and finished at almost 7pm. It also didn't help that I had a very bad shaving mishap on that morning. Because I was in a rush that morning, I accidentally shaved off my mole under my lip. In fact, it wouldn't stop bleeding for about 3 hours. Thankfully, it stopped shortly before I went on stage. (Yes, I know, this is pretty disgusting LOL.) Despite me shaving off my mole, you can still see it now. Or part of it. I guess I only accidentally took out the outer layer.

On to more positive things. I finally got to finish reading City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte. I started reading it several months ago but I stopped once I started my new job. With board gaming dominating most of my free time, I didn't get around to finishing it until the long Chinese New Year weekend when I decided to spend the afternoon at a cafe so I could enjoy some good coffee while finishing my book. I still have about seven books that I haven't read yet, so the question now is which one I read next.

I also had quite a few reunions with some really good friends. The first one was with the first team that I managed. I'm quite happy that despite the fact that these people reported to me for a few years, we ended up developing pretty good bonds with each other that until now, we still organize get-togethers. In fact, I got to spend time with Jhen for the first time since she got married in 5 years. I also got to see Dennis again and the last time I saw him was almost 7 years ago. This evening also involved playing quite a few games, which I will write more about later.

I also spent a night in Siglo Suites at The Gramercy with my local travel buddies (I will write more about this evening in a separate post). This was my first time staying here and I do believe that of all the rooms I've booked, this is arguably the best-looking one. There is also direct access from Gramercy to Century City Mall. The downside of this stay though was that I had to wait for 1 1/2 hours to be checked in. They did offer me to stay in another room until my proper room was prepared but I declined it because they said my room would be ready in 30 minutes. The problem was that after 30 minutes, I was told it would take another 30 minutes. And after that, it took another half an hour to finally get things sorted out. They did offer my free parking to compensate for my very long wait time. Note that if you book a room in Siglo Suites at The Gramercy, there is no free parking. Parking at the basement is dependent on availability and even then, it will cost P40 for the first couple of hours and P10 for every succeeding hour PLUS a fixed P200 fee. Overnight parking in Century City Mall is even worse; you have to pay P500 PLUS the hourly rate.

View from Siglo Suites at The Gramercy

I also attended the baptism of the son of my friend and ex-teammate Magnus. The church ceremony was held at the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice in UP. It was quite nostalgic being in UP again for the first time in years. The guests then proceeded to Dencio's in Capitol Hills. Several of my ex-teammates were there and it was great catching up with them.

Finally, I had dinner with Gary and Winnie in XO46 at Estancia Mall. I hadn't seen them both in years so I am very happy that I finally got to spend an evening with them. To make the evening even better, Anna was in town. Mitch was also unable to join us in XO46 but she invited us to have coffee and dessert at her place because her sister Myra (whom I haven't seen in ages as well) was in town and she and her family had dinner at Mitch's place. It was too bad we met up on a weeknight because people had to retire relatively early but it was really great catching up with everyone.

No comments: