How To Make People Hate You
When I walked into the conference room, I noticed twenty-five people staring at me with vacant expressions, their hands stopped moving on their laptop keyboards and they just stared, coldly. I was about forty minutes late. I looked at my watch and proceeded to sit down, asking one of them where my coffee was.
My phone rang about five minutes after, I answered it. I didn’t answer it to say I was busy. I actually had a conversation. It lasted about 8 minutes. I proceeded to check my IM’s and Twitter mentions and I asked about my coffee, again. Some guy who was wearing a rather odd colored maroon shirt decided to start speaking. How could I start paying attention if I didn’t have my coffee? I looked at the guy who was now in-charge of making sure I get my cup of java before I killed some people with my bare hands. He wasn’t performing so well under pressure, it seemed. I sighed. He smelt the regret. He tasted the bitterness. I was salty.
Twenty minutes in and the maroon shirt wearing chief financial bimbo was still talking about how much money his company was going to make. He twitched and waited after every sentence, staring at me. I didn’t have any questions for him, so I just kept texting. I think he found it odd because he coughed twice and continued with the company’s future product portfolio and their target markets.
The door opened and there stood a guy who had in his hand a twenty ounce Starbucks coffee. I was given the coffee with some sugar sachets and paper napkins. I gulped down half of the coffee while the financial bimbo continued about how the future of the Indian economy is in e-commerce and what a company can do to single handedly get a huge lead in the market share. This was getting boring. I sat there paying hardly any attention.
I suddenly realized I should inform him that he was doing the most pathetic pitch I had ever listened to. So I decided to point my finger at his face with a pen in my hand while he spoke about how his company could change lives of customers. He noticed it almost immediately. He asked me if I had a question for him. I adjusted my tie as I got up from my not-so-comfortable-yet-convincingly-expensive-leather-chair and I said “Is it just me or is your shirt just the worst possible shirt in the history of any shirt ever manufactured anywhere on this planet by any company?” And there it was, his facial expressions changed. Everybody’s facial expression changed.
I was about to continue about how they had no WiFi but my phone rang, again. So I gave him the “wait-for-it” hand gesture and proceeded to take the call. What I wanted to have for lunch was far more important than this. My friend had his mind fixed on Chinese food and I wanted to have something from Subway. There was much banter and we finally decided to go with Pizza Hut. The phone call lasted 3 minutes. As I slid the phone back into my pocket, I remembered something. Pizza Hut didn’t serve Coca-Cola. How can I go to a place which doesn’t serve Coca-Cola? This wasn’t happening! I decided to call my friend back only to have the network fail on me. Being the rational human that I am, I left the conference room.
Now that I think about it, maybe I should have gone back in just to say I was leaving.
Note: This post is not an exaggeration of events. The company who was pitching had 0 products in the market and valued themselves on an idea at about 10 million USD. I was sent in to know if it was all smoke and mirrors. I am not a nice person, I am well aware. Thank you.