December 04, 2013 12:00 AM | by Luci
Post #35: Inner Demon Unleashed
Remember when I told you guys about the new position to be filled, well I ended up applying for it and decided not to give the possibility of Amr and I being together any further thoughts. To keep things professional and fair, Amr asked both Sahar and I to prepare a presentation, which was challenging, but I was really looking forward to ace it and get the promotion. I know I wasn't all that excited about it before, but I decided that focusing on my career might be my best shot at the moment.
Usually I'm pretty fast at preparing outstanding presentations, but for some reason this one in specific wasn't progressing much. Mind block seriously! To be honest, I was pretty much preoccupied with Dina's problems. She has been staying at my place for a week now, but would I be too mean to admit that I wasn't able to focus on anything as she's mostly crying the whole time? Don't get me wrong, I love Dina she's my bestie, but she needs to start cheering up a bit. I tried almost everything, even leaving her the space she needs, but nothing worked out. Maybe time will heal, but I guess until then I will try to do my best to help her out. I just hope I remain as positive as I am at the moment after another week of her crying.
Back to the presentation, I spent approximately four hours trying hard to draft one, and the outcome turned out to be shit. I'm not even exaggerating. If I were Amr, I would totally give Sahar the new position. How the hell can I force creativity, which I normally have tons of? I decided to postpone finalizing my presentation to another day, maybe it would start looking a bit better.
We were called in to go to work on Saturday as we had tons of things to get done, and we had to work some over-time. The office was somehow empty and only five of my team members were there. Sahar was sitting closely to her laptop and it looked like she was extremely focused. I got curious and wanted to check whether she's working on her presentation or something else. So I went to over to her space, and pretended like I was asking about another project. She immediately exited her presentation. Great, she's being more productive than I am! Now what? Am I going to lose to that girl? There's no way in hell!
More pressure, great! I had only one day to go and nothing. A few minutes later, Sahar and the rest of the team walked out of the office to grab lunch, they asked me to join but I claimed I had lots of work to do. I knew what I was about to do next, though my gut feeling kept on shouting out that this is completely inappropriate, not to mention that it goes against anything I believe in. But for some reason I did it anyway...
I went over to Sahar's laptop and opened up her presentation. I was right, she did a pretty good presentation. Whenever I thought it was time to close it because what I was doing was unacceptable on so many levels, my hands couldn't go through with closing the laptop, and I ended up reading more and more. I almost memorized the entire presentation and only closed it when I heard some foot steps.
I felt pretty terrible about it the entire day and couldn't face Sahar. But a small part of me started getting more inspired on how I could prepare a better presentation than hers. I tried to push the guilt feeling away and focus on preparing something better than Sahar, tackling the points which she failed to mention.
Back at home, I put on my earphones and started typing. I could see Dina was trying to get my attention as she was in the mood to talk about what's bothering her, but I tried to pretend as if I'm deeply focused on what I'm doing, which was kind of the truth.
Dina: Hey Luci, when you have a second please let me know.
Me: Sure, as soon as I'm done I'll let you know.
Dina: Great! Please make it soon?
Me: Sure babe!
I kept on working and working and in the process Dina fell asleep, and I though to speak with her tomorrow after the presentation. I finalized a pretty powerful presentation and went to sleep. I woke up the next day feeling stronger than ever and decided to dress for success.
It was Sahar's turn to do her presentation first and it took her around 30 minutes. I was next, but for some reason I wasn't nervous at all. How am I not even feeling guilty about what I did to Sahar? Perhaps subconsciously I thought it's justifiable due to Sahar's continuos bullying, but if I had to be honest about it, this was a new low for me!
Amr let finish my presentation up till the very end, and didn't interrupt like he usually does.
Amr: Okay Luci, I have to tell you this presentation is amazing. I would tell you that you did a great job, if I didn't know better.
Me: What? I'm not following...
Amr: See, the thing is I saw you yesterday checking out Sahar's laptop and correct me if I'm wrong, but you weren't probably leaving her a love note.
Me: Ohhh, no I wasn't!
Amr: Be honest with me, what were you doing using her laptop.
A moment of silence. I didn't know what to tell him. My stomach started aching and all of a sudden it hit me that what I did was pretty terrible. I couldn't even look him in the eye.
Amr: Luci, I'm waiting...
Me: I was checking her presentation.
Amr: I'm really disappointed at you. I really thought so highly of you, and I'm talking on a personal level, not a professional one. You stooped to a new low, I wouldn't even expect Sahar to do something like that.
Me: I really don't know what to say, I'm very disappointed at myself as well. It's just that I was lacking focus and creativity, and all of sudden this new job position meant so much to me, and I really wanted to make sure I get it. I shouldn't have done that at all, I would totally understand if you want to take any actions against what I have done.
Amr starred at me and for a second I thought he would ask me to get out of the office, but then he asked calmly: "So why were you lacking focus and creativity?"
Me: It doesn't matter now, the important thing here is that I'm veryyyy sorry and I do mean it.
Amr: No it does matter, I'd like to know your reasons!
I kept on thinking whether I should tell him about the Dina thing or not, and I blabbered it all out. I gave him all of the details, and within a few minutes he turned from Amr my boss to Amr my friend. I was pretty annoyed at myself for the things I've been doing since yesterday; starting off with checking Sahar's work to trying to manipulate Amr to go easy on me, and finally giving out Dina's secret. I do know that Amr doesn't know her well at all, he only saw her a few times, but then again, she made me promise several times that I won't tell anyone about what she's going through as she's too embarrassed about it. I didn't even hold my word.
The terrible day passed by and Amr called me at the end of it, mentioning he'll give me another shot at another presentation with a different idea. I was so thankful for a second chance, he's such a kind person. Anyone else would have fired me. His kindness came as a wake-up call to start behaving like the grown-up that I'm supposed to be.
Amr: That doesn't mean I'm not still disappointed at you, but don't worry it won't last long.
Me: Amr, thank youuu so much, you have no idea how much I appreciate it.
I decided to work a bit longer at the office instead of having to go home and face Dina at the moment, I was pretty down and mad at myself to try and cheer her up.
Apparently I worked for three hours straight without even noticing it, and only paid attention to the time when my phone rang.
Dina: When are you coming home? I need to speak with you.
Me: I'm putting my things together and should leave the office shortly. Are you okay?
Dina: We'll talk when you're back.
Back home, Dina was watching TV and laying on a couch. She didn't even look at me, and in Dina's world that usually means she's angry at me. Now what? What did I do to annoy her? Well, yes I did ignore her for a while.
Dina: Guess who I ran into today?
Me: Oh, you finally left the house?
Dina: Yeah I did, to grab something for your mum.
Me: That's great, happy you made it to the outside world.
Dina: Luci, I'm serious, guess who I saw. He's handsome and his name starts with an A!
Me: Who? Amr?
Dina: You've got that right! Now guess what he told me?
Me: Dina, enough with the games, just tell me. I've had a pretty rough day.
Dina: Okay, have it your way. Amr asked me how I was, and how I'm holding up with everything happening. Now the question is, why the HELL would you tell him Luci? You promised you won't tell a single soul other than your parents.
Me: Well, I didn't, not even Habiba or Mona! Though they were asking me continuously what's wrong with you and why you went off of the grid.
Dina: And that's exactly what we agreed on, but why would you tell Amr?
Then I said something I shouldn't have said at all! I just said it without thinking...
Me: I had to explain why I wasn't focused to put on a proper presentation.
Dina: Oh, so I'm a burden on you now? Me being here is causing you to be less focused? Please explain how so? You've been avoiding me for the past few days.
Me: That's not what I meant. Of course you're not a burden, but to be honest, I have been less focused. I'm sorry about telling Amr!
Dina: Which means I'm a burden. Anyway, I won't be one anymore! I'll call my dad and have him pick me up in a while. I'm out of here so you can get your focus back.
Me: No wait, don't you think you're overreacting? I said I was sorry and you know I mean it.
Dina: No I'm not, if you were to actually trying to make the time for me and pretend less that you're working, then you would have known why I'm being even more fragile the past couple of days!
I couldn't convince Dina to stay, she was very mad at me. Once again I have disappointed another person. This day should really come to an end...
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