I got to work late despite my efforts to beat the early morning traffic. It seemed on this specific morning every motorist and pedestrian had decided to go slow. I looked at the long line of traffic and squeezed my toes in my shoes as I remembered the board meeting that would start in a few minutes. As i felt the numbing effect climbing in my feet I imagined kicking some life in the motorists who were ahead of me.
I got to my office just over 10 minutes late and ran to my desk trying desperately to avoid the stares of knowing coworkers. I managed to get settled just in time to see the Office Attendant walk in. She looked at me with a mischievous grin and told me she was leaving. I looked at her quite alarmed and asked, 'where to?' and then I remembered that she had been serving as a Juror for several days. It seemed God had granted a miracle. With the office Attendant being out of office it meant that I would not be able to attend the meeting. I managed to muster a disappointed look and walked to my boss to advise him that I would be absent. He didn't seem to mind and I walked back to my office thinking the morning wasn't so bad afterall.
I looked at the files on my desk and started making a mental list of all I had to do. As I got started the Director walked in and asked me to help a board member with some tea. I had not considered who would be making coffee and tea in the absence of the Office Attendant if anyone dared to ask. With that dawning realization I slipped on my shoes and walked to the board room to enquire what exactly was needed. The gentleman who had made the request told me he just wanted a cup of peppermint tea with some milk. As I strolled to the kitchen I encouraged myself, 'peppermint, no big deal, you can do this' and I quickly got to work, hot water - peppermint - 2 spoons of milk - no biggie – a got this.
I exited the kitchen with the proudest look on my face and handed him the tea cup. With bated breath I asked, 'Can I get anyone anything else? And they replied no. I felt so very relieved and tried hard to hold back a sigh as I quickly walked back to my office. Soon after I was seated a bearer came in with a letter to be signed by one of the Directors. I looked at him in utmost disbelief as he expressed urgency. I took the letter and walked back to the board room to action his request. I strategically walked to the Director I wanted and handed him the letter and stood waiting for what felt like 20 minutes. As he was about to hand me the paper I heard when someone snapped their fingers to get my attention. In slow motion I turned to see who it was and I saw Mr X motioning that he wanted a cup of coffee.
I had no words, i just smiled as the thoughts quickly started to flood in, "a wa do da man ya star, me nuh jus ask if anybody else want anytin, den a really snap him jus snap him finga at me Gad?...'
I delivered the letter to the Bearer and went back to the kitchen feeling quite anxious. I looked at the array of coffee packets with different colours and wondered which to choose. I desperately dialed the office Attendant's number to ask for help but got no response so I decided to exercise faith and I chose a purple packet and set it to brew. As the aroma filled the room I opened the door to the board room and glanced at Mr. X to ask what he wanted in it and he said, 'no milk, just sugar'. 'Is that even possible, how could one drink coffee without milk?, I wondered, as I added two spoons of sugar to his cup. I looked at the black mixture and before exiting I decided to taste it. I tipped a little in my palm and oh lord it was worse than I expected. It was the bitterest thing I had ever tasted. My first instinct was to pour it down the drain but another said, 'you have never had black coffee, maybe this is what it is supposed to taste like'.
With careful numbered steps I walked back to the board room. As I handed him his cup I heard a pleasant thank you. I wanted to disappear before the first sip so I headed towards the door to make a hasty retreat. I heard when the cup made a sound on the glass table. I imagined him lifting the cup to his mouth for taste buds and poison to meet. As I was about 2 seconds from the exit door I heard him cough. My heart stopped beating, I felt my spirit leave my being as I stood motionless. The cough echoed in the quiet room and with my back turned I imagined the look on the other board members faces. I don't know how I made it to the door but all I know is that I did not look back, I just kept on walking and did my best to stay alive.
How to do you forgive yourself after an embarrassment?
I remember how I felt when I got back to my office. I wanted to find a big rock to climb under and hide. I thought of all the things Mr. X was saying about me, 'pretty girl and cant even mek one cup a coffee'. I imagined him telling the other board members how horrible the coffee tasted and I imagined them all laughing at me. I decided at that point that no matter what I would not return to the board room.
Within a few minutes something changed. I found I was laughing at myself. I laughed so hard I almost cried as I remembered the big dry cough after he sipped the coffee. I laughed and I laughed and I laughed. Later that day while washing the dishes at home I found myself laughing again and I even thought, 'serve him right for snapping at me'.
You know sometimes that is what we have to do, just laugh at ourselves. I bet God doesn't even want us to take ourselves so seriously, sometimes he just wants us to 'buss a laugh' and move on.
What have you been holding on to? Why not just laugh about it and move on?