Oct 28 2009

Enthusiastic practicality

One of my favorite colleagues, Eliza, came barreling into my office this afternoon while I was on the phone. Dancing around my desk she whispered loudly, “You’ve got to get off the phone.”  The fact that I was talking to our boss did not deter her insistence.

“Seriously, you’ve got to hang up. Right now.”

I couldn’t imagine what would possibly be so urgent…but I’m always glad to have an excuse to cut short a call from our boss. As I’m trying to extricate myself from the conversation, Eliza has become even more desperate to get me off the phone, at one point taking a red dry-erase marker and writing TRUST ME in big capital letters on the white board across from my desk.

“You are going to be so happy!” she chimed as I hung up the phone.

Turns out she had submitted my name to radio station contest, and the announcer was going to be calling my mobile sometime in the next three minutes. What?! What kind of contest? Will the call be live on-air? Will I need to answer questions? IN SWEDISH?!

Eliza assured me that I’d be able to handle it because she’d briefed the announcer on my Swedish skills, which are a bit more limited over the phone. But I still wasn’t completely clear on the details of what the contest was about when my iPhone vibrated and boom, I was on-the-air.

I remember very little of the conversation except for the part when she asked me what it was like to play in a band with Axl Rose (we were in junior high orchestra together), and if I had any idea what I’d won (which I didn’t). I still wasn’t sure when I gave her my address so that she could send it to me.

After I got off the phone I walked into Eliza’s office, where she had been listening to the radio interview, and asked, “What the hell just happened?”

Turns out the station was asking listeners to nominate an “inspirational co-worker”, and Eliza…who is clearly a marketing genius…submitted a description of me that was picked as the winner. (Though I suspect her mention of my teenaged connection to Axl Rose had a lot to do with it, too. For some reason Swedes are really impressed by it.)

And the prize?

A Samsung X120 ultra thin notebook computer!  I couldn’t believe it! I never win anything! Dr. Darling was stunned as well, and jumped online immediately…I assumed…to check it out.

“You must be really excited about finally having a WinDoze laptop in the house,” I said. “You looking at the specs?”

The Swede’s reply?

“No, I’m trying to figure out if you’re going to have to pay taxes on it.”


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Feed my ego!

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