JournalismPakistan.com April 11, 2013
Have you ever been in this position? You have an appointment in someone's office and you make the effort to fetch up on time, park your car and you enter his office after the mandatory wait outside and shake hands and sit down all cordial and pleasant and then he gets a phone call and suddenly, you vanish from in front of him. It is as if you don't even exist and he is looking through you.
Now, you are sitting there while he is prattling on and you look at your fingernails, read the magazines titles on his table upside down, study the photographs on his walls and three certificates with red rosettes, and grin fatuously whenever you catch his eye.
Now, he is having a blast on the phone enjoying his little talk while you are feeling a complete ninny. Finally, he puts it down and says, sorry, phone call, had to talk.
You say, no problem, it's okay, happens.
At which point the phone rings again and he is off on another verbal voyage completely marooning you as he re-establishes contact with some old buddy. Next thing you know they are talking golf, let's meet again, long time no see, come to our place, no, no, come to ours, have the kids grown up or what, how's Tingu, really, are you sure?
Whatever has happened to Tingu is of no interest to you but there you are captive to the saga.
I am in this position recently and my patience is now packed and ready to whizz off. He ends this second call, presses the intercom and then says, how's tricks?
I am about to tell him about tricks when the phone rings and he says, hi, sweetheart, what gives?
For the next five minutes he and his wife discuss their dinner guest list and what the menu should be and which hotel should cater it.
This is an official appointment. Keep that in mind. It isn't as though I have barged in, this was fixed for a specific time.
When he finally puts the phone down I say very gently that I have a question.
Why did you call me?
He looks puzzled. To have a meeting, of course.
I wonder. Ever since I sat down you have been on the phone while I have been picking my teeth.
He says, can't help it.
Yes, you can. Put your calls on hold. You have an appointment which you gave.
I am leaving now because I am offended…what part of it don’t you figure out, my friend.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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