‘L’ is for Laughter

Hey readers, its Flo.  How’s it going these days?  I’ve actually been very busy at my 9-5 as of late.  I’ve been doing work that’s somewhat removed from the usual, and it’s a bit full on.  Which I don’t mind to be honest, as I’m a fan of variety.  I’ve also realized the work I’m doing at the moment is a culmination of skills I’ve learned at previous jobs.

My very first permanent job in London was to work on a central London boutique hotel project, and the company I worked for were the lead design consultants on the job.  The afternoon before the monthly project meeting, I was given the task of preparing the meeting agenda.  Jez, the creative director, gave me a list of items to include and all I had to do was type them up in bullet points. I typed up the list, scanned my eyes over it, and ran a spellcheck over the document…hit save – pressed print – job done!

The next morning all the consultants on the project were at the building site in their hard hats, boots and high visibility vests; the architects, the mechanical and electrical engineers, the quantity surveyors, the main contractors and the project managers who were also the dapper London hoteliers. Lastly us, the interior designers, Jez and little old me wide-eyed and full of wonder only 6 months into life in the UK, and the only female in the room.  I suppose you could say I felt like I had something to prove.

Everyone sat around a couple of rectangular banquet tables pushed up side by side, exchanging routine courtesies with a few handshakes and introductions whilst drinking instant coffee out of foam cups, and eating those assorted all-butter biscuits set out on paper plates.  Jez handed out the meeting agenda I’d prepared and I set up our material and mood boards for discussion, quietly feeling pretty fucking good for being part of this project…if only my former uni mates and colleagues in Canada could see me now, I thought.

The meeting began, and every consultant took their turn going through their action list for the month.

Then it came to our turn. But before reading from the agenda Jez said, “Apologies for the typo…”

Huh?…My eyes quickly dart though document searching for said typo.

He cleared his throat and continued,

“What it’s supposed to say is ‘Design of the public areas’ ”

Then I spot the typo. DEAR LORD……I forgot the “L” in the word public!!!!!!!! So it actually said “Design of the PUBIC areas”.

Oh nooo!! What an amateur mistake! I knew what I meant to write so I didn’t clock the typo with my scan…spellcheck didn’t catch it either because I spelled it correctly!!

I could hear some of the consultants quietly chuckle trying to conceal their adolescent enjoyment from the others. Most just smirked, others had no reaction. Nonetheless, I could feel my face get hot with embarrassment. That feeling of total amazingness I felt just moments before was miles away. And I felt like a little fish in a big ocean again.

Well, what was the lesson I learned here? Not sure…you can’t always rely on spellcheck to do the work for you?  But also, silly mistakes happen.  I’m pretty certain I let it ruin my day back then, but now I know there are faaar more embarrassing things that can happen…like the following months project meeting with the same faces in attendance.  This time, I stood up to help myself to one of those all-butter biscuits from the paper plate.  Meanwhile, my chair fell on its back because of the weight of my jacket and handbag hanging from it.  So when I went to sit down, my ass didn’t hit anything but the floor…sigh…yep…I don’t know what to say…haha.

I never made that kind of spelling mistake ever again and I always ensure I get the balance of my stuff on the chair right.  These instances were very embarrassing, but relatively small in the grand scheme of life.  I learned a very important skill then, and it’s the ability to laugh at myself.  I think people sometimes forget this or often take it for granted.  However, I found developing this craft has proven to be of more use to me than the ability to hit spellcheck.  Life can get so serious and so stressful if we let it.  It actually pays to lighten up occasionally and give yourself a break.  It’s cool, we all make silly mistakes, it’s all part of being human.

I suppose you can say no matter what job you do, big or small, you can take the skills and lessons you acquire and apply it elsewhere.  All I have to do now is apply the skills I learned as a pole dancing instructor and apply it elsewhere….

Nearly the weekend guys, this tune is the start to mine :).

Flo xxx

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