As we continue this build up to my book, I’ve been making the very difficult decision as to which stories to cut from the final version. As I share them here with you all, I find myself wondering what the actual criteria for removing them is.
I guess ultimately, its about finding a balance. Fine tuning the flow of my life. All of these stories I share here are by no means less important, and the girls I mention in these stories will always form an important part of who I am. (Good or bad).
Back during my IT days, I working for a little company called Microsoft. Now in my book there are some major stories that come out of these days, but there were also lesser known stories that very few people knew of. I’d like to share on of those with you now.
Bonus Story #4: The Too Much Makeup Girl
By 2002 I had resigned myself to the fact that I may die working in a call centre. The only positives about being in IT for the last 5 years was that I had made some close friends, and I was making some decent money. But, I was not happy, this was never what I was meant to be doing with my life.
Career wise, MS was not the highlight of my life. For the most part however, I was well liked. From my quirky dress sense to my humour, it was easy to get along with everyone, from every department. From the strictest of bosses to the bitchiest of bitches, I was sorta the one guy who managed to be friends with everyone…well until the day I got fired, but that epic story is covered in my book.
There were several departments within the company and we as the helpdesk didn’t have much interaction with the other employees. There was however one girl in particular that used to come through our offices occasionally to visit a friend.
She was a petite indian girl, who was sexy as hell. None of the guys ever spoke to her, maybe out of intimidation, or maybe just assuming she would never be interested in us plebs.
The guys would always say how she wore too much makeup, as if justifying their reason why they never approached her. Perhaps she did, but I felt she wore that much makeup as compensation for low self confidence.
We changed office buildings several times during my stay at the company, and by the final move during my time there, her and I had actually started talking. She would greet me everytime she saw me and we’d have a random conversation, till eventually we started emailing each other.
Some of the guys were like “you’re the man Burg!”, but for me, it was just about getting to know someone.
Surprisingly, she happened to be single at the time, however, it was a recent thing as she had confided she had split from an abusive boyfriend.
I wondered if all that make up had actually been a cover up for something more heartbreaking.
I took my time with her, and helped build her confidence back up, she deserved better, and I promised her nothing left.
Eventually I had the courage to ask her out to coffee one Saturday, making it clear it was a date, and she actually said yes!
As the day approached, in part paranoia and part previous experience, I grew doubtful this was actually going to happen. So on the Friday night I confirmed she was still on for the next day, she replied of course! And I went to bed almost as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve.
The next morning I shaved, got dressed up, and in my excitement headed out an hour early to our agreed coffee shop at the East Rand Mall, which was halfway for both of us.
As I say, I got there early, so I had to kill and hour walking around.
Eventually at 2pm, I made my way to the coffee shop and got a table. I texted her and said I was there. She replied with “on my way, might be a bit late”.
She was 5 min late.
Then 15 min late.
Then 30 min late.
Then an hour late.
So I texted her again, asking if everything was ok.
She didn’t reply.
Foolishly, I waited another hour. And I could tell the waiters had noticed I had been stood up. So I casually asked for the bill and made my way home, not before having the world longest pee because of all the coffee I consumed in 3 hours.
As I got home, I got a message from her. She apologized and said she just couldn’t do it.
I was confused, hurting, but never once showed any anger towards her. Instead I said I understand, and hoped we could reschedule. It was one of the few times I actually cried tears of disappointment.
When Monday came, our emails were suddenly awkward. She never came down and visited anymore.
In fact, our communication came to a sudden and bizarre end.
A few months later, she was pregnant.
Then I heard she and her boyfriend were back together.
Then I heard the boyfriend killed himself.
A short while after that my time there came to an end.
The whole experience was very confusing and painful. And as of today, I don’t know whatever became of her.
But I do think back to that time often, and wonder what might have been different if she showed up that day for coffee.