My secret mentor, the person I looked up to, a colleague whose career I care about, a highly-prized team member, and my boss. All in one room. Special.
Sometimes the cosmos does stuff that makes me smile.
I’ve no real idea what the cosmos is capable of. I don’t know whether I’m ascribing unrealistic powers to the cosmos. But it sounds right. In those moments when I struggle to comprehend the most beautiful, seemingly coincidental, things, I look to the cosmos. This your work?
It happened tonight in the pub— local hostelry for tired staffers in search self-medicated solace.
Tonight’s visit was a modest send-off for a valued colleague set on a development opportunity. We’re all excited for him. We’re also keeping an eye out for him. Don’t let on to him though — don’t want him thinking we’re worrying about him. That would never do.
I arrive early. Steam in through the swing-doors. See someone I meant to email earlier in the day sat in the corner chatting with a pal. Apologise for interrupting; convey my message.
Turns out the man he was there with was someone I’d known on Twitter for ten years but never spoken to. He mentions his name. I coo in recognition. Magic moment: someone I’ve known for ten years but never spoken to. Life can still surprise. Sometimes delights.
Later, as I make friends with my large glass of red, I see a boss from 10 years ago gliding towards me. I venture towards him and see nervousness fall from his face. This is work-related royalty. If Netflix were to make a drama-documentary about the history of a world-renowned broadcasting organisation, this guy would feature in his own episode. Still erudite. Still effortlessly handsome. Still cool.
We shake hands. I ask him about his life post-PAYE. He remarks on the benefits. He offers advice. I stand there in awe that someone I looked up to is now volunteering the benefit of his experience.
I deploy ultra-charm mode, make my apologies for needing to attend to a colleague’s leaving drinks and shake hands with my former boss. He shares his email address. I want to tell him how I appreciative I am, but stop myself for fear of appearing like I’m gushing.
Later still, I stand next to the colleague who’s starting his new job tomorrow. Remind myself I was part of the interview panel for his traineeship. Quietly beam.
Then realise — somewhere during the second glass — that five of the most important people in my career at the BBC were in that moment present in the same room, quite by coincidence too: my secret mentor, the person I looked up to, the colleague whose career I care about, a highly-prized team member, and my boss. All in one room.
An emotional moment. Private too, except for the fact I’ve written about it.