Why I’m in a Bad Mood Lately…

Dear Mom, Dad and Little Brother,

I was very angry today.

Nothing serious for you to worry about, but I’ve learned a painful lesson today. Being the head of my project, I had to make plans for the dinner venue on the first day. To which, I’ve almost made up my mind — last Tuesday, we ate at the 85th floor of the Taipei 101 and dined on some lovely Italian dinner with the view overlooking the Taipei nightscape. The food was decent, the ambience was spectacular (with the 101, who can go wrong?) and the price reasonable. The service needed work but after talking to the two managers, we have come across a happy compromise and they have reserved XX seats at the top of the Taipei 101 for that day.

As mentioned before in my previous emails, I had hired two assistants to help me in the Conference. The next day, I informed them that I have almost made the choice — after weeks of searching, we have found the restaurant for our first night venue and all I wanted them to do was to just ensure that the managers and our company can come up with a detailed plan to execute all we have discussed the previous evening.

They told me they wanted to check the place out but I said it’s no problem, as I have already seen the place for myself and liked it. The 85th floor of the Taipei 101 was the restaurant we are looking for. They still went that day to check the place out. Nothing wrong, right? All except the very next day, which is today, my assistant emailed me telling me that the restaurant is insisting to back out from the deal. They were totally against accepting the reservation.

I immediately called up the restaurant to ask what happened. The managers told me that while my assistants were there, they had given demands that the restaurant felt were impossible to execute. “5 minutes to serve 40 people?” they said. “Find someone else who can do that”

All of a sudden, all my best laid plans were turned upside down and I have used half of the day talking to the managers and figuring out what the heck my assistants told them to make the restaurant change their mind.

Overall, the managers are back to our good graces and we have settled this problem. Unfortunately, the restaurant owner got wind and had told us to go fly a kite and are still not accepting the reservation.

You can imagine how upset I have been with my assistants, and how frustrating that how weeks of searching turns into futility just because of some miscommunication, and ahem, stupidity of these two people.

This is a lesson for me that I am to learn in the next couple of days. The past is past and the mistake has been done. I do not think it was intentional as my assistants are 23/24 age, still young and inexperienced. I am now being harder on myself for not thinking about the consequences of letting them go. But as I’ve said, there is no good resolution in blaming whomever. I have already given them my sermon and to say even more are not at all productive.

In the end, we still have a project to accomplish and breaking them into little pieces will do nothing to help this project. What happened today is indeed frustrating, and I cannot imagine why I have to do all these damage control afterwards just because of what happened in those
30 minutes or less. It is a waste of time better spent on something else, but what happened has happened. Time to find a solution for this problem.

So what to do tomorrow? I am still controlling my temper and feel that am halfway successful in doing so. But I do hope to God my assistants realize how damaging this mistake is in terms of time, effort and stress, and goodness knows if I’ll ever entrust them with anything client facing. I’ve learned that people skills are indeed a skill — and not everybody is blessed with them.

Regardless, we will move forward from this little bump on the road and I will personally try to get ahold of the owner and try to resolve this issue, while at the same time, scouring other restaurants as a contingency plan. Of course, they are not going to be as impressive as the 101, but heck, what can you do?

I think dad will find the strength to judge me and maybe criticize me of my people skills, but all I can say is, it is a mistake and these things happen. I’ve learned my lesson the hard way so some support would indeed be appreciated. Actually, this experienece made me realize that I do have quite a bit of people skills which I take for granted — my mistake is in assuming other people have the same amount of human relationship skills like I do.

Big sigh. And what to do with the temps of mine? Well, what else can I do? Managing people is indeed tough because shouting, screaming and blaming them will not do anything. Finding replacements are not easy. People make mistakes. Sh*t do happen. And the best is to let them know that this is unacceptable, and now, watch their backs more so it never happens again.

Such is the life of mine. Regardless, this is another way to learn and grow in Taiwan. It is frustrating and sometimes painful, but am sure, this lesson will stick better than most. I am just grateful we still have time to amend it and please do pray that a solution will be open to us in the next few days. Abangan ang susunod na kabanata so to speak.

So yes, I realize how I am when I get pissed off. And though as angry and upset as I was today, I’ve also learned something about myself. Shit happens all the time — but life is how you deal with it.

Glad everything is well. Going to sleep now. Take care and love you!

Your Loving Daughter and Sis,


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