Hi. My name is miranoriel. I’ll be your Instrument of Karma today.

Aside from my regular job, I do voice-over work, mainly for live events — corporate and product launches, promotional events, that kind of stuff — and audio-video presentation (AVP) work.

During a live event, the Director is God, and the script is your Bible. Every movement, sound, transition, lighting effect — everything! — goes according to the script, which by the time you’re actually doing the show ought to have been thoroughly vetted and approved by Client. So you follow the script, and you deviate only upon express instructions from the Director.

Last night I did a live launch for a re-branded real estate company, which also marked the unveiling of their new residential building development on the former location of the San Lazaro Hippodrome, a racetrack that had stood there for something close to a hundred years but was demolished a few years ago, all in the name of urban development.

This was a big deal event, since Client is a daughter company of possibly the largest, most high-profile developer in the country. Their special guests were the Honorable Mayor of the City of Manila, Lito Atienza, Congressman Miles Roces and His Excellency Vice-President Noli “Kabayan” De Castro.

Now my script called for an announcement of these VIPs as they arrived. Okay. No problem. But at the last minute, just before Mayor Atienza arrived, instructions came down the line saying that we would only announce the arrival of VP De Castro, and not the others. So my Director told them to check, check, and check again to make sure it wasn’t some huge violation of protocol. Nope, they confirmed, no announcements save for Kabayan’s arrival. Okay. No problem.

The Mayor arrived. My Director asked for confirmation again. The answer was the same: we only announce Kabayan’s arrival. Fine. So Hizzoner the Mayor arrives in his signature Hawaiian shirt, and not a peep do I make, per instructions of the Director. And the Director’s word is law.

VP Kabayan arrives, and per script, I announce his arrival. He gets out of his vehicle, and heads straight for the model units. Smooth as silk so far. We just had to wait for him to finish viewing the units and come outside so we could make with the National Anthem and get the ball rolling.

While Edru Abraham and his amazing Kontragapi were playing in the interim, some woman comes up to Control. Now Control is the nerve center of any live event — sound, light, voice-over, video. The Director runs the show from Control. So naturally I’m there, with the rest of the production crew.

Anyway, some woman comes up to Control, points a finger at me and asks loudly, “Ikaw ba yung nag-voice-over? Hindi mo in-acknowledge si Mayor. You acknowledged the Vice-President, but you didn’t acknowledge Mayor Atienza. You didn’t acknowledge the Mayor. Of. The. City. Of. Manila.” She never bothered to introduce herself, and just stood there glaring at me, like I’d murdered babies or something.

She does this in full view of everyone at Control, and right in front of my Director. He comes to my defense immediately and counters her tirade with, “Sandali, sandali. Hindi niya kasalanan iyon. May clearance yun. Alamin mo kung kanino naggaling ang clearance nun. ‘Wag ka dito magsabi niyan.” (“Wait, wait. It’s not her fault. There was clearance for that. You find out where the clearance came from. Don’t talk to us about that.”)

She turned on her heel and stalked off. Everyone was taken aback for a moment, because, well, honestly, what the fudge was going on? Who was the harridan, and why did she think she was entitled to a massive display of lack of breeding?

My Director was livid. He demanded that SOMEONE find out where the order not to acknowledge the Mayor came from, the very end of that line, and straighten this out before the pit bull started mouthing off to all and sundry. I put it out of my head for a while, because I was working. But I have to admit, it bothered me, because I knew I was in the clear, and I hadn’t deserved being attacked like that.

Mid-show, the information comes back: it turns out that it came from the top brass of Client’s parent company, and it was cleared with the Office of the Mayor.

So it seems that whoever she was, she wasn’t even high enough on the food chain to be informed.

Later, as the production crew were talking after the show (which went very well, thank you very much — Client was happy as a clam), one of the Account Executives for the production house said, “Ohmigosh! That woman attacked me too!” Turns out that our AE happened to be talking to the Chief Protocol Officer of the parent company, AND a senior protocol officer for the Mayor.

And that was how Little Miss Sunshine was abruptly served her comeuppance, with Parent Company’s CPO informing her (with a goodly serving of raised-eyebrow) that Hizzoner was not announced because he was not the highest-ranked official present. That simple. Which matter had been agreed to by Hizzoner’s senior protocol officer. Oopsy!

Lessons to be learned:
1) If you think there’s a problem, don’t rush out belligerently and begin pointing fingers. Find out if your immediate superior (or, you pathetic, ill-bred civil servant you, your distant superior) approved whatever it is you’re taking umbrage with;
2) Get your facts straight before you attack people and place yourself in a position of mockery, ridicule and contempt;
3) Karma can move VERY quickly.

I was actually hoping she’d come back for more. I’d’ve put her in her place with the facts and a quick rundown of how things work in the real world, with professionals who know how to go through the proper channels to correct misconceptions. Thing is, she would’ve had to go through my Director to get to me, and my Director would’ve ripped her to shreds. And it’s not just because my Director is also my ex-husband. I’m good at what I do and I’m a professional. He respects me professionally, to the extent that when we work together on an event, sometimes people are surprised to find out afterwards that we’re married. Or used to be. That’s how well we work together.

But she didn’t come back. Probably oozed out with the shame and humiliation sticking like dog poop to the bottom of her shoe. You know, the kind that leaves a stink you can never seem to get rid of?

Some people.

Kulang sa RAM.


1 Comment

  1. chaote9 said,

    Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 6:03 am

    tolja blogging can be addictive….

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