It was the holiday season of the year and I can say I made most out of it. There were few family trips planned back to back and I made sure the trips were worthwhile. These visits also involved going to elderly relatives of in-laws. Drawback of these family trips is that you will be worn out and with a kid around you won’t get enough time to revive. During these downtime, office is my only savior where I can get some personal space and time. I know office will be mostly empty during this time but I had anyways two meetings to attend which was pretty important. I woke up to a rainy morning on the day I planned to make my office visit. Thus, clash of opinion started between my heart and brain. Heart was cent percent sure that meetings will get cancelled but brain was with the opinion of giving it a try. Work from home has become equivalent to impossible with her around. Whatever be the scenarios the motherly feeling inside, urge me to sit with her whole day. I was indulging in these confusions when I saw ping from someone in official chat group. Operations manager requested me to take a small session on career aspirations to our associate team on that day afternoon. I acknowledged with a yes immediately on the thought of addressing a small group of people won’t be a big deal. I never had the clue on what that black box request will reveal. When I reached office, my eye caught a poster which was there in all notice boards in my floor. I was astonished when I read the content. Oh man! This career aspiration session appears to be an org wide initiative and senior managers will also be part of it. I was still recovering from the shock that a mail with time and venue details of the session popped up. Wow! welcome mail has also come. I felt I will be screwed today. Suddenly the to list of mail caught my attention. Alas there are some common names there. I ran to those guys to understand the depth of the function. I felt relieved that they too is going for a plain speech without any presentation. I was bewildered that they were informed 4-5 days prior about the session. How come I was alone missed out? Shit! Suddenly I remembered. That manager had pinged me few days back but I was so busy in my outings that I missed to reply. Everything made sense now. Anyways being a senior person I never had the option to turn down the request. Getting invitation few days prior may have helped in preparing myself or would have been of no use too. Now as the seriousness of the session hit me, I decided to prepare for my “speech”. I noted down few points and took a print out of it as it can come handy. Finally the “D-time” arrived. I was supposed to be 3rd or 4th speaker. As the guest of honor took more than allotted time, whole list of speakers got shuffled and somehow, it happened that I was the one who was going to kick start on the career session speeches. While they were admiring me on my career life, I walked to the Dias cursing myself on why I mentioned to that manager that I need to leave early for the day. Just because of that they called me first. Whole environment has given me an adrenaline rush. I know I looked totally pale when I stood facing the audience. The view from there is always frightening for me at least for the first few minutes. I somehow picked myself up and began with my “little speech”. I was accompanied by one of my ex teammates in Dias while I was addressing the audience. I felt that he was my backup in case I didn’t agree for their late request. I was satisfied at the end of my talk as I felt I was able to bring some light on the broader and deeper perspective of the role. I don’t know whether it was useful for them though. My expectation was on receiving some memento but as any other official conference it got wrapped up by the snack box. I was on cloud nine when my senior manager said “Speech was good”. Anyways, whether it was genuine appreciation or not will remain unknown.