It was a cool Friday morning. I was so excited. It was my first day at work. I was about to meet her after finishing a part of my work. I called her to confirm if she is available. I went there as planned and reached in time. I had a gift for her, in my hand, perfectly packed and addressed. As she works in an MNC, I had to wait outside her office campus. I called her after reaching. She didn’t pick up. I tried after 2 minutes. She picked up and told that she was in a meeting, in a nonchalant voice. It didn’t sound like she cares; neither for me nor for the gift. After waiting for 5 minutes, I called back. She told me that she will get free in 5 minutes and will be right there. A smile appeared in my face. The sun was high and it gradually started being unbearable. Waiting is one of the toughest tasks to anyone. I still waited with the gift and a smile on face. She called me again and again in intervals, keeping me waiting outside, but didn’t come in next 1 hour. I was hungry and frustrated. I called for a last time and what I was feeling was clearly evident from my voice. She mentioned that she couldn’t come as she was very busy and had lots of work pending. I hanged up the call without a next word, kept the gift inside my bag, and started back. She called back and asked to come to her home the next day and texted me the address. I was expecting a “sorry” at least; but nothing as such happened. Still I made my mind to go to her home, as it was nearby.

The next morning, I started little earlier than my work hour and reached her address. She must be getting ready for office that time. As I was sure about the address, I didn’t call her. When I reached, it was a surprise for me. The watchman told that lift is not for outsiders. I had to take the staircases to reach the 4th floor. I used half of the energy I had started my day with. I reached on the floor and rang the doorbell. She was sleeping. I was not aware that Saturday is holiday for her. After repeated ringing, she opened the door half asleep. I wished her good morning and handed over the gift with a big smile. She looked happy and said a forced “thank you”. Before I could tell anything more, she banged the door on my face and went back to sleep. I think a smile would have made my day.

I felt bad that I waited for her the previous day. After I left her office, I had 30 more packages to deliver.  As I was late and unsure if I would be able to do it, I shared few packages to my brother and his college friend. They made it by night. While climbing down those 64 staircases, I was thinking, “She said she was busy, she had lot of work pending. How was it different from my situation? I also had lot of pending work; I had meetings with several people; I had critical deliveries by end of the day which could affect my career. When I make sure that their packages are delivered in time at the right place, don’t they have the responsibility to respect my job as a courier boy?”

I decided to forget the moment, marked a tick against the list and called the next customer; with a smile.

© Amaresh Swain