May 27, 2013 12:00 AM | by Luci
Post #15: London Calling
Sahar: Did we all have to go to the airport in one car?
Amr: I just wanted to make sure no one would be late; I know you guys don't have the best timing.
I listened to Sahar complain while I was still half asleep. Remember when Fustany's Team announced I will be away for a while? Well, that's because I was swamped with work and then we had to travel to London. We were going there to pitch for an important cosmetic brand which was making its debut to the Middle East, and hopefully through us. So you can understand why Amr was on the edge for us to arrive at the airport on time. Who's us? Mademoiselle Sahar (yuk!), Youssef (the new but brilliant guy who recently joined our team), Amr (my boss) and myself. I was in shock when I knew I had to be trapped with Sahar in the same room for those five days, but because we had to cut on costs, and Amr was also staying with Youssef in the same room, there wasn't much I could say about it.
So we arrived on time to the airport, checked in and an hour later we were on the plane. Sahar seemed to insist on sitting next to Amr, so I took the seat next to Youssef. It was a smart decision as well, as I know Billy got quite jealous about Amr and I traveling together, although I had explained several times that we're all going as a team and we barely had time to breath and have fun there, but when Billy sets his mind on something, he can hardly change it.
Youssef: Are you as excited as I am about London?
Me: Yeah, last time I was there I was five years old, so I'm thrilled.
Youssef: Me too, except that it's my first time there. We'll shop till we drop!
Hmmm, wait a second! I've never heard a guy say that phrase, maybe Habiba or Dina, but never a guy.
Me: That is if we have time to actually shop. I think Amr has quite the schedule for us.
Youssef: Don't worry, there's always time for shopping!
Me: I like your optimism dude.
As I was going through the movies they had available on the plane, I was narrowing down the choices between the chick-flick movies they had available.
Youssef: What do you say, should I watch The Ugly Truth or My Best Friend's Wedding?
Me: What? How did I miss that they have The Ugly Truth, it's one of my favorites!
And then I began to wonder, okay so Youssef likes shopping, like a lot, but that's not enough to suspect he's not straight. But then again he left all of those action movies and was between two chick-flicks, am I missing something here? Either way, I don't really care, he's free to do what he wants, and I really like him as a potential friend.
A few hours later, of which I watched two movies and slept for a good hour or so, we arrived to London, finished all procedures at the airport and were out in London's chilly weather.
Youssef: London calling, wohoooooooo!
Me: Yes it is, wohoooo!
Sahar and Amr looked at each other a bit shocked by our extreme excitement.
We checked in at the hotel and Amr gave us strict restrictions not to be late for our dinner with the client today at 8pm (sharp!).
Youssef: See, I told you we're gonna have time to shop.
Me: Okay let me grab my things and we'll go, but let's do some sightseeing as well.
Sahar: I'm coming too.
Me: Wonderful! (don't get me wrong of course I said that sarcastically)
We had five hours to do whatever we want, so our first choice was Oxford Street for some serious shopping. Youssef and I seemed to be getting along pretty well, he even helped me pick really wonderful things for myself and then for Billy. See I told you he was going soon on my friend's list. It took Sahar however over half an hour to pick between two bandage dresses.
Me: Don't you already have like two wardrobes filled with bandage dresses?
Me: I see you in every occasion wearing one.
Sahar: They look good on me.
Me: That's what you think!
Touchdown Luci! Luci 1, Sahar nothing. Youssef giggled at my mean comments. I know she was going to get back at me pretty soon, as if she hasn't made my work life already unbearable.
Youssef: I want to get donuts from Harrods.
Sahar: Seriously? I'm not walking all that way in heels just to eat. No!
He looked at me with puppy eyes, and I couldn't say no, so Sahar had no other choice than coming with us after changing into comfortable flats. In case you're wondering which dress she bought, well after half an hour of thinking, she decided to get both. Didn't I tell you she's quite the wise woman?
Anyway, so to keep it short, we made it to Harrods and then back to the hotel, got ready on time, in order not to disappoint Amr and waited for him in the lobby. We arrived at a super posh restaurant, and I could swear I saw Victoria Beckham, or at least someone who looks exactly like her, but I was not going to cause a scene for myself. Keep calm Luci, it could not be her! The client, along with three members of his team was waiting for us there.
Amr: Come sit next to me?
We talked work for almost two hours, at first I pushed hard and was super talkative, but after a while it got tiring. Sahar thought it was enough for her to sit there sending off sexy vibes, so she barely spoke. Youssef however was excellent. I could see how impressed the client was by his creative ideas that fit perfectly with their brand's image. I gave him a thumbs up when everyone was busy eating and he just had a huge smile on his face.
Oh God, I already started missing Billy. I excused myself to go to the bathroom and called him up.
Me: Do you miss me as much as I miss you already?
Billy: Who is it? Haha
Me: Your mother in law! Who do you think it would be?
Billy: I have fans everywhere.
Me: Your London fan is calling up to check on you.
Billy: And the answer is no, I miss you so much more than you do.
Me: Ohhhh, you're cute!
Billy: How are things going with your team?
Me: Great actually. Youssef and I are getting along pretty well. Amr I haven't seen him much.
Billy: And Sahar?
Me: I left her out for a reason. In my head she doesn't exist!
Billy: It's good you haven't seen Amr that much.
Me: There's nothing to worry about, trust me.
Billy: What's that Youssef dude like?
Me: Hmmm, he's nice, went shopping with me and we're planning to go to a musical together. Don't worry about him though; I don't think I'm his type.
We chitchatted a couple of minutes more and then I had to run back to our table. Seems like they made plans while I was gone.Tomorrow morning we have a meeting for six hours (wonderful!), then they take us to a big photoshoot they're planning for their latest campaign and finally they're taking us out to a "cool" place, or that's what I heard Sahar saying later on.
I slept as soon as we're back to be fresh in the morning. I could hear Sahar talking to Amr over the phone to convince him they'd go for a drink, but seems like he turned her down.
Fit and wide awake, I stepped with the team into the client's office. It looked gorgeous and full of creativity. Youssef kept on instagraming, and they seemed to like how active he is. What I forgot to tell you is, yesterday Amr closed the deal with them, so we can officially call them our client. I'm sure he was twice as thrilled as we were, as it'll give the company such a strong push in the whole Middle East.
During our six hours meeting I was really active, as was the whole team, I felt a proud moment every once in a while! Once we were done, they took us to Portobello Market where they're shooting. I have to say this area is beyond beautiful and has such a cheerful vibe, with all its colorful buildings, but it was buzzing with people. At first I was wondering if the shoot would work there, but after they took us to the exact location, I couldn't agree more.
Youssef and Sahar for some reason decided to play stylists along with the stylist they already had for the shoot. Bitch please, why on earth do you think you'd be a good stylist? I watched from a far and decided it makes more sense to bond with the client and it was a wise call, I'll tell you later why. A few hours passed and they were wrapping up the shoot. Apparently Youssef, who they really liked, talked them into taking us to a musical instead of to a fancy restaurant; Wicked to be more specific.
Amr insisted to sit right next to me. Maybe Billy has a good reason to get jealous after all, but then again before Billy and I were a couple, Amr never hinted anything. I didn't want to jump to conclusions, maybe he thinks of me as a good friend, which in that case would be amazing. We all enjoyed Wicked a lot, and then went to grab a quick dinner. I have to admit, this is so much fun, I really thought we wouldn't have a minute to breathe, but turns out that's not the case.
Youssef went to sleep early and Amr, Sahar and I hang out at the reception for a while. "Did you guys notice how Youssef takes extra care of himself?” asked Sahar.
Me: Yeah, so what?
Sahar: I'm just wondering, maybe he's gay?
Amr: You think? That explains why he was applying night cream on.
Me: He was? But anyway I don't know and don't care.
Sahar: I'm just asking!
Me: Well, when I think of Youssef I think of how brilliant and creative he is, and that's all what matters to me. Anything else is personal and we shouldn't be discussing.
Amr: I agree with Luci, he's one of the main reasons we landed this account.
I smiled at him, love how open minded this guy is, and that's what I think makes him successful; the unique way he perceives life. Sahar then kept on asking him to go get a drink with her, he tried to get out of it, but couldn't this time.
Amr: Luci, come with us?
Me: I think I have to pass, need to sleep and before that speak with Billy a bit.
Sahar: Ok, then we'll just go.
Amr: No no, you can come just for a while. Whenever you feel like going, we'll all go.
For one thing, I was sooo happy to see how Sahar looked at him when he insisted on me tagging along, she couldn't believe herself, but then again the question came up, does he like me? I joined them for a bit, but then excused myself claiming my stomach hurts and asked them to continue without me. Phew!
The rest of our stay included tons and tons of work, I tried my best to keep up and I think I did, and every once in a while we would have a couple of hours to steal for our own activities. Youssef and I were getting along very well, so he was my go to person for any fun activities.
Me: I feel like I have to try out Snog before we leave.
Youssef: Okay, you've got it!
We both agreed it was a very smart decision once we tasted it, it was simply delicious. We walked down the street each one of us eating with a big smile on our face.
Me: By the way, you're doing a great job. Amr told me you're the main reason we landed this account.
Youssef: Really? I'm so flattered.
Me: Cut the crap, you know you're amazing hehehe
Youssef: Can't a man try and be modest here?
The trip came to an end and I was thrilled to fly back and see Billy again. As much as I enjoyed London, not just enjoyed but it's on top of the list of my favorite destinations, it felt good to go back to a normal weather again. Just before we were stepping out of the airport (back home), Amr gave me really good news.
Amr: So I was planning on telling you this when we're back to the office, but I couldn't wait that long to see the look on your face.
Me: What is it, tell me?
Amr: I've been thinking and I've come to the decision that you should be the Account Manager for the London client.
Me: WHATTTT? Is this for real???
Amr: Of course it is. You and Youssef will work on it, you'll be the perfect team.
Me: You have noooo idea how happy you just made me.
Amr: Then let's celebrate?
Me: Sure, I'll call you tomorrow morning for us all to plan something.
Great Luci, you saved yourself from Billy being angry at you in a smart way! I'm going to miss London...sigh!
If you enjoyed this post, don't miss out on reading the rest of Luci's story here>>