The Pain of disappointment

A little while ago, my colleague and I had a meeting with the CSR Manager at a leading Ugandan institution.I will call her Madeline. She was really apologetic for keeping us waiting. She was generally a warm, bubbly and friendly person which eased our tension. We took her through 4040’s programs. She was interested, seemed impressed and asked important questions. She made suggestions on how we could tweak our proposal. By the time we left, I was quite positive. We both were.

After sending the proposal, I sent messages to a few friends whom I asked to pray for this breakthrough because I had a good feeling.

After not hearing back for a while, I sent an email. When I didn’t get a response, I asked someone at the company to casually bring us up in conversation to get a feel of where we stand before I could call. Part of me was afraid of being too pushy. This is always a blurry line. You don’t communicate. They could forget you. You nudge them too much, they could get irritated. I struggled with this all the time and have suffered for both so I just have to try either strategy. 

Finally, I mustered the courage to make the call this week. Madeline didn’t pick up. I was kind of relieved and immediately started to send a text so that she could see it before my next call.Alas!She called back mid-text(ing)

Madeline: HelloMe: Oh hello, this is Esther Kalenzi from 4040, we met some weeks ago about…Her: What is 4040?Me: *Gasping for air**Still gasping for air*Oh, in full it is 40 Days Over 40 Smiles Foundation and when we met we…Her: What was it about?Me: *Gasp*We spoke about the Angaza literacy program which you said would be a great way for you to impact education and you suggested coming to visit our schools and and.Her: Okay, let me get back to the office and see.

I looked at my phone for a few minutes wondering what has just happened. I was flabbergasted.Shook.

I started to think maybe I was insane and had imagined that entire ‘fruitful meeting.’ I called my colleague just to remind me how that meeting had gone and if I was going crazy. She confirmed that it was indeed what I thought. What went wrong then?

This could not have happened at a worse time. You know those weeks/months when everything goes wrong that even when you find a glimmer of light, you ask “What’s making you shine so bright, huh?” Yes. Those ones.

I was desperately hoping for this to work out for us because God knows we need it.

I guess Madeline meets many people like us daily and we all sound the same.Maybe it’s just her aura that makes you think you’re making sense yet you’re out there wasting time.Maybe I’ll get closure. Maybe not.

Whatever it is, it truly humbled me, so much that thinking or talking about it still makes me shake. SMHThe ‘funny’ thing is that this isn’t the first, worst or last disappointment but eh, the pain

Anyway, yesterday L got a job after a long period of searching, we needed this win.Yaaaay

And if I wasn’t conscious already, I am going to be even more intentional about letting people feel seen/heard especially if I hold the position of ‘power.’ Plus be more honest. Yup.Yes or no or we’ll get back to you while meaning exactly that NOT this business of “We are thinking about it” to mean “Get lost.”

Don’t make people feel worthless. It is difficult to recover from.

Have a fab weekend

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Written by Esther Kalenzi (0)

Celebrating life and humour; attempting to make a difference in deed and through my first love, writing.

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