January 27, 2014

The tally that did not matter

This piece of paper may just contain a bunch of names with number tally that look random and insignificant, but to me, this very piece of paper signifies something much more meaningful than I could or would ever imagine.

See the name with the most tally?

You see, there is a little story to this:-
Recently, I ran a team workshop and without being given a heads-up, our CEO not only turned up for our very first team workshop bright and early, he also came armed with a Samsung 10.1 Tablet which he intended to give away to the most deserving individual in the team. Of course, all of the announcements were done in Thai in between little pauses and change-overs of speakers, and I had absolutely no clue –  firstly that he actually wanted to give away a tablet, and secondly, I was completely oblivious of how he had intended to give the item away. Then at a certain point of the day and in between group break-out sessions, I was told that I had to anonymously nominate a person in the team whom I thought would be deserving of the tablet, and that I would be more than welcome to nominate myself if I really wanted to.

It didn’t take me to long to think, and within 30 seconds, I had a name in mind (not mine!) and dropped my nominee into the secret pile. My CEO and his assistant then got busy tallying the vote as I continued to facilitate the session.

Slightly before lunch, my CEO approached me and asked if I wanted the tablet. I told him honestly that I really did not care for it. He then revealed that I actually got the most votes and by that virtue, would I take the tablet?


I was floored. It was something I would not have expected in a million years and there and then, I had thought that taking it would not feel right and most certainly, I was not the “most deserving.” He then asked me what would I do? It was an easy decision; I told him to give it to the 2nd most voted name.

Before we broke for lunch, he then announced the most voted name (me) , spoke a little bit more in Thai followed by a round of applause and then presented the tablet to the 2nd most voted person. She jumped for such joy!

I think that neither he nor me expected such results.I certainly did not feel right to claim rightful ownership to the tablet and I was more shocked than anyone else by the unexpected results. My heart swelled a million times and I feel so honoured to know that even though they have only been working with me for such a short time, they somehow felt that I deserved it more than anyone else. (or maybe they JUST knew that I would not keep it for myself, and so voted for me in the hope that I would give it away! Or maybe it was just a test). The feeling was indescribable.

The final tally did not matter. That piece of paper, however, said a lot. A lot more than I could have ever anticipated in this lifetime. I am more than humbled. That had meant a lot to me and I just had to snap a picture of it to remind myself that it was real.Seeing it still makes me smile.

It was indeed a very good start to the year.

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