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Meeting in the sober light of day

The social confines of the past year have made me forget the importance of behaving myself in front of strangers.

This week I had a meeting with a Chinese securities house over Zoom. A group of bankers were gathered around a conference room table, looking up at what I can only imagine was an incredibly flattering full screen view of my face. I said my general hellos to the group of vaguely blurry faces before getting to business.

Everything was going smoothly until about halfway through the call, when one of the bankers suddenly turned to the screen and said: "I know you!"

You can imagine my surprise, given I had never met with this particular team before.

The blank look on my face must have been evident as he offered me more details. "We met over Christmas," he said.

I reached into the dark recesses of my memory, panicking slightly as I thought back to the blur of holiday drinks I consumed while stuck in Hong Kong away from my family.

The banker then named a mutual friend and said we had met at her home.

And that's when it clicked. I had met the chap, and not under the most flattering of circumstances. The evening in question I was a few sheets to the wind and leading a very raucous game of charades. I can't say I remember how I was introduced to him, but I imagine he was left with an indelible first impression.

Needless to say, I spent much of the rest of the Zoom meeting hiding my blushing cheeks and ignoring the friendly smirk on the chap's face. I only hope he did not share the story of our first encounter with his colleagues after the call.