In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Success!.”
Tell us about a time where everything you’d hoped would happen actually did.
My favourite time that everything came together like I hoped it would was when I arranged a surprise party for one of my closest friends. He was really looking forward to his birthday but found out he had to go interstate for a work conference and would be there for the week of (and including) his special day. He didn’t know a lot of people he was supposed to be attending with, and I knew I couldn’t let him have a birthday with people who would probably forget.
I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I decided I was going to arrange for a group of us to fly up there and surprise him. This, for me, was a big challenge. I don’t travel…ever. The last time I’d been on a plane was about four years prior, and I’d had plenty of help organising that. I didn’t care though. This was something I wanted to do…something I was determined to do.
My first major challenge was finding a way to contact his little sister. We didn’t know each other at all, and neither did any of the people I’d asked to come on the trip. I had no reason to ask the birthday boy (let’s call him Kye) for her number…that would have lead to so many questions I couldn’t answer that it wasn’t even worth considering. The only option I had was through Facebook, but of course because I wasn’t friends with her on there, my message went straight to her “others” folder. I knew it’d mean so much more if she was there, but there wasn’t much else I could do but wait and hope she’d stumble across it.
The next challenge was flights and accommodation, which would have been easy, except the company arranging the conference was keeping everything pretty close to their chest for as long as possible. The only thing I knew for sure was the dates it was being held, and roughly where. I decided to ask our area manager, but even he didn’t know any more. Great! I cursed. This isn’t going well at all!
All I could do was wait. The dates were drawing closer and I started to think it just wasn’t going to happen. Suddenly, out of the blue, Kye’s sister replies to me, weeks after I’d sent it. She said she didn’t even know that folder existed and found it when she was bored. She was definitely in and really excited about it! That was one less thing to worry about.
I then decided to tackle the next thing on my list – the presents. I arranged for everyone we work with to chip in and get him something he’d been wanting for ages, and I also arranged for everyone to write a special message to him which I made into a scrapbook. All this took quite awhile to arrange as I not only had a lot of people I had to involve, but I had to do it when he wasn’t there, which proved to be quite difficult. I managed it though!
Another week crept by. The conference was only about a week away and I decided we just needed to book everything. I couldn’t wait any longer. I had a rough idea of where they’d most likely be, so I just went with that. I went to book flights (nervously, as I hadn’t booked flights by myself ever and didn’t know exactly what I was doing). I got right through to the end and it all seemed to be going okay…until I went to process the payment. It kept processing and processing. Five minutes, ten minutes. I started panicking – I’d paid for everyone, and I didn’t know what to do if it didn’t process properly. In the end, all I could do was close out of the whole thing and start again. I was freaking out it was going to take the money out twice. I trawled around the website, seeing if I could find any trace of the first booking, but I couldn’t. I contacted the airline, and they said not to worry, even though PayPal showed the initial transaction as ‘pending’. All I could do was wait and see what happened…luckily, it never withdrew, and the second time I submitted everything it went through. Talk about scary! I then booked the nicest budget hotel I could find…much easier. The plan was now locked in – we’d go up for one night, surprise him, spoil him, then hop on a plane back to reality the following morning. A whirlwind trip.
As fate would have it, Kye received his itinerary the following day after I booked everything. I fired question after question about it. I have no idea why that didn’t arouse suspicion…I guess I just ask a lot of questions all the time. I’d gotten so lucky – the hotel he was staying in was walking distance from the one I’d booked for us, and on top of that, there were no concrete plans for his birthday night! The area manager had warned me that if something was planned, it would make things more challenging. So relieved!
The big day finally arrived. He’d flown up early the previous day, and had absolutely no idea that he’d be seeing us all so soon. We hopped onto the plane at 5pm, got to our hotel by 7, and were eagerly waiting outside the venue where he was by 7.30. I was on the phone with our area manager, who told us when to come in. The wait was excruciating and seemed to go on forever.
Finally, we got the all clear, and we all hurried in. Apart from one of the other guys talking a little too long, the surprise went off perfectly. He had no idea we’d come all the way out, he loves his presents and, after the initial shock wore off, we went out and had an awesome night overlooking Darling Harbour. The only problem was it was over way too quickly! Before we knew it, we were on our second flight in 24 hours, thoroughly pleased with ourselves that everything had gone so well but sad it was all over.