Just a minute

Sometimes there’s a change with a small customer that creates an opportunity to turn it into a major account.  I had the information required to capture the new business but I needed some assistance with internal changes in our company to make the on-going transactions flow flawlessly. A brief write-up, a phone call and a corporate manager was available for a quick in and out visit to seal the deal.  Alright.

You know that feeling when things are falling into place and you’re coming home with the prize?  I had it and as I pulled up to the arriving passenger area to pick-up Bob I could see excitement in his face as he stood there talking on his phone. He got in the car and gave me the cell phone salute with his little finger as I heard, “delivery” and “it has to be ready” and “I need a guarantee”.  Wow. He’s on top of things. We are on our way.  Then I heard, “…oh, and one more thing. How much more will it be if I upgrade to the Hydra-Float Seat and the Maxi-Mulch blade?”

A quick handshake, a little small talk, “looks like you’ve got a good opportunity here.  I think we can …” bada bumpbumpbumpba, bada bumpbumpbaaaaa.  “Wait, I have to take this.”

“Hey, Jim, how’s it going?  Ya, there should be eight of us for golf and dinner.  Let me know.”

Back to me and, “Do you see any issues with this guy giving us…?”  His comment evaporated in the air as the phone sang, blingbling blang signaling a text message that needed to be checked.

“Ha, ha, ha, a priest, a minister and a rabbi rent a canoe and a motorcycle…”

By the time we pulled into the customer’s parking lot I had had over sixty miles of listening to one end of cell phone conversations about lawn tractors and jokes and golf outings and dinners and frequent flyer miles and company gossip with who knows who all over the country. 

The meeting went well enough and I thought, “You know, maybe this worked out for the best. Bob heard the requirements directly from the customer and now we have the specifics we need to plan our internal changes. Now we can focus”. I should have known better.  While we were in our meeting voicemails and texts and jokes and funny pictures were piling up and demanding attention. From the time we left the parking lot to the time I dropped Bob at departing we talked oh, I don’t know, maybe five minutes and most of that time was spent talking about the estimated arrival time at the airport because he was checking on flights and there was a chance that he could make an earlier flight if the traffic was light.

What a lucky guy, if he can just make it through security in the next 20 minutes he’ll catch that earlier flight.  Pull up to the curb, the door flies open, Bob jumps out with the phone up to his ear and as he opens the back door to get his brief case he gives me a departure cell phone salute with a mouthed, “bye-bye, I’ll call you” and then he was gone.

When I got home and walked in the door I was greeted by someone who would give me more than five minutes.

“How was your meeting?”

“Not what I wanted but I’ll get through it.”  It felt good to talk to someone.  I should have taken her.  She doesn’t know anything about the business but she can stay focused and…bada bumpbumpbumpba, bada bumpbumpbumpbaaaaa.

I sat there with what had to be a look of complete frustration on my face as she became animated and laughed with whomever it was on the other end of the call.  She looked at me and stuck up her little finger signaling that she wouldn’t be much longer. 

“So, do you think that you can get this new business”, she asked?  

“I think so, but it’s going to be tougher than I thought”.

She looked at me and touched my hand to let me know that she cared.  It feels nice to have someone in your corner.  She gave my hand a…blingbling blang.

She dropped my hand and grabbed her phone to check that text while I sat there with a long face.

A laugh and then she said, “this will cheer you up. A priest, a minister and a rabbi rent a canoe and a motorcycle.”









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