Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Peculiar Client

I have a number of people who work with me. If you drew up an organizational chart, you'd see more of us listed horizontally than vertically: We're all interdependant.

That's what I like about owning my own business. When I own my own business, I am experiencing a rough equivalent of a true democracy with no dictatorial bosses.

Every cog has it's own function. One of mine is specializing in extremely complicated and difficult paperwork. Although I've always been sales-oriented, I have had the chance to develop my detail skills as never before.

When it comes to paperwork, I am the acknowleged expert: So, many of the people who work with me will ask me to sign up a client for them as part of my services. And thus begins my tale:

A week ago I got a client who has a really strangely named company. The equivalent to this company's name would be Beef Hooker Roofing. I kid you not.

So I called the man. He had a perfectly good American-Scottish last name, so the last thing I expected was a thick Mexican accent! The call went like this:

Saur: Mr. McDonald?

McDonald: Yais?

Saur: I'm calling on behalf of the XYZ company. They told me that you are expecting a call from me. I understand that you want to sign up with them, and as I'm an expert in their paperwork, they asked me to call you.

McDonald: Nono, we ahnt interested *something unintelligable* no sank you.


So, I called Mr. McDonald back and tried once more. I got him to understand me that time, and he said he'd call me back, but I didn't hear back from him. So in frustration, I called the XYZ Company that originally sicced me on him, and asked them to call him to smoothe the way for me.

When I got in touch with Mr. McDonald next, we made arrangements for me to get the paperwork over to him. He said he'd get to work on it right away. Over the next week, an employee of the XYZ Company stayed in touch with me, to let me know that Mr. McDonald was working away at it.

As I hadn't received the paperwork by today (our deadline), I called Mr. McDonald this morning.

Mr. McDonald picked up the phone and said "allo?"

I said "Hi Mr. McDonald, this is Saur: The one that is overseeing your signup for the XYZ Company?"

He said "Ah yes, Isabel. Call me back in an hour, dahling."


And it's the first time in a long time that a client has called me darling. OR Isabel. Ah well... it's better than Sweetcakes.

I called Mr. McDonald back in an hour. This is how the conversation went:

McDonald: Allo, dear!

Saur (hesitantly): Ah, ...hello! Mr. McDonald!

McDonald: I, uh, tella you what, howsabout you call me tomorrow?

Saur (cheerily): Well, Mr. McDonald, that's fine with me, except that today is our deadline for the paperwork. As long as you don't mind putting everything off another week, it's fine with me.

McDonald: Ah... (pause) ah... (pause) ah... (pause) ah... (pause) ah... (pause) ah... (pause) You steel thaer?

Saur: Yes. Is everything OK?

McDonald: Yes [something unintelligable]... ah... (pause) you know, that's a somesing that'sa difficult [something unintelligable] but I've been thinking that yes... ah... (pause) ah... (pause) ah... (pause)

[office phone in the background rings shrilly, twice]

McDonald: ah... (pause) ah... (pause) ah... (pause)

Saur: Mr. McDonald? Why don't you think about it and call me back?

McDonald: OK, that'sa goot idea.

I'm really worried about how to communicate with him about the signup, however. If our communication is this poor now, imagine how hard it's going to be to explain anything legal.


The Lazy Iguana said...

You should tell XYZ company that your fees suddenly went up.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

He reminds me of a college administrator that I once knew (or eve several college administrators)

United We Lay said...

Good luck. We deal with a lot of parents who are like that, so I understand your frustration.

M@ said...

He needs to learn English, goddamnit.