"It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"
After the long day and night of travel we had, getting up the next morning was really difficult...at least for me...I'm not a morning person....
Coats on, portfolios in hand, we walked out onto the streets of New York City and hailed a cab (no hanging monkey from the rear view mirror!). Making good time, I glanced over my notes for this appointment (a new prospect) and saw that I had written down that Brian (that's our contact's name) wanted me to call him when we were on our way. I grabbed my cell phone and dialed the number that was scribbled on my notes (above the side note that Brian would be in a meeting until just before our appointment). Brian's voicemail answered my call..."Hi Brian, this is Betsy with Modern Litho Print and I wanted to let you know that Greg and I are on our way to your office. You are probably still in your meeting, I will call you when we get to your building. Thanks Brian!"
At twenty after nine the cab pulled up in front of the building where we would be meeting our new prospect. Eager to meet Brian face to face I jumped out of the cab while Greg paid the toll and entered the beautiful NY building. Over sized, heavy glass doors opened up to a marble lobby. The front desk was marble and cradled a dozen security monitors. A young man, looking like he was one of the "Men In Black" was dressed in black suit with a white shirt that looked to have been heavily starched. The vaulted area echoed the sounds of ladies high heels and men's dress shoes as staff continued to file in from coming off the subway. I grabbed my cell phone out of my purse and pressed Brian's number that had been recorded in my phone from the first call, "Hi Brian, it's Betsy from Modern Litho Print, again. I just wanted to let you know that Greg and I are in the lobby now, we will wait here for your call or for you to come down and meet us. Thanks Brian!"
...I smiled at Greg, "he's probably still in his meeting, he will be down soon." Greg nodded with approval.
There we stood...Greg and me...leaning against the cool marble walls, people watching, commenting on the variety of dress among those that clearly worked in the building. Some were dressed in jeans and sweaters, others in pencil skirts and dress pants. The shoes were a mixture of Jimmy Choos and Sketchers with a few Payless boots taken from the sale rack, I'm sure.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Twenty minutes had passed and panic set in. In my head I was reeling..."oh my gosh, what if this guy stands me up? What if we just traveled to New York and our first appointment is a no show and it's an indication of how this whole business trip is going to turn out?????"
I looked at Greg...I swear I saw a look of "if this guy is a no show, you are in deep dodo" and my panic grew more intense. I looked away and turned my back to Greg...slowly I unzipped my portfolio to check my calendar to see if I had any "back up" prospects we could call on...at least Greg wouldn't think it was a total waste of time....
....as I opened my calendar and looked at Tuesday's appointments I gulped. Then I froze. Crap! Our first appointment...the appointment with Brian.....yeah....we were actually an hour early!! I forget about the time change...well, actually, that doesn't even make sense because we gain an hour....so that won't work for an excuse....okay, I'll admit...I goofed, so sue me!
I turned to Greg...he immediately knew, "what?"
I flashed a "I'm a complete idiot" smile and said, "ummmmmm, our appointment is actually another hour from now....ha. haha. ha."........silence.
Greg just shook his head. I think he might has sighed "unbelievable" under his breath, but I can't be for sure.
So...I picked up my cell phone, hit Brian's number for the THIRD time and left ANOTHER message...."Hahahahahahaa. haaaa. haa. Hi Brian, it's Betsy from...oh heck, you probably recognize my voice by now. Yes, well, ummmmm, we were in the lobby and the funniest thing happened....I realized our appointment isn't for another hour! Crazy, huh? Ha! So...we are going to get a cup of coffee and be back in an hour. Ha! And just so you don't have a nutty first impression of me, I'm totally blaming this on the fact that we got into NY late, late last night....after a black cat was loose on our plane and the three of us were booked for a one room hotel room....but we don't roll that way, so that was fixed...we have two rooms now...but my mattress is on the floor...probably infested with bed bugs, cause I hear that's a real problem here...so, yeah...don't think I'm crazy....cause I'm not....I promise. Okay, we'll see you in an hour! Thanks Brian."
Yeah....that shouldn't have made any impression other than professional, organized and intelligent. Right?
Okay, so that was the first "mad" event of the day. But it gets better (did you need better?)
...Greg and I walk out of the marble building and begin to make our way to the closest coffee shop. Of course we had no clue where we were or where we were going, so we looked like total tourists...so much so that two extremely nice gentlemen stopped and asked, "are you lost? Do you need help?"
Let me say first that these two men were very nicely dressed. Business suits, briefcases, long, wool overcoats, hair slicked back....total Wall Street executives.
...I smiled at the kindness of the gentleman and replied, "no, we are okay, thank you!" But the men begged to differ..."really? Because you look like tourists!" I giggled, "really? What gave it away? The look of complete confusion or the Manhattan map that I'm clutching?...We are looking for Union Square." Both gentlemen pointed to the right, "Union Square is roughly two blocks that way, you can't miss it. Where are you from?"
The four of us crossed the street together, "Jefferson City, Missouri...it's the Capitol" (I say that every time because people in NYC think that St. Louis is Missouri's Capitol...as if!) Greg and I continued to walk with the two quisitive men, "what brings you to New York?"...I quickly replied, "business". They seemed intrigued, "What kind of business are you in?" beginning to feel like we were old friends I answered, "I sell printing...what do you do? Do you have printing needs?....Because I've got about an hour before my next appointment, do you have an hour you could spend with me?" I was full of excitement at the prospect of having an opportunity to meet with these two "Donald Trump" types! Wouldn't this be the greatest sales story of all time....sales rep meets Wall Street tycoons while crossing the street and makes a million dollar sale!!
BUT...that's not what these two men had in mind....in fact, the older of the two answered my request for an hour of their time with this..."I've got an hour for a 'short stay', but really I only need twenty minutes..." He winked and smiled.
Ummmm, hello? This is not "Pretty Woman" and I am not looking for a "short stay"...I just want your printing dude! That's p-r-i-n-t-i-n-g!
Politely declining the man's offer, Greg and I parted ways with the
No...in fact, that was just a warm up to what the rest of the day would hold!
Because this one day could become a novel, I will allow you to rest. We will continue the insanity tomorrow...
*Before I leave you, eagerly waiting for the conclusion of day two in NYC, you should know that all turned out well with our new prospect Brian! He completely understood my mental issues and actually would like to further our conversation!
....Mental illness totally works for me! ;)