I spent far too much time yesterday with a potential client whom I’ll call Melon. She’s about to leave town, but wanted immediate WordPress training (which takes 2-3 hours. I had already been warned she was on the 3-hour side of things. Again, she’s melon-like.). Of course, she wanted all of this in an hour. She also asked me what time I wanted to meet, but then argued that she had an 11am meeting, a 1-3pm meeting, and an evening event. She followed all of that with, “I just can’t be in meetings all day.” #facepalm
Now, clients don’t always know what they want/need. That’s why they hire tech-savvy folks to help them out. But this was riDONKulous. After ~4 emails and an 8-minute phone call of where I mostly listened to her “think out loud” I was ready to rip my own eyeballs out of my head. Normally, this would not have angered me so very much but it’s another example in a long line of unfair and/or discourteous practices and I’m sick of it.
Here are the things NOT to do:
- Call a business once a day. Leave one terribly vague message and act frustrated that I haven’t called you back yet. Um, it’s summer. I could be on vacation. Besides “vague messages” are a telemarketing trick. I don’t usually return those calls anyway because it will be some creep from ~1982 wearing sweatyasspants trying to sell me an ad in the freakin’ yellow pages.
- Call anyone ever and hang up without leaving a message. (Unless you have a mutual agreement with them that that is acceptable between the two of you.) Me: I don’t return hangups. Ever. If you need me, your better leave a message telling me WHY you are calling or WHAT you want. Otherwise, it gets prioritized below re-opening my facebook account…. And, if you hang up on my grandmother, she’ll never know you called; she doesn’t have CallerID and only uses her mobile when traveling or for emergencies.
- Email someone asking them to call you. Um no. You call if you want to talk on the phone. You email if you want to exchange emails. Yes, there are exceptions, but making ME track YOU down for something YOU want is rude.
- Help yourself into someone’s life. My grandmother is dealing with this right now with a (well meaning, I’m sure) neighbor who is just too insistent that he knows what she needs. I know her family resources are quite limited, but she’s is perfectly capable of selling my grandfather’s truck without his “assistance”. Oh, and his wife needs to keep her happy ass out of my grandmother’s home when she’s not invited.
- “Think out loud” on the phone with a potential client or vendor. If you need to mull things over, do it with a peer, in front of a mirror, or while walking the dog. Don’t waste another professional’s time while you finally figure out what you think you might want.
- Refuse to use a “click it and forget it” calendar system but then complain that you can’t make the narrow appointment time slot that you insisted upon. If I have to chase you down for that free portrait session you bought at a charity auction, your images will suffer. You’ve tainted the experience from the beginning.
So, with all this malarky going on and some other stress, too, I get a call with some particularly bad news (which I’ll share in a password-protected post) that was a long-time coming.
Imagine my surprise when I realized I wanted to take boxing lessons! I really just want to beat up on something. And the guy who plays “musical cars” so he can keep the front-most parking spot at our building (instead of renting a personal space like the leasing office offers) is in my cross hairs. What a jerk.
I just can’t take all of this. I need people to do their part in the world. I can barely do my own stuff…I sure as hell can’t do their’s too.
As E and I plan to get away for a week, I just feel the need to beat up on something. Anyone have a vampire I can slay?
[Oh, yeah, I finally started watching Buffy. I’m about half way through Season Two.]