Unusual clients


J

John Baker

Did you ever have unusual clients, co-workers and the like. Without naming names or enterprises, here are some of my experiences.
- A closely held company had as a company president, a rather eccentric guy. He use to come into his lavish office, sit behind this huge,
hand carved, imported desk with an executive overstuffed chair that had a backrest that was very tall. He also had this habit of taking
off his suit pants when he sat behind his desk. So, his white shirt, French cuffs with cufflinks, and suit coat and tie, were the only things
that people needed to see - so he thought. His custom hand carved desk was made of mahogany, and the wood was showing signs of
age and the high heat and humidity that his office radiators generated didn't help any. A crack in the front panel that had his initials
carved in, was very uncomfortable to sit across from during meetings.
- I met a new client for the first time and was accompanied by one of our senior partners. He told me that he'd do all the talking so just
sit back and follow his lead. When we met with the owner, and went into a conference room, it was obvious to me why I was instructed
the way I was. The owner had a lazy eye, and meeting with the man with more than two people in the same room, was rather awkward
to know who he was looking at and who he was talking to.
- I got into an elevator and there was a guy in overalls leaning against the control panel. He asked me, "what floor?" I told him the 5th.
So he yells... " 5th floor!" The elevator starts to move and low and behold, the doors opened and there I was on the 5th floor. I got out
and looked back at the guy, only to see him yell, .. "down to the ground floor!" I mentioned my experience to the people I met with,
only to get smiles and giggles from the receptionist. It seemed that elevator was being repaired and those repairing it were in the basement
and when someone needed the elevator, this guy in the overalls would yell down to the crew in the basement, thus making the connection
to work the elevator.




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J

John Baker

My very first job was the best OJT that I could possibly ask for - bankruptcies and closures. I know this doesn't seem like the way to start a career in this profession, but it shaped my perspective of the Capitalist System, the interworking's of why people go into business in the first place, and a ton of other things that point to human nature - predictable human nature.
I accompanied the soberest staffers that I've ever met. Even to this day, their stature, razor edge mindset of purpose, left little room for, "hey, want-a go for a few drinks after.. ?"
I met this group of specialist at a business address just outside of Albany so we could begin the start of what turned out to be a lawsuit and ultimate closure of all things - a funeral home. Fact was, a chain of funeral homes, owned by a group that had issues with each other.
Now it was bad enough to deal with this kind of environment, right out of college, but to conduct business while proceedings were underway in the five parlors, was unnerving to say the least.
I thought our site manager was as sober as-they-come, without even the slightest sense of humor, until we entered the front entranceway of the place, and was greeted by one of the funeral home employees. Dressed in a black tuxes, ridged, and without a smile... he pointed to a viewing directory, and he asked us.. " Are you here to see the deceased?
Without batting an eye, our site manager looked at the guy and said... " You could say that.."
 
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I used to work in aviation so clients from all over the world. Had one who asked for the parachute while trying to open the door at 42.000 ft.
 
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J

John Baker

The $1,400 client and a better video.
My impression had to be spot on with a large specialty chain in sporting goods. The receptionist lead me to the vice president of finance and his office was wall-to-wall flies. Fishing flies that is. I introduced myself, kind a haphazardly, while looking at the - from floor to ceiling, a corkboard wall full of fishing flies. It was obvious that the man was into fishing. Turns out he was a local celebrity of sorts and a collector of fishing flies. So I made small talk then started to get down to business, when he got up and walked over to one of the flies - that he made himself, plucked it off the wall and presented it to me. "Here" he said, " you look like a sliver stream skipper man to me. I accepted the thing, got my index finger stuck on the barb and carefully placed it in my briefcase. I tried my best to offer a story of my fishing days as a kid, all the while trying to hid my finger bleeding. I got blood on my business card, our firm's services brochure, my tie, the arm rest on the chair I was in..... will this ever end. Next, the man asks me if I enjoy fly fishing - "why I thought you'd never ask."
Of course I do. ( never been in my life.) The next thing I knew I was invited up to his private cabin overlooking miles of pristine streams and lakes. Then he drops the names of two of the partners of the firm I worked for, and it looked like I was going to drown some flies.
Before I got back to the office, I stopped at a sporting goods store, the town over, and spent $1,400 on a fly pole, casting flies, hip waders, a fish basket, a hat to hook the flies in, and a video on how to do fly casting. That weekend I drove up to the man's property, met with everyone, and we all decided to pick our own spot. I left the group, found a pond, kind a, with flowing water just like the video said. That Monday one of the partners poked his head into my office and said we landed the account - all thanks to me. The V.P. of finance thought my selection of fishing a large drainage ditch and the runoff pond was the funniest thing he'd ever seen. He also suggested that I pick up a better video.
 

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