December 02, 2005

The Flashing Red Lights

Remember that new account I was after? The one that I desperately needed to get for both my job and sales self-confidence? Well, they announced the winning agency yesterday. I was heading over to Catherine’s house to cook us dinner and saw the flashing red light on my blackberry. I had never noticed the light before, but quickly realized that it was a new message indicator. And, oh, how very apropos it was, that flashing red light. It was the siren warning, the ambulance on the corner, the fire truck ready to douse the flames. Or perhaps it was the padded truck coming to take me away to my special new home. The one with the mattresses on the walls. Where they give me that nice new one-sleeved jacket. I hear it’s all the rage these days.

Well the last thing I wanted to do was to risk getting bad news and ruining my wonderful evening with my woman. But, of course, I couldn’t resist peeking at the e-mail. It was taunting me like a car crash on the highway. I mean, what’s wrong with one quick peek? So like the proverbial car crash, I decided to take the assessment approach. You know, just glance really quickly to determine the damage before actually fully committing to soak-in the destruction. I know that anything too destructive will leave me with unnecessary nightmares and perhaps another few years of therapy. I just want good news. So I opened the e-mail and glanced. Just a little peek. Such a wee bitty peek it barely even counted as looking. I mean, it’s not like I’m reading the thing. So, I figured I’d take a peak and if the e-mail looks good, perhaps I’ll take it in word by word. But if I see a bit of destruction, I’ll shut it down and wait to look in the morning – maybe by then it will magically go away and become good.

Well apparently this car crash strategy doesn’t translate that well to e-mails. In fact, it doesn’t work so well with car crashes either. My so-called little peek had me scanning the e-mail so quickly, I had no clue what it said. So I went back to the top and read it again. But when I got to the end of the e-mail I didn’t believe it. So I did another run through.

The bottom line is that we lost the business. Or, rather, I lost the business. And that was a great way to ruin my evening. Needless to say, I was pretty sad. So this morning when I arrived at work you can imagine the aggravation in my stomach upon hearing a voicemail from the client forcing me to relive the experience. They called to personally let me know, once again, that we didn’t win. Thanks. As if the e-mail didn’t drive the point in enough. It turns out we came in a close second which, as we all know, means something just short of bupkiss right about now.

So I grabbed my bat and did a number on one of the chairs in my office. I don’t know if it made me feel better, but I didn’t much like that chair anyway.

Maybe I’ll call that truck driving school. Do you have that number for the truck driving school? Acme driving, I think it was…