Friday, October 24, 2008

the end is near

So the business trip has come and gone.

Normally the other folks on the team would get to go to Connecticut and schmooze with clients and work 16 hours a day while I stayed back at the ranch to man the email/phones and generally be available to get them anything they might need. But as we only have two people now, I was able to make the trip.

I don't know what I had been expecting—maybe we'd have some opportunities for the good times they'd always talked about?—but it was extremely busy and pretty somber. The boss made one last-ditch effort to convince them to hold onto the account, but I guess the client's financial arm had already flexed its company-crushing biceps and doesn't look like they'll reconsider anytime soon.

So the boss and I did what any self-respecting dynamic duo would when faced with shutting down and hitting the road. We knocked back a few drinks.

First we enjoyed some DELICIOUS spaghetti pizza at this tiny pizzeria called "Voc's Westside Pizza," which I had always imagined to be spelled "Vox." I also learned that East Coasters use the word "grinder" to describe what some of the rest of us call "sub sandwiches." That pizza was really really good, though. Then we met up with some of our favorite clients (whom we haven't worked with in quite some time) at a cute little Irish Pub called the Harp and Dragon, where all the people gathered around the bar would randomly start singing along with the music. "I will survive" and that "pina coladas and getting caught in the rain" song were two I recall. That was a little bizarre, but sort of sweet at the same time.

On the way home, we stopped at this fancy-looking Oyster Bar at the Providence airport. The food was fancy, but they were running a special where if you bought a beer, you could have a shot of any liquor for three dollars. My boss got that. I had two Cuba Libres.

Our flight had a grand total of 23 people, so we each had a row to ourselves. The flight attendant, Bryan, took a liking to us and was joking around. I think it was his last flight and he was on his way home to Chicago as well. He kept bringing us drinks and for some reason gave my boss a huge bag of those little single-serving Cheese Nips to take home. The alcohol started to take effect and I was sniffling and telling Ingrid Bergman's character she was making some stupid moves while watching Goodbye Again on the flight.

For some reason two Cuba Libres and two glasses of airplane red wine were too much for me to handle, and by the time the cab got me home I was pretty tipsy (what can I say, I'm a lightweight these days). H was watching the World Series so I called cc and asked if she had seen Saturday Night Live (even though it was Wednesday) for old time's sake: It's an inane ritual I had years ago when I'd occasionally kick it at the clubs and come home late; I never really watch the show but for some reason when I'm drunk it's comforting to know she continues to watch it no matter how much it may suck. She's loyal like that. I also managed to hit send on some drunken emails and made a few incoherent comments on people's blogs (sorry, Omar). I blame H for not supervising me properly.

Of course, in the middle of the night that stupid airplane wine (or maybe the rum) exacted its revenge. While standing over the commode I decided that the purging of the alcohol would also be my purging of bad feelings associated with losing the account and essentially our entire company. I'm going to try and be positive from here on out and put on a happy face. Because, as I've learned in the past, nobody likes to be around a cranky Cadiz.

The boss and I have to do the same work with half as many people in 1/3 of the time. And everyone associated knows the account isn't going to continue, so getting them to cooperate and call us back is going to be like pulling molars instead the way it has been (pulling incisors). The next few weeks are going to be interesting, to say the least.

We'll see how long that little no-negativity resolution lasts.


Anonymous said...

Losing a customer is always difficult. Losing your only customer more so.

But you have a small, nimble organization with good talent. What you need is more clients, and strange as it may seem, now is probably a very good time for you to attract new business.

A lot of companies are probably cutting back, every company that uses services like yours is now reviewing their costs. People inside those companies are worried about keeping their own jobs and want to show the boss that they are helping the bottom line. You need to be contacting those decision-makers to offer your services because you can save them money and make them look good doing it.

Nobody likes selling or being sold, so approach them as the solution that they are already looking for. You are helping them. Its practically charitable work - you are helping some poor middle-manager keep his job.

Start with any small project you can get - do it for free maybe - and work your way up.

I'm probably telling you something you already know, but in good times there is no incentive to change vendors. But in bad times...

cadiz12 said...

you make extremely solid points, Anon. in fact, this afternoon on the way to lunch the boss cut me off in the middle of a sentence about not being around to try the new restaurant under construction next door (it's set to open in january). he said not to be negative and that he's sure we'll still be around.

i really admire his smarts, perseverance and ambition. i know he's not going to give up—we have other clients and accounts and i know he's got other ones lined up, but i just don't know if it's a lock, or enough to pay the overhead as well as the salaries.

i'm feeling a little more positive than i did this morning. we're just going to have to wait and see what happens.

i just feel like a jerk b/c i forgot my boss' birthday yesterday even though we were at the office until 8:30 last night.

Syar said...

I've got to say, you and your boss make even the direst of times and circumstances look pretty ok. I say keep up with the no-negativity (I do not believe it is all that dire, but then again, what do I know? I'm trying to be encouraging without being patronizing and a know-it-all, can you tell?).

Guyana-Gyal said...

I know this might sound corny - a cliche - but think of it as a challenge, like it's something new, scary, like bungee jumping and parachuting.

Or [another cliche but it sure works for me], it's like mountain hiking, you have so many rocks and stones and hollows you have to scramble over or skip, before you get to the top...the top is beautiful but the struggle to get there is pretty exciting...lots to see and learn along the way.

Now I'll go apply all this in my quest to find ways to sell my craft and find foreigners living / working in Guyana who want to learn English [me - tutor].