So, a couple of days ago, I mused that I needed to find a better outlet for pent-up aggression.
Today, I'm thinking I'd better find one sooner rather than later.
Well, I'm glad you asked because, as usual, I have a story! Whilst writing the previous update earlier today, I received a frenzied call from a customer.
Cust: CJ! This is (customer) from (business) out in (Province to my immediate East)
CJ: Hi, (customer), how we doin' today?
Cust: Lousy! Where the fuck is my quote?!
CJ: (puzzled) Which quote was that?
Cust: (angry) Don't you check your fucking email? I sent it to you yesterday, for fuck's sake! The one that says "Please quote before Noon!" in the subject! (CJ's note: Yesterday was Sunday)
CJ: (smirking) Well, there's your first clue, we don't work on weekends. What did you need?
Cust: What do you mean you don't work weekends?
CJ: We're a Monday to Friday, 8am 'til 5pm operation.
Cust: (yelling angrily) Listen, I'm a 24/7 operation! If you want my business (CJ's note: which, admittedly, could be worth a lot, say a half-mil a year), you'll be in when I need you!
CJ: Alright (customer), listen... I'll make you a deal...
Cust: (subdued) Okay, what kind of deal..?
CJ: (cheerfully) Tell you what, if you're willing to come into Winnipeg every weekend; pick up my wife, kids, and mother-in-law; and haul them around town shopping, to hockey games and such all weekend, while I sit in my nice, quiet, comfy office working on your quotes, then (customer), you have yourself a deal!
Cust: (stunned silence) grumble grumble (phone goes dead, then dial tone comes on)
CJ: Guess that's a "no"?
UPDATE: Just received a call from our rookie Outside Sales rep - the one who services (customer).
Rep: (snarky) So, had a run-in with (customer), did you?
CJ: (proudly) Yup.
Rep: (annoyed) Yeah, he called me about it.
CJ: (muttering) That didn't take long...
Rep: So what exactly did you say to him?
CJ: (relates story verbatim)
Rep: Do you always talk to customers like that?
CJ: No, (Rep), only when they annoy me.
Rep: (nervous laughter) Yeah, that guy always gets under my skin. I've been after his business for a while now. He has the potential to be a half-mil a year account, and he knows it.
CJ: So let me ask you this: How often does he pull this shit with you?
CJ: ... and, how much of your hard work has translated into actual sales, and not bids or quotes?
Rep: Little to none.
CJ: Then he's just fucking with you. He's making you jump through hoops, pushing your buttons, and sending you on wild goose chases just to see how far you'll go to make him happy.
Rep: You think?
CJ: Yes, I do.
Rep: What would you do if you were in my shoes?
CJ: I just did what I'd do.
Rep: What's that?
CJ: Demonstrate to him the unimportance of self-importance. Lines must be drawn and respect must be established, otherwise (customer) will just keep you running around in circles for nothing.
Rep: How do you know all this?
CJ: Experience. I live in Winnipeg, where "it's always cheaper, better, and faster" somewhere else...
Rep: Well, I'm kinda new to all this, can I call you for advice?
CJ: Door's always open.
Rep: Thanks. So, I pretty much have to be a smart-ass?
CJ: That's pretty much it. It also helps to be a bit of a fibber as well - and to make the fibs plausible.
Rep: Oh? How so?
CJ: Remember what I said to (customer)?
Rep: ... yeah...
CJ: I ain't married, and I don't have kids.
Rep: (howls with laughter) You bastard!
CJ: Yup. Just gotta make it sound convincing.
Rep: (laughing) You definitely have a future in outside sales!
CJ: I'll pass, thanks!
So, there you have it. I'm starting to think my current outlet is likely the best outlet!