Thursday, May 03, 2007

Shit Happens

Sometimes there is no other way to say it. Shit just happens and there ain't nothin you can do. I had one of those days today. It started out kind of sneaky shitty, and then got worse.

I work in the technical staffing business. Sales. To put it simply, I'm an agent for technical professionals, and I handle the client relationships. Not a glamorous job, but certainly a worthwhile endeavor. It's financially rewarding, I've made a pretty good living in this business in the past. There is also the satisfaction of helping someone take a step forward in their career. So overall, I like what I do. But it isn't always easy.

When you get right down to the nuts and bolts of it, my product is people. People are unpredictable, thus it can get interesting. Like today. People do things, not always with bad intentions, the result for someone is bad. The result of something someone did today, without bad intentions, was bad for me.

People are dynamic, their lives are dynamic, their circumstances change with stunning celerity. A consultant that was due to start an engagement for me coming Monday had such a change. He backed out of the engagement he accepted a week and a half ago. It caught me like a sucker punch. This was an important step in the client relationship I'm trying to build. I'm back in this business after four and a half years of being out of it, with a new company and basically a new world of opportunities and I'm trying to get a solid foundation established with some key clients. This is a key client. My credibility just went to shit. It will be hard to recover from this, and may take some time. As the new guy with this client, my credibility is zero. This deal gave me a foot hold, especially if the guy goes in and they love him. That happens, my credibility is solid, they begin to trust me and the candidates I represent. This is the way it's supposed to be. That's not the way it is, not now.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened to me, it happens to everyone in this business. People are people, and that's the way it is. As with any unpredictable, sometimes volatile product, there will be mishaps. Shit happens. The thing about that is, it always seems like when shit does happen, the timing couldn't be any worse. My first deal with a key manager at a key client on a large project with looming deadlines, my guy, who is going to help them get caught up and meet their deadlines and have a chance to really shine, bails the fuck out. Thanks, dude. Leaves me looking like a drooling idiot, standing with my pants around my ankles.

I have to get some perspective on this. A year from now, if shit like this doesn't keep happening, I'll remember this and smile. Just a challenging time that I dealt with and learned something from. That's my challenge now. What's the lesson? I've had all day to review and consider this, and I can't identify anythng we should have done differently that would have changed this outcome. We did our jobs pretty much by the book. I didn't push the guy on the client, or push the job on the guy. We weren't stretching anything, nothing was shaky. Shit just happens.

Two other negative things happened today, but they pale in comparison to the big one and I won't even dwell on them. I just feel kinda snake-bit right now.

On a different note, I'm reading Bandits by Elmore Leonard. What a great book. Two thirds of the way through now and I think I'll read it again. I'm too involved when I'm reading it to look at it clinically, so I'll make a second pass and break it down.

I think I'm through whining for the day. Pray for peace and good energy...


At 10:05 PM , Blogger Kanani said...

Hey, Glad you like the Elmore Leonard. He's the real deal. A writer since the 50's when he started in advertising, wrote for small magazines and then worked his way through.

Anyway, yes, you have no control over what other people do. None whatsoever. And you can't predict, either. All you can do is what you've already done: been consistent in your procedure, reviewed what might have not been done, looked for any clues that this might have foreshadowed the event.

Though your client will no doubt be pissed off, really, they must know that crap like this happens. I'm sure you'll be able to rectify the situation somehow.

By the way, we've got a new interview up on The Writerly Pause.
Chin up, kiddo!

At 4:34 PM , Blogger GutterBall said...

People suck. It's my motto. An individual can be great, but people in general? Suuuuuck.

Have some chai tea and relax. I have no doubt that in a few months, you'll be able to see this for the amusing cocktail discussion topic that it is. Until then, try not to let it get you any further down.

And when you've rebuilt your street cred with this key client, he/she, too, will look back on it as an amusing anecdote. That's just how cool you are.

At 5:40 PM , Blogger Wonderwood said...

Aw, man, thanks you guys. I appreciate the kind words. I'll tell you what, I'm glad it's Friday night, finally. I was pretty glad to see the end of the week get here.

Yeah, it was a bad week, but this too shall pass, or so I'm told ;-) It's happened before and the world didn't end, so I'm sure I'll survive this. I'm over it now, pretty much. Monday's a new week, but I'm going to enjoy this weekend as best I can. Tomorrow should be a good day, the Derby and then a good boxing match tomorrow night, maybe a poker game, who knows...

I appreciate the support, and no more whining out of me for a while :-)

At 9:23 PM , Blogger GutterBall said...

What's wrong with whining? Gotta get it out somehow. I think bottling up the Whine causes cancer in lab rats.

Or something like that.


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