I have never got it right with this client from day one. Call it jinxed. Call it fate. Call it whatever. I may not be superstitious. But one cannot help but note the co-incidences of how things never really went right. After a hiatus the client gave me an assignment. I was very cautious. Maybe this is another trap to catch me off guard and land me in another mess! I made sure the jinx is broken this time. I sent the best. Never mind the cost.
After completing a job, the client gave me another. As usual , their dateline was like yesterday or last week. I now can handle them better. A long while ago, I use to be jumpy and try to meet their impossible datelines whilst compromising on the protocols. As a result, when things go wrong like it has happened, I am left at a lurch. Being the nice person, I do not want to implicate their staff. I will eat the dead cat myself so to speak. I now make sure that the protocol is followed at all times, at all cost.
I explained to the client the procedures. Actually, they know it already. But they must always insist on the impossible. The client has been calling me every day at least twice. Then one night at 10.30pm he called. Since this person is new, I decided to be fair to him. I took his call reluctantly. I explained in great detail what I need to do. I informed him the time frame I would need. I cautioned him what was beyond my control. There was no way I could commit to the time frame he was expecting. He told me to just do my best. At least he understands. So it should be fine, so I thought.
The next day at 9.05am, he got his colleague to call me. The colleague ask what my progress was. I certainly was not happy. I thought I just spent half an hour late last night explaining. I courteously told the person the process and approximately how long it will take.
We were not making progress. Three days past. So I told the client what we would be doing if we cannot locate some of the details that we were looking for. I kept him posted so that he would not be a nuisance later at night. The twice a day call happened as usual.
We still got no where. So I told the client what I would be doing tomorrow. I told him exactly. The whole process would take a minimum of two days. At 9.00am the next day, his colleague called to enquire the progress. I was mad. I told him off. I just explained to them the duration I need, and they asked for the results barely 12 hours later. What kind of nut are these people?
Apparently that was not the end of it. At 1pm plus, the client called. I was having my lunch then. i just snapped. I told the client to either give me the time or take the job back. Get another person to do it. I then cut him off.
After lunch, I decided to call the client back. I thought what I did was not very nice. He told me he just needed to know the status. I told him I am not going to explain and report back to him on every minute detail. I do not intend to tell him when, what and where of every step taken. Time should better be spent working on the ground to get the required and desired results sought rather than reporting. I then told him that he was lucky dealing with me. If he had contacted my colleague, he certainly would be f@&#@ on his face.
This client reminded me of many of us. When we first started working, we had our ideals and principles which we hold on dearly to. We worked our butts off. We try to impress our bosses. There was zest, enthusiasm and energy. Slowly but surely it got corroded. Our ideals and principles were compromised for the sake of survival. The environment just zapped us up. After a while we do what is necessary to survive. We pace ourselves so we do not burn out. It would be interesting to find out how the client is doing 5 years down the road.