First Day at School

Yesterday I spent the day working with my new client and I got a much better idea of what they actually wanted me to do. There’s a difference between the pretext under which they’re retaining my services and the reason they need me. The pretext is that I have skills they don’t have. The reason is that they need somebody to organize a major project they’ve undertaken. The way I’m putting the pieces together the VP of Sales has retained me and another chap to work as a team. The other chap will be his alter ego in working customer relations and I’ll be a sort of project manager/mouthpiece.

I was impressed by several things in my first day. I’m having to cope with a variety of nuisance issues—commuting (about twenty minutes), parking (paid), getting lunch (much easier when much of what you do is out of your home), etc. I was surprised by how bumbling everything was. An organization of this size really should be much smoother.

No one has business cards. That’s surprising to me. Nearly every company I’ve ever dealt with from Fortune 500 giants to mom-and-pop shops has had business cards. Clearly, they do not view what they’re doing as a matter of relationships.

And it’s a millennial world. They really are not self-starters and have very little idea of how to organize anything. It will be an adventure.

9 comments… add one
  • ...

    Twenty minutes is not a commute. It isn’t a commute unless it takes at least thirty minutes. Or flying, at the high high end.

  • michael reynolds

    No business cards. So your new client is not in real estate, nor do they regularly interact with Japanese folks.

    I keep meaning to get business cards for events I have to attend. But I have a superstitious concern that the existence of such cards might cause more events to occur.

  • No business cards. So your new client is not in real estate, nor do they regularly interact with Japanese folks.

    It’s not just those. Every person I’ve ever met in a business context who worked for Google, Apple, Oracle, or any other large IT company has immediately shoved a business card at me (frequently with a weird title). Every person who worked for a large manufacturing company or even small banks or insurance companies ditto.

  • Barry Drusedum

    I read an article last year about now there is push to do away with business cards as old fashion and not needed in the new digtal age. Now you just touch phones and your contact information is exchanged.

  • Guarneri

    “Now you just touch phones and your contact information is exchanged.”

    Remember the double entendre “when are we going to be able to” with, uh, reciprocating motion, in the spoof commercial about supposed “new advances” in phone technology?

  • Susan Glenn

    What’s a roladex, anyway?

  • jan

    Vista Printing must be getting nervous with all this talk of business cards becoming an extinct business species.

    Although I only carried cards around once in my life, I’ve always enjoyed them — especially the creative ones on distinctive or textured paper. It said something about a person, IMO, who spent time on an eye-catching first impression and visual presentation of who they are and what service(s) they represented.

    Whenever you weather the first of anything, it usually pushes one out of their comfort zone, which requires more vigilance regarding others and self-awareness. Once you get in a groove, though, it usually morphs into just another familiar routine.

  • Andy

    The first thing I do when I get a business card is enter the contact information into my phone (which is synced with my computer naturally).

  • Cstanley

    I’ve begun snapping photos of them, and saving to Evernote. The ones that I’ll need long term, I transcribe to my contacts. For those that I only need short term this allows me to have the information with me at all times with minimal effort and no need to keep track of the physical card.

    I noticed there’s a scanning app which supposedly uploads the data automatically from a scan to a contact list, but I don’t know how well it works (seems like it could get buggy for cards that are formatted differently.

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