One of the places I frequent in my current day-job business most always has attendants at the info desk. One of the attendants we see often happens to be a 76-year old lady.
Now, this old gal isn’t your typical blue-haired senior moaning while reaching for an agitated vertebrae shuffling across the room.
This gal skis, hikes, canoes, fishes, and I still have one brow raised, but I think even hit on me recently. I’m still reeling over that one. She plays cards to keep her mind sharp and just have fun. More on that in a minute.
In fact, I was shocked out of my socks to find she was 76-years old. I knew she was somewhat older, but figured just an active 60-year old gal trying to pick up guys on the dance floor on Saturday nights.
She recently regaled us with a story about a gentleman who she claims is just a friend. He put on some music, popped the cork from the wine bottle, and served up some dinner.
I said to her, “Oh he’s hitting on you big time.”
“That’s what my sister said too,” she replied, “She said I ought to lay a big smacker on him. But, no, no, we’re just good friends is all.”
A bit perplexed, I asked her why she thought that.
“Oh,” she sighed, “I’m done. I’m burnt out. I can’t find anyone to keep up with me. I want to go hiking, skiing, and canoeing. I asked this friend to go dancing a while back,” she rambled, “and he said he couldn’t, his knee hurt.”
She went on in a disgustful tone about how he couldn’t go fishing, a less active sport, because he was having his elbow checked out.
Sport after sport she cited his excuses about something that hurt on him or didn’t work. He even confessed, he didn’t think quote, it, unquote worked anymore.
Do I need to explain what “it” is?
Well this gal’s name isn’t Alice, but if one were to, ahem, see Allice, it might give a clue to what he was referring.
She admitted, her last surgery might have ruined that for her…
Somehow I think she was just playing to his sympathy. I digress here before this no longer is a business related blog. And we really are getting to a business point, trust me.
Finally, I said to her, “Sheesh, he probably would have finger trouble playing checkers even.”
“Well,” she said, “we were going to play Cribbage, but he had a headache.”
Really, a headache? I thought that excuse was reserved only for a certain activity. Oh well.
She closed up her diatribe with a laugh saying, “And he’s 13-years younger than me!”
I couldn’t help but chuckle through her entire recollection. Man, I hope I’m as active and young as she is at that age.
Reflecting on my conversation with her, it made me think of how that very situation happens in business.
No, not clients getting picked up by business men and women. Well, okay, that happens, but that’s not what I mean.
What I’m getting at is there are times, just like this young-hearted gal found with her potential 63-year old boyfriend, where a client just isn’t a match. There will be times where as hard as one might try, personalities won’t gel, timelines never seem to work out, or excuse after excuse the info you need doesn’t get to you.
It seems forced. And you know what? Like this gal, there comes a point where you’ve just got to say, “I’m burnt out here.”
Sometimes, it’s just best to have a chat with a client and agree to move separate ways on the project. I tell you, if you feel the disconnect, they likely do too, and they’ll respect you for recognizing it and acting on it.
Of course, you want to be courteous and professional about it, but there are times it’s best to move on.
If you are starting out, it is tempting to tell yourself you need the work, and how a testimony from a satisfied client will help, not to mention the pay. But if it’s that much of a struggle it’s likely things will deteriorate anyway. I’m not suggesting however, to give up at the first sign of trouble or challenge, because there will be those as well.
Over time, if you pay attention you will know when things are stalemating. You’ll feel it in your gut. There will be a certain sense of forcing the relationship or project.
So rather than waste your time and your client’s time, agree to move on and start a project that will move you forward.
Even this young-spirited gal’s friend with the poor health who tried so hard in his sedentary way to swoon her with wine, music, and dinner; recognized he was no match for her. He finally told her, “You need to find a boyfriend.”
After finishing up my chat with this lovely old gal, opening the exit door she said it was card night that night.
I yelled out to her as she passed through the door…
“Hey, none of those wild poker games now!”
I was going to say no spin-the-bottle or strip poker, but I figured I better not be so explicit with her.
Hollering back at me she boasted, “Oh, that’s Saturday night!”
Until next time…
Live like you’ll never get hurt, dream like nobody is watching, and above all… try-try-try until you succeed!