Car phones. Remember those?
Back in the day I spent much of my time in the car, back and forth supporting customers. The arrival of the telephone in the vehicle was good for business.
Today we’re seeing mobile as one of the mainstays, an essential ‘accessory.’
We all have our opinions of the ‘pro’s and con’s’ when relying on the digital message, and there are those of us who spent time working without such technology who could offer a tale or two …
There was a time, way before mobile phones(!) when I was ‘working from the office.’ The landlines were a little quiet and I was thinking of taking a break when I picked up a note requesting I call back.
It was a new prospect wishing to seem me for new business. I returned the call.
‘Yes, thanks Bruce, see you within the hour …’
Within minutes I found myself ‘back out on the road’ for the appointment. It was forty minutes to my central London appointment so I needed to allow plenty of time. Pretty soon I joined the traffic on the M4 when I realised that in my haste, I’d left the handset to my car ‘phone at the office.
‘Not a good start,’ I thought.
An hour later I left the traffic of the motorway. ‘Five minutes to my destination, I shouldn’t be too late.’
Arriving outside my destination, I found a handful of coins and fed the parking meter, went to the trunk of the car and found I’d left my presentation notes behind as well as the ‘phone …
‘OK, let’s do this.’
I approached the plush offices, complete with Barrier Reef style fish tank in the window. Stumbling in haste up the stairs I entered via a large revolving door and paused for breath. In the distance I noticed the ‘glitz’ of reception waiting for me … at the end of what seemed an endless red carpet.
Left and right of this red pathway was plush seating. Most appeared occupied by ‘lunch-time’ breakers engaged in animated conversation.
I made my way as I considered an excuse for my late arrival.
‘Hello, I’m here to see Bruce, Charlie Kenny is my name. He is expecting me.’
‘Won’t be a minute Charlie, please take a seat.’ Replied the lovely lady behind the desk.
It was then I noticed an unpleasant odour … glancing around me, I noticed the conversation from the lunch crowd had become more animated.
Then I looked down at my right shoe …
There, wrapped and rising (was it alive?) around my foot was the most unpleasant looking – what I can only describe here – as ‘doggy-do.’
I looked behind me toward the only revolving door exit … down the plush red carpet was the trail of ‘doggy-do …’ testimony to the attachment to my shoe.
Not waiting to hear from my lovely receptionist, I was now thinking of nothing but escape. I first of all cleaned my shoe, (both sides, back and forth) using the carpet beneath me. With great haste I made my way past the now reeling onlookers, through the revolving door and toward the car.
What a disaster! ‘Failed!’ I thought to myself, how could I face Bruce after this. ‘What messages would be waiting for me back at the office?’
I wasn’t in the brightest frame of mind.
I needn’t of worried.
After another hour of self-depreciation I arrived to ‘face the music.’
It was my receptionist who was waiting … ‘here we go’ I said to myself …
“Charlie, you left behind your presentation folder – and your ‘phone handset!!’
Er, yes, sorry, I was in such a hurry to make the appointment …’
‘Well if you’d waited a few minutes you could have saved yourself a wasted journey. As your car pulled away, Bruce’s office called to cancel the appointment!
Bruce had left the building for a minute, slipped on the steps and hurt himself. Apparently the problem was dog-mess … anyway, he’s now at the hospital.
The said is there any chance you could reschedule the meeting for a couple of weeks?’
And, why are you smiling?’
Needless to say, like almost all everyone else I now have a mobile ‘phone attached to my person. BUT I still much prefer the in-person meeting wherever possible.
It’s where the ‘life (sh–t) happens.’