Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Caught, Can We Get a Witness?

I had an appointment the other day that was a no-show. I take it as a bit of a slight, a sign of lack of respect... They called to apologize (kinda) much later after we were suppose to meet, but after I called to see where they might be. I was not happy about this. Even worse though, the meeting was at 4:00 and I often knock off at 4 to hang with the kids/cut the grass/maybe help with dinner.... I take an average of a 4-5 hour break and come back to work for 3-4 hours in the evening. So blowing me off on my down time, it was bad enough the meeting was scheduled during my downtown, sheesh.

I run along the lines of some old school business philosophies. I have learned from the best. I always write people letters, thank you notes, follow ups. I am professional, I try and explain things as clearly as I can, get it all in writing and I do my best to show up on time for meetings. Occasionally, I may be a few minutes late and I feel pretty embarrassed when I can't make it at the set time. My time is valuable so I try not to waste others.

I wonder, as technology advances and as business gets less and less formal, where do the old time practices, respects and standards of operations end up? Do they disappear completely? Do people have formal business meetings over their cell phone or tweat, twitterize or twext each other? As meetings have moved from the conference room to the coffee shop, has this trend weakened the connections and partnerships people make...?

I would much rather meet someone face-to-face if I am going to do business with them. But I have, a few times over the last year or so, successfully completed some design projects where I have never met the client face-to-face. I know this is common with freelance illustrators and writers, but I have a bit of a hard time with it. Talking to someone in person gives you a better feel for them and this is especially valuable when meeting first time clients.

I may be at the end of a dying breed of business folk trying to hold on to some old school practices, but I have found them to work. I think people can appreciate the professionalism (especially from a creative type- some people think we are wacko), and I am going to keep meeting you in person. We'll talk about the next project, we'll chat about our kids, common interests (hockey, rock, RZA, etc.)... and we'll shake hands. Go ahead and twit, tweet or tweather me, I'll call you back and we can set up a time to meet. In person.

Photos: kid shot photograph of lawn about to get schooled, old schooled... and Bobby Digital, he'll always meet you on time, and kick your azz!!


Brett said...

Good post.

When someone emails, tweets me, etc, I like to call them back. It breaks the habit and forces a closer connection.

mark said...

I like it, calling back is the way to go.

Braddy Digital said...

I enjoyed reading this because you were able to cover some distinct Busy-ness school ethics, new techy mentions (twext --very funny) and a mention of Bobby D -- You are the man, man.