Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Dinner Out

I had dinner out with a client the other night. He has been a client for quite a while, and has been divorced for about 3 years. He owns a small business and we met at a local restaurant at 6:30. We had drinks at the bar and he was very interested in a lady at the far end of the bar. He is in his 50's (and leaning hard toward 60), and the lady at the other end of the bar was 30-- maybe. She was there with another lady friend. My client kept trying for eye contact and succeeded once in catching the attention of his target. His hobby over the last couple of years has been seeing how much of a "stud" he still is by trolling the local bars.

We got up and headed for our table and he stopped by and introduced himself to his target. She was a cute girl, and her friend was much older. I thought they were mom and daughter but it turns out they work together at a local office. The young girl was acting coy and silly while talking to my client and he was playing along, thinking he was getting somewhere with her. The conversation turned to birthdays and the younger girl asked my client if he thought it would be right to get a kiss from him for a birthday present. Naturally, he was practically drooling, so he said yes. The young girl then looked him in the eye and said, "Then give my friend a kiss-- it's her birthday." Needless to say, he was not interested in having anything to do with the older lady, and tried to find a way out while the older lady puckered up. He finally gave in, kissed the older lady on the cheek, and said, "Nice meeting you.", before heading to our table.

Sometimes women can be jerks, but in this case, I applauded the younger girl's technique in dealing with this guy. Bravo for her! Ladies, take a lesson.

The conversation we had at the table regarding his accounts were difficult after this event, mainly because I had such a hard time not laughing about him getting shot down. I'll always treasure the memory of this night.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Assistants

I must have the best assistant on the planet. Seriously. Obviously I saw how good she was when I recommended that she was hired seven years ago. But enough about how good I am (for today). Assistant really does a good job, and not just on the normal paperwork , filing, deposits and the like. She takes the time to ask if I want coffee if she is headed for a refill and I never told her I expected that. Just today, she told the wife that I was on the line with an important client, even though I was talking about football with a couple of coworkers. She also takes the time to ask clients that call if there is something she can help with before they talk to me. That is what a good assistant does.

I'm planning on going to bat pretty hard for her with the Boss when she comes up for review next month. After all, if she takes that much heat for me and I actually know about it, what kind of heat does she take for me that I DON'T know about? If she works that hard for me, I can certainly work hard for her during the review period.

Which brings up another point: We do have another lady that is an assistant for a few other guys and she is crappy at her job. She is an example of how to lose a job. She does the work as it comes, but just tries to do as little as possible so she can get back to reading her magazines. She also was "out sick" two days last week-- Monday and Thursday. I guess I wouldn't be so suspicious if she had been gone two days in a row. So after looking at these two assistants, I can't help but wonder what the younger generation is thinking. That's right, my assistant is an older lady and the slacker is about 25. I don't mean to get into a rant on "what is wrong with the younger generation", but I think Miss Slacker needs to get into gear a bit. After all, the older guys in the office make it in with a hangover after our Wednesday happy hours, so I think Miss Slacker should make it in also. We do have a ladies room down the hall, and I bet it has a toilet to go toss her cookies into, should she need to. Either make it in, or leave our Wednesday night happy hour before 1:00 A.M., like she did last week. Maybe she should quit drinking so much and go home earlier, but that idea might upset some of our younger guys in the office.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Voice Mail

Technology is a wonderful thing. You get used to using your Blackberry, then something goes to hell, and you're totally dependent on something that doesn't work. You have to retreat to some form of technology that you used to use, and you've probably forgotten what to do with the older technology.

We had a nice problem with the voice mail system today. I still don't understand why everything got so screwed up, other than my semi-explanation above. I'm guessing there are several people in our offices that have never seen one of those little pink pads for messages. Naturally, a newbie was in the "pilot seat" as the day got into gear. With the market far from opening, the newbie got a call from a client that has more knowledge in the markets than the newbie does. The client wanted to make a trade to execute at the open, but the newbie simply forced the call to voice mail. That's when the "oops" was found. The voice mail system was down for some reason after the weekend, so the call bounced back. Another try to bounce the call to voice mail again.

And again.

And again.

After several tries, the newbie called to the district office to ask about tech support for the voice mail system. Needless to say, there was nobody there that knew what was going on, so the newbie transferred the call to the district manager's office-- directly to the secretary, no less-- and she used her pink pad to take a message. Long story here, and the trade got executed on the open, but it was entered in another office by someone that had the sense to work the trade before wanting to flip the client to voice mail.

The Boss walked into the lunch meeting today and handed everyone a Special Pink Notepad to take messages. Seems his Boss had called and suggested a remedial course in message taking for our office. We still don't have the voice mail system up and running as of this afternoon. God save any client that calls to leave a message tomorrow morning.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Time to help New Orleans after Katrina

After the tsunami in the Far East last year, there were many people that donated to the relief efforts. The Red Cross was one good organization that helped out a bunch. The need was there and most people I know did something to help out.

I was in a grocery store right after the time of the tsunami and I overheard two guys in front of me in line talking about the disaster. Talk mostly centered on the devastation on TV, but the first guy finally started talking about making a donation for the relief efforts. His buddy, obviously a "Mensa" member, talked about how he would never make a donation because we needed to help ourselves with other things first. No talk about not being in a position to help because of a tough financial situation he was personally in, mind you. No word about needing to feed his family, no really good excuse other than this attitude. Nope-- he wasn't helping because we needed to address American issues first, then help out the rest of the world. I guess some people think that is a good attitude to have.

I remembered these two guys today while watching the TV and seeing the Katrina aftermath. I certainly hope this guy is stepping up and helping out today. After all, this is a very tragic situation in America, and it fits his definition of helping ourselves first. I wish I knew for a fact that he was donating. Since I will never know if this fool did or did not donate, I'm asking you to do so. Please take a minute and go to redcross.org and make a donation for the Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts. No donation is too small. Anything will help.

You guys in the office better get ready as well-- either produce some cold cash tomorrow or a receipt showing that you already made the donation. I'll be checking. And you new guys still sucking up a salary better give as well. I know what we pay you, so don't think you'll be skating by and not giving something.