I often try my best not to take business calls in the morning before I drop the kids off at school. The kids are too loud….I can only concentrate on one thing at a time….and, I like having those final moments of “family” before all hell breaks loose professionally. However, there are times when someone I’ve been trying to reach finally returns my call and it happens to be before 9am. Regardless as to what is going on around me, I need to take that call.
A week and a half ago, a Business Affairs Executive called me to make an offer for one of my clients to test on a television pilot. We traded calls back and forth a few times and then we finally connected at 8:45 in the morning, when I was still in the car with the kids. I’ve dealt with him on a number of occasions. He is single, very dry, straight-forward, lacking in humor, and a tough opponent. I knew this call was going to be difficult and I was prepared.
After 10 minutes of a “heated” discussion, I informed him that I was sitting in a parking lot and needed to drop the kids off at school. I told him that it would only take a few minutes and then I would call him back. He stammered a little and then said ok.
When I returned his call, the first words out of his mouth were, “How’d it go in there?” I paused and said, “Fine. Thanks for asking.” He responded, “I’ve never had someone pause a negotiation to take a shit before. That’s a first.” I had no idea what he was talking about. I asked, “Take a shit? What are you talking about?” He said, “You just told me that you needed to ‘drop the kids off at the pool.’”
I erupted in laughter. I explained, “No, no, no!! I had to drop my children off AT SCHOOL! You know – a building with teachers and books!!!” Once he realized his mistake, he laughed….and then he proceeded to crush my hopes and dreams of getting my client a raise from his quote.
You win some, you poop some.