Stop nodding

Why do people get away with murder all the time when they do shoddy work? Because the humans are gullible that’s why. And these people are smart to outplay that.

In the course of the past few weeks I witnessed quite a fair bit of this game being played. Some mind you, were not intentional. The charmer did not even know he was charming the ass out of his clients and over-promise everything – resulting in quite a fair bit of non-delivery.

A recent community exhibition I helped coordinate nearly made me fell off my bed on event-eve. The exhibition is a big hoo-hah on the national metre, was graced by no less than high-profile politicians, had every community leader scrambling for their best batik shirt to wear and cost enough for me to pay off my Riana Green studio apt mortgage, and another. It was a BIIIIIGGGGG event. Yet, at 9.30pm the night before the doors were to open for visitors – I and my teammates discovered major screw-ups.

Let me recall. And I am being kind here cos I want that company to succeed.
1) A panel explaining the meaning of the event’s logo was coloured light orange, with white stencil letters. What do you get? A wash out.
2) Archways were painted light apple green, with, again, white letters. What do you get? Another wash out.
3) Sponsor’s names were printed INCLUDING THE SPECS (read: font size dimensions, etc) beside it. And this mind you, was on stage!
4) They wanted to use white funeral chairs for all the 240 seats in front of the stage, including those for the VIPs – I nearly fainted.

At midnight, I did the unthinkable. I asked them to change the mistakes done. The guy begged and so did I. We were both begging. I asked for him to change and he asked that I don’t. It is too late, he says. “No printer of mine will reprint those panels at this ungodly hour.”. My weapon? “XXX, pls. You do this one right, everyone will remeber the good parts. No one has to know what mistakes you made the night before.” And so there we were sitting on the edge of the stage, looking quite dejected, exhausted and trying to keep a sense of humour, my husband in front of us observing how his wife handle the pressure cooker – and XXX made his calls. H ebegged and he pleaded his suppliers. I could not bear to be near him and walked away. The next morning, all was fixed.

That’s what happened when you overcommit and over promise. Our expectations of his performance, given the quality of his presentations were very high – and his charms did not help but elevate that further. How did it get that way?

I learnt such an important lesson during that hullabulloo.

Don’t nod when clients talk. He did a lot of that.

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