Forgive me for bastardizing the title of your book “Slaughterhouse Five” Mr. Vonnegut, but I had to find the right words for the post and the ones above I think are quite apropos.
This morning, after a particularly difficult and tense Thursday spent with cigar shops and changes at the facility my Mom is at; I felt it was the right time to reduce the number of cigars I represent. And for good reason, I have too many cigars. So I had to start somewhere, so I took those that I thought I could do without.
Now, I will not reveal the names of these cigars, they know who they are, but your need to know is a moot point. The point is I would not have been able to adequately represent them, plus some mitigating factors with one company in particular made the decision of which ones to drop quite easy.
So I wrote text messages to all three, it was quite early so calls were out of the question, plus I strike when the iron is hot – the iron being me. So I finished and sent all three and waited for responses. But, I just didn’t sit there; I was preparing to go to the pipe show.
So I hop into the car, back out and get going. I’m on my way when I heard the dink on my cell. I thought maybe it was one of the cigar manufacturers. I pulled over noticing that it was from my brother. I read his email having to do with the situation I had to deal with on Thursday regarding my Mom’s care. I read it and was quite pleased with what he had come up with. His idea would give us the leverage we needed to change the situation I experienced the day before. I sat still in the car on the street, motor humming, basically running the idea over and over in my head to figure out if it would help or hurt my Mom’s plight.
After nearly ten minutes weighing the pros and cons I quickly turned around, drove the car into the driveway, got out, ran up the stairs, opened the door and made a phone call. I spoke at length to the person I needed to contact and discussed our idea. She told me I may have something, but she would have to ask her superior. She said she would get back to me as soon as possible. I asked her to place it on the top of her list of things to do because we were in a time crunch and we needed an answer today.
But I didn’t think a phone call would be enough so I changed. I took off my jeans (the pipe show is very informal), donned a white shirt, tie and dress pants and got myself ready to meet with her personally.
Now, in the rush, I heard two dinks on my phone. They were from two of the companies I sent text messages to. And I was shocked at how the one owner ripped me up and down. And how could I even think of dropping his line. He used some pretty strong language. Well, I thought to myself, the real man has emerged. I wrote back, added my two cents and thanked him for the opportunity to meet his true self. I asked for a call tag, samples would follow.
Coincidentally, right after him, the other guy came through with his opinion of my decision. He called the fact that I sent him a text “unprofessional.” That really hit me the wrong way so I sent him a text back questioning his reasoning for attacking my reputation. I must have said something right because he sent a text back to me and in a slithering way apologized. He confirmed that a call tag would be sent for the samples.
The third cigar manufacturer apparently doesn’t care one way or the other; I have yet to hear from him. This was the first time any manufacturer had reacted in such a manner. I have always been civil, polite, and very professional in the way I word a missive to end a representation relationship. But in these two cases, I have no regrets.
I still have two other companies that are dangling at the bottom of a silk worm’s thread. I will wait because I have more faith in their cigars, and the owners have been reasonable. Plus, I believe I can move the cigar. So I am done with the carnage for now.
I quickly gathered myself and got into the car to head for the facility to get that situation cleared up as quickly as possible. And wouldn’t you know it, I head in and the person I needed to speak with was walking right toward me. She said come with me.
We headed to a conference room and she gave me the good news. Our proposal had been accepted. I was so relieved. Are we out of the woods? Not by a long shot, but the first phase is in place and we can now move on to the next level.
So needless to say I was in a grand mood when I got to the show and immediately ran into a couple of guys that I know from Michigan and they were interested in buying some of the new meerschaum pipes I now handle. So I may have been late, but I sauntered in and made the first sale of the day with a promising tomorrow.
Oh, the pizza is here. I need to go.