Friday, November 21, 2008

Beneath the Surface

I had looked forward to a relaxing evening with Mr Designer after work today. I'd even packed a change of clothes. But instead, I found myself being sent home by his business partner with both of us being extremely pissed with him this time. Even the iceberg couldn't get any colder than the treatment we gave him just now.

On Tuesday, the 3 of us and their older business partner discussed the upcoming presentation to my boss. We waited 2 hours for Mr Designer, that was after speeding up the meeting time to him only by 1 hour, if not he'd be 3 hours late. I went through a lot of trouble getting that Monday morning presentation slot for them and a radio station. I had already briefed them weeks earlier. We agreed to pre-screen the Powerpoint slides and advertorial designs this afternoon.

Imagine my shock when Mr Designer called me at 2.30pm to inform me that he won't be coming. Another urgent client job had just turned up. Excuse me, the presentation to the head of my company is due in 0 working days' time. I don't see what else could be more urgent than that. And that wasn't the 1st time my job was bounced off by another client's, come on, I gave enough time. He has to sit Client Servicing 101 course, he fails even in the basic 'Dos and Don'ts'. I happened to know for a fact that he didn't do anything productive on Wednesday.

He asked whether we can meet tomorrow (Saturday) at Coffee Bean or something and do the designs and changes simultaneously. The conclusion was that he hadn't done anything and was trying to take advantage of my fondness of him to get himself out of trouble. It didn't work this time. I told him I would talk to his partner. I had to keep my temper in check and not yell at the poor guy, it wasn't his fault that his partner/designer was missing deadlines again. That was my 2nd warning to their company.

I also complained to their older partner over the phone. He is strict and like a headmaster, he said he would take it tomorrow once he arrived from outstation. He has his own old-fashion methods. During our meeting on Tuesday, I stressed that Mr Designer wasn't looking at the big picture and was still thinking like a technician, rather than a manager. Their older partner's point was much simpler. Lateness indicates a lack of discipline which is unacceptable. An unrealiable designer can make their whole business colapse. Both partners assured me that they would meet Mr Designer to screen his designs first tomorrow morning. They will only call me tomorrow afternoon to view once they are satisfied.

Man, on the ride home, his partner and I realised one thing. The women in his life... they had been very tolerance of him and they'd let him get away with everything, even murder. His ex-wife supports their 2 kids on her own and has been paying his stock-market debt for the last 8 years, his ex-fiance used to support him for 1.5 years and won't let him work, his ex-boss considered him her blue-eye boy, his ex-clients let him get away with an open affair with their engaged colleague and another single colleague while he was still married and... his petrol station-owner sister gave him a coupon book for unlimited free supply of petrol. Wow! Well, I guess that this woman would tackle it a little bit differently.

It seems to me that he works unnecessarily during weekends, it was as if he was trying to prove that he works hard. When he's late on a client's work, he gives another client's job as an excuse. For somebody who's trying secure a formal partnership, he is doing really poorly. He also gives have-to-work excuse to escape the happenings in his personal life, which doesn't benefit me at all. Talking to his partner helps . I'll do whatever I can until I'm satisfied that I've exhausted all avenues. I don't want to have any regrets in the future, that I should have done this or I should have done that. Right now, he is going through a major transition phase in his life and it's not even a good time for me to decide whether we should pursue a relationship together.

Actually, when they treated me to lunch at TGIF 2 weeks ago, I did the Keirsey personality test on them. As expected, his partner core and sub personalities match mine ie he is an Idealist-Healer, we represent 1% of the world's population. Shockingly, Mr Designer wasn't solely an Artisan like what I thought. In fact, his personality falls under 2 core-groups and 4 sub groups ie Artisan-Performer, Artisan-Crafter, Rational-Inventor and Rational-Architect. Imagine the complexity of his character - Elizabeth Taylor, Woody Allen, Albert Einsten and Thomas Edison, all rolled into one. It answered a lot of my questions but brought out another set of concerns altogether.

All in all, he is damn lucky to have 2 Idealists taking a strong interest in him and wanting him to succeed. His partner is a real angel, he is sincere and committed about helping the guy progress and trying to change his bad habits. That is different from me, I like him a bit more than just friends, hence the interest in his well-beings. I am also certain that I can fix whatever is wrong with him. At this stage, I think there is something else going on with him, something neither of us knew about. And I'm determined to get to the bottom of it...

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Katie said...
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