Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Very Long Morning...

"I've never had a friend like you... who cares so much about me...I really appreciate it..." was among the combination of nice and nasty things that Mr Designer said to me this morning.

We met at the cafe near my office. Him looking so fresh and well-groom like that is a rare sight indeed. He was dressed in a pressed, short sleeve, lilac shirt and jeans. He said he slept straight from 1am onwards last night, which was really long and early for him. Normally he'd turn up in a t-shirt or wrinkled shirt, sometimes only semi-awake.

The session started off rather unpleasantly though. I wanted to continue my advice on the phone the day before on how he should support his partner who had done so much for him and given him a huge opportunity, that he should not ruin the guy's company's name. He was grateful then and even smsed me to thank me. However, just now he wasn't as receptive. I thought it was poor timing, their older partner had already 'grilled' him the afternoon before.

Only later did I realise it was the mention of their older partner & what a bad impression he was getting of Mr Designer that triggered his temper. He blasted out that he didn't need his partners & he didn't give a damn on what they thought, that he was a veteran in the industry and could do well without anybody's help. Fuh, his ego... he didn't like the idea of me being on anybody else's side other than his either.

His partner returned half way through our conversation but he caught my hand gesture and quickly turned back and left us alone. I had to 'pujuk' (sweet-talk) him for almost an hour. I had to switch angle and focus on prioritising his time for his own good. I had to convince him that it was part of 'my caring about him' efforts.

He should identify a main partner and concentrate on their set of clients. He should not try to please everybody by taking on more than he could chew and make people lose confidence in him. I stressed to him about working smart and go for the jobs with highest returns with minimum time spent. Hence, he would have space to take a breath, be with his kids, parents, etc.

I was relieved when I saw him softened and started to relax again. It was my repeated words of 'if you could just listen and consider...' that caught his attention, that made him let down his defense. He even apologised for his harsh words, saying that normally he was less patient and wouldn't calm down like today. He asked not to assume his lack of emotions or interest based on his expression-less demeanour. As for us, I wanted to keep an open mind and just let things roll naturally between us. He said that was what he was doing too. Okay, not the first time he said that but I believed that he meant it this time. Yeap, like his partner said, 6 months is too long for me to assess Mr Designer's intention. But 4 months is too short for me to get to know him.

Anyway, the presentation to my MD yesterday morning went amazingly well. Unfortunately, Mr Designer wasn't present. After he handed the design mock-up to his partner, he left. His partner said his eyes were ' kuyu' like he was high on ectasy or something. So, he prohibited him from sitting-in during the presentation, despite my earlier request. And he was an hour late, which already put them on edge. I wanted to update him on the good outcome but his reply irritated me - he cut me off and asked me to update his partner instead, he was afraid that he might miss something.

I asked him to back track and stress the main reason why I was giving their company a chance on that business (which has gone back up to be major budget thingy) - it was him! And he went off like... oh, man. I couldn't believe that he had forgotten that. Sure, their rates are the lowest and their older partner is knowledgable, but it was he who got that project in. I made it clear that I wanted him present in the next presentation to my MD, smartly dress and awake like just now. I wanted him to be part of the drivers, not a mere back-end supporter. He was used to operating at that level, and he shouldn't take a step backward.

Surprisingly, he had been meeting 2 super-quick deadlines for the last 2 days. Their older partner toughness on him must have worked. But I think he is vengeful with that guy. Whoa!

Last but not least, his partner had just submitted a bill for the work he did for my company. 90% of that will go to him alone, and he said he wanted to get a handbag for me once the cheque is cleared. He remembered that I was in the midst of buying a a new one. So, despite his macho couldn't care less attitude, enhanced by that deep scar at the side of his forehead, he was paying attention:). Oh, he didn't get the concept of 'little things that matter'. To him gifts and treats must be expensive, definitely he's not from 'it's the thoughts that count' school. He wouldn't even take me for a simple affair of Sup Tulang somewhere, even though I knew it was his favourite.

p/s: Anti climax, but his partner didn't give me any new updates about him from my previous entry. It is the same old thing.


cikMilah said...

SABAR.That's one word I could say about you.

The Ceramic Designer said...

people's attitudes and inner-drives dont change so easily dear.. ooppss.. you're wayyyy to good for this guy.. ooppss again, i'm really not meddling ok..??!! ;)

your positive zests and energy will be forever sapped-up dealing with these issues.. haiya, there i go again, meddling in some stranger's love-life!!! ;)

take care dear, you should know what to do..

arsaili said...

salam...semoga semuanya baik2 aja

Hazia said...

Sabar? Doesn't normally sound like me. Hmm... let's say I'm just discovering my new-found limits... it's interesting when you're put to the test;)

Hazia said...

The camera is still rolling. Maybe I don't want to end the movie here, hehe;)

Hazia said...

Ok laa tu:)