display | more...

Last Friday I was excited because a customer of mine called me up to tell me that his order had arrived. This customer is the son of another customer of mine. Over the past couple of weeks we've been on the phone back and forth. During our conversation he called my services exceptional and thanked me several times for guiding him through his initial inventory order.

Monday afternoon I was almost out the door when my phone rang. I let it ring a couple of times. My boss told me to let voicemail take it but another coworker of mine said it might be something important. It was the customer I had sent shoes to on Friday. When we discussed his order he said he wanted all of the shoes to be a medium width. It was a detail we worked through because his father's O&P practice is going to be sending patients there and most of those people need a wider width shoe so he wanted his son to call me and arrange for me to send call tags back

As soon as I hung up with him I called my boss. My plan was to work out a deal where they had extended terms to pay. Freight on 200 shoes is about $500 depending on where you send them and I was not looking forward to telling my boss that I had just cost our company half a grand. Monday evening I left work wondering what Tuesday was going to bring.

Tuesday morning my first call was a customer of mine who needed something right away. After dealing with that I called my customer who wanted to send the shoes back. We talked for about half an hour and I guess you could say I was pretty keyed when I hung up the phone because now instead of returning the medium shoes and duplicating the order in wides the customer wanted to keep the medium width shoes and double his order. So in half an hour I turned a situation that was going to cost us money into a very profitable order.

At lunch I was telling my girlfriends about my adventures, we were discussing the possibility that at some future point I was going to have to absorb freight costs on shoes back to us anyways and I said that could happen but if I knew that kid at all he was going to work twice as hard as he normally would just so he could tell his father 'I told you so'. My job is to sell when appropriate and figure ways to talk people out of what I'm not sure they can sell. I know this kid fairly well, he's aggressive and solution oriented. He accepts ideas and advice but is also not afraid to stick up for his ideas which I believe will serve him well in the future.

While we were discussing this order my friend said she didn't know what to do with a customer who wanted to return a big order he had placed back in November. We talked about it for a while, I went back to work, got caught up in a pharmacy who wanted to return their entire display, that would have cost us about $600, but instead I worked out a deal with an account of mine in another town who was willing to pick up the display as long as their was no charge for it.

That night I was driving home thinking about the guy down in Texas who was sitting on thousands of dollars of inventory. On a whim I picked up my phone and called a good customer of mine who stocks shoes. I gave him a brief outline of the situation and asked if he would be interested in buying inventory from another customer. After giving him what details I had he said he would talk to his boss and get back to me. That night I had to pick the girls up from soccer practice. We were late getting home and I was not expecting a voicemail from my customer saying that his boss was prepared to drive three hours to look at the inventory that I had told him about.

All of a sudden I had a situation on my hands. First, would the customer be interested in selling inventory he couldn't move? Secondly what was my role and the role of my company in a stock shoe transfer, my boss asked if my customer was expecting a discount, if he was what would be appropriate and how much could we trust either of the people involved in this given a transaction that was hundreds of miles away and how would we track something like this because if we were going to take a freight hit we wanted that to come from the account that had initially purchased the shoes.

If you want to know how that turned out you'll have to wait until I go back to work on Monday because I had the day off on Friday. Growing up there were three families that hung out quite a bit. Friday morning I went to the funeral of a thirty year old who played Micromachines with my brother. The last funeral I attended before this one was in January. The letter written by the man who had died was absolutely beautiful especially given the fact that he was in an incredible amount of pain.

At Friday's funeral Josh had spoken words he wanted read aloud to everyone. Josh had fractured his skull in several places after falling unexpectedly, he had been having seizure like episodes recently, however he died after a clot in his leg broke loose. I'm glad his parents were there to say goodbye regardless of how hard that must have been. A customer of mine is going to participate in competitive bidding. If you're unfamiliar with that process you submit bids for goods or services and the government chooses who they are going to accept as a vendor.

When I explained why I wouldn't be in on Friday my customer said he was sorry to hear about the loss. At the funeral I had a chance to talk to the wife of a guy I used to date. I'm sure she must know I used to go out with her husband and things between us would be awkward anyways since her brother-in-law is my niece's father but we wound up in the entryway together and I'm happy to report that we had a wonderful conversation about the past, the three families that used to hang out together and how that was the type of thing she wanted for her daughter who is my niece's cousin.

Before I found out that Josh was no longer with us on this earth I had a chance to talk to a friend of mine who always has interesting things to say. Our conversation ended with him stating that people tended to lose sight of what was important in life. That comment was in response to me worrying about who knows what which goes to show you that it must not have been all that important if I can't remember it now. At the funeral I talked to Josh's grandmother who wished she could have gone instead of him.

Because we were close I knew most of Josh's extended family. His cousin was crying in the bathroom, there were no dry eyes that I saw and it was strange to see men and boys I knew growing up wiping their eyes and telling other people that they loved them. For me the funeral was a very profound experience in many ways. My children stayed at my sister's place with my niece and part of me regrets not bringing them to meet people who knew me as a little girl.

This is shaming to admit but for a while I vacillated about going to the funeral. I hate getting dressed up, crying in public is embarrassing and although I knew his family well I was much older than Josh and wouldn't have called him a close friend of mine. What changed my mind was me sitting at my desk thinking, if our roles were reversed I know Josh would be at my funeral. Neither of my parents went which I also feel is shameful. My father wasn't feeling well which could possibly be excused. In my mind my mother has no excuse although if you talk to her I'm sure you'll hear that this is a busy time at work and she just got back from vacation.

I had to take off to go to the funeral. When my family knew Josh we lived in Green County, hailed as The Swiss Cheese Capital of the World, agricultural influences are heavy throughout that area. A neighbor of ours was a cheesemaker growing up and it was cool to see pictures of Josh working with monstrous wheels of different cheeses. People down there tend to be unpretentious. Josh's dad wore a shirt that was printed with muscle cars. When he saw me he gave me a huge hug and just like old times my family was one of the last to leave after the funeral was over and everything had been cleaned up.

To say the funeral was fun or a good time would be pushing it. Josh was musically gifted and the hymns he chose were heartbreaking. On his bucket list was 'helicopter ride'. Days before he died he flew in a helicopter although I'm sure that trip was not what he was thinking when he wrote that. People can say what they want about being religious but I have to say that the funerals of people who believed leave me feeling much better than the ones where religion is left out in favor of 'let's say nice things about dead people' agenda.

I felt very small for not wanting to go. I'm glad I took off and made an effort to get dressed up out of respect for Josh and his family who couldn't have cared less what I wore. My family sent a plant instead of flowers. My sister handled the arrangement and I thougth the peace lily was an appropriate choice because Josh worked hard at maintaining good relations with others. One woman whose name I'm sure I should remember said no one could say anything against Josh. He was a credit to his parents, his school and his job as a supervisor where he worked.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.