Every month at the First Friday Luncheon I share with you a Seinfeld-esque story about my life. If you can't make the lunch, then I think you should know what craziness goes on out there...at least to me. The fun part is, I always find a lesson or a message in each situation.
I ran a professional conference two weeks ago for an educational institution. I left my house in NJ at 5:30 to arrive in NYC by 6:15. I pulled up in front of the University building and had to park on the bustling 9th avenue, right at an MTA bus stop. Stress.
I pop my hatch and unload the first of 3 large pieces. I run into the building with package #1. Out of breath. I hurriedly introduce myself and explain why I was there, fearing the tow truck and policeman were already at my car. The security guard looks at me - blank stare. Nothing I said registered. His response "You talk reaaaalllyyy fast. Could you repeat yourself?" Oh boy. I continue with my unload, park my car and take a deep breath, bracing myself for the day ahead.
Registration is set up and I ask a union employee for a "small trash can". Nope, he didn't start work for another 5 minutes. I was told I needed to ask again at that time. So I did. "What are you going to put it in it?" he asked. "Paper and small bits of trash," I replied. Five minutes later, I repeated my request for a "small trash can" and then again another hour later. Nothing. Three hours later, I walk out to registration. Alas, a "small trash can". The size of a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket. I had to laugh. Although it held nothing and it had to be emptied every 10 minutes, the guy gave me what I asked for.
The lesson: Be specific about what you want from your clients and how you ask for it. They may just give you what you ask for.