Monday, May 27, 2013

The working life: Presents

The good thing about working with the Asian guys. (You already know about The Photos. Have I mentioned that I hate having my photo taken? Well I do. That's why SH and I had a professional photographer take photos of us last spring. I sent them to my mom and said that was it, I was done, I was never having my photo taken AGAIN. And I meant it. And then I had to suffer through getting my photo taken at work. I assure you that I am not paid enough to suffer having my picture taken.)

Back to the good thing.

They bring presents.

The bad thing is that if you are not with it and don't know they will bring presents - you think this is just another business meeting with an agenda of specific things to be accomplished, you will not have a present for them.

Which is embarrassing.

At Christmas time, you can always have that box of chocolates nicely wrapped and ready to give to the Unexpected Present Giver, but when you are in a hotel at a conference, grabbing some $5 M&Ms from the hotel gift shop seems a little tacky.

There is this client who has been a wee bit of a pain in the neck. Very high maintenence and rather low income. That is, we are not making a lot of money, especially for the work that goes into the account. But there are political considerations and sometimes one must just do what one must do.

What was worse was that I had to meet him at 8:00 a.m. on a morning when my next appointment wasn't until noon. After four days of 8:00 a.m. meetings, I had hoped for a day off. But it was not to be.

Actually, I met him the night before at a reception. He approached me and held out a brown bag that said "Hermes" on it.

Well this could be interesting.

I opened the bag. It contained a box. I opened the box. It contained a silk scarf. Made in Italy.*

He beamed. "My sister is director for Hermes! I ask her to find something!"

Oh. My.

"You have been so helpful to me," he continued. "I am so grateful."

I just googled my brand. It's not Hermes, but it's not cheap. I hope he got a deal from his sister.

It is a gorgeous scarf. It is silk, patterned in peach, fuschia, gray, and brown. It is so pretty and it goes with so many things I have.

So now he is not such a pain in the neck.

And our admin had already thought of everything and had brought extra presents. So I had something for him the next morning.

The End.

* I don't know if Hermes is made in Italy. I had to change the brand name from one Fancy Brand to another because I really do not want anyone I work with to connect me to this blog.


Kimberlee Stiens said...

Awww, that's so nice! A grand gesture that really makes up for a lot of PITA-ness. Yay!

Rhiannon said...

I'm glad I read the note at the bottom. I was about to be embarrassed for the nice man who accidentally bought you a fake Hermès (Hermès scarves are a species apart from all others and are only made in France)

Anonymous said...

I used to get presents from some of my clients in Asia when I was traveling there -- including a honking yellow "gold" men's watch, promptly christened "The Fauxlex." I don't think that particular company was used to having a female marketing manager come to call!

One pointer, though it may not apply to this particular client's culture, is that it's considered more polite to open the gift later, out of the giver's presence. (It's in that same cultural department as take the business card with both hands, admire it, and comment on it before tucking it into a card case. That one used to really make me sweat!)