There is this client who is really important to our company. The majority of our work is with him. And I must say, my boss just LOVES having business with him, and he is so proud of the story when the relationship between them grew from just a dull formal professional relationship, into a close friendship. So in December 2003
, and while I was still getting familiar with the clients and all, I had some papers related to this client, they had to be signed, so I asked my boss to sign them, while signing he went like:
Boss: You know we should do our best not to lose this client. As you’ve already noticed, business with him is so fruitful.
I: Yes, I’ve noticed. I hope things will keep improving with him.
Boss: Yeah, I hope so.
(I took the papers, and turned around to go to my office)
Boss: You know Eman, the great thing about this client is that he’s become a friend of mine as well. Yes, true friendship.
I: Really! That’s good.
Boss: Wait till you know how we became friends.
(I’m sure it was obvious on my face that I had NO INTEREST AT ALL)
Boss: one day he had a car accident, a big one, and since he has no friends in this country, he thought of no one but me to call, I went to him immediately, helped him out, turns out his driving license was expired, so the police wanted to take strict procedures with him, yet I convinced them to give him a chance and paid a penalty in his favor. I invited him home that day to relax, he met my wife and ever since then we’ve become good friends and so did our wives.
I: Hmmm. (an artificial smile)
In January 2004
Boss: Eman, I’m going to have lunch with …. In an hour. We’ll discuss some issues concerning the coming project. If there’s anything you need, call me on my mobile, ok!
I: Ok, no problem.
Boss: This project is really important for us, this client is really important Eman. You know, he’s not just a client, but we have become friends too. It’s when one day he had a car accident, a big one, and since he has no friends in this country,..
I: he called you and… well I believe you told me this.
Boss: Really? Did I tell you that our wives also became friends? Now after I solved the problem with the police.
I: Ah, sir, I believe I’m already aware..
Boss: yes, but I didn’t tell you how I got to invite him, so after I helped him out……………….. ever since then we’ve become close friends and so did our wives.
I: Hmmmm (a disgusted smile)
My boss calls early in the morning:
Boss: Eman, I wont come to the office today, have a meeting with … A very important client as you know.
I: Ok, no problem.
Boss: after the meeting, will have him come with his wife to my place to have dinner. Did I tell you we’re friends.
I: Yes, yes, you told me ALL ABOUT IT.
Boss: Yes, it was a huge huge accident. I remember when he called me, and how I ran to help him. His license was…
( he went on with the boring details,I felt like breaking the phone)
Boss: Eman, I don’t have to remind you how important today’s reception is. This client is really important. Tell the maid to clean the office really well. I want the office to be glowing today.
I: No worries. Everything’s set.
Boss: …. He’s a strict person. He loves his work, we can’t lose him. Good thing he and I are friends. Although the circumstances that created this friendship weren’t actually pleasant. You see, one day he had an accident…
I: and he called you, you went to him, then you invited him over, now your wives are friends…
Boss: not only this, but it turned out his license was not valid, a very big problem you know, but I convinced the police…..etc.
(I wished I could kill myself)
July 13, 2004
The phone rings, I pick up, guess who’s on the other end? Yep it’s this extremely important client. He wanted to talk to the boss. I put his call on hold, and rang the boss’ office.
I: … the important client, who once had an accident, then called you, then you went to him, helped him out and paid the penalty of his license, remember! This client whom you invited to your home and both your wives are now friends, (I catch my breath) he is on the phone…
Boss: Oh…, it was a huge huge accident, remind me to tell you about the details later.