“HEY GUYS, LOOK AT YOUR WATCH,” said Friso as we piled into the taxi. I flicked back my sleeve to reveal 11th of November – 11/11/11. To add to the coincidence, the minute hand struck 11 am. It was Armistice Day, at least back home. In China it was just another day, although some on the social media Weibo were claiming it to be ‘Singles Day’, since so many ones highlighted loneliness. Either way it was a memorable day. But this worked against the vendor, whom we had just met with.
Our designer, managing editor, social media consultant and I had met with a website development company – one that our company had used before – to discuss the latest update of the ClarkMorgan Corporate Training website. At three years old, our current site was a rust-bucket by internet standards, and it was time to upgrade to something more powerful, with a better link to social media, video and back-end control. The vendor, a small outfit, but which seemed to be bursting out of it’s office with staff, had listened to our ideas, suggested their own, and finally a proposal was promised.
“We’ll get you a proposal by the end of next week,” said David, the company’s owner.
Seven days seemed perfectly reasonable. I’d even be okay with a month. This was a 2012 project to be launched in January anyway.
But the proposal didn’t arrive seven days later, nor 10. My e-mail chimed at the arrival of the proposal on December 6th at 12.29 pm – exactly 26 days, 1 hour and 18 minutes from our original meeting. I’m not normally this pedantic, but who could forget ‘Singles Day’?!
And although I could have been satisfied with a month, David, had clearly stipulated that the proposal would arrive in seven days. Seven, not 26. Had he said a month, and then delivered in 26, then there wouldn’t have been a problem. Now I was pondering his firm’s reliability to complete the task. If they couldn’t manage a four page proposal, could they manage a complicated website? I was completely dissatisfied, and we hadn’t even started business together.
Perhaps we should barter some training, I thought to myself, and teach David the ClarkMorgan Satisfaction Equation?