Sometime last week I had the good fortune to catch up with my client for lunch…in my line of biz, that is rare, my clients seldom have time to lunch with me..so when this client asked through my colleague, I was really happy, not just for the lunch of course 🙂
I’ve been servicing this client for more than 1o years, we were introduced by another client of mine..them being joint partners in events, so we were looped in to create VIP gift packs for their events all over the world..then. Nonetheless, after those heady years, I have remained her vendor and it was always good, (in this instance, size does not matter 🙂
A year or so back, she collapsed in the office. Stroke, it seems, pressure and over extending her effort for her company. I was devastated at the news, yet, not much I can do, as a vendor, a certain decorum must be maintained. Anyway, gushing and feeling sorry?…..never helps. I waited for her to, perhaps, get in touch with us when she is ready.
Finally more than a year later, she asked through my colleague Bernice, to meet up for lunch..my colleague was concerned that I do not over react when I see her..I mean one year of re-learning, I can’t be expecting the same and I am so f-u-c-k-i-n-g emotional! I see her now, face a little more gaunt (but in a nice way..calm and peaceful), body, slim, lost some of course, going for daily physio therapy..she is looking good (nice hair) and I can’t be happier.
Over lunch, she recounted the past year, how she lost her speech, memory , sight on her left eye..how she took up singing to relearn almost everything, therapy to relearn walking, re-recognizing family, friends and colleagues. How hopeless she felt when she realized later than in the midst of her recovery, her Dad was also seriously ill, she told me, as a child, she felt so totally useless. Her kids couldn’t reconcile with this new mother of theirs for awhile..
I marveled over her Company, how steadfast they stood by her, no rush, waiting for her to get better and ready to come back..put her in a new position, working out half days for her so that she can continue with her therapy for the 2nd half. No doubt she was great asset to her company for the 10 years or so she was there..but, some corps can have very short memory..and I am so glad this one does not.
I remember when I first met her 10 years back, very feisty, shooting questions from the hips and I had to reply without pause and spot on! I told my other client after the meeting, still shell shocked, I’ve not been under such stress before…later I came to realise, easy to work with, she knows what she wants, she is aware that quality comes at a price, she knows which level she is satisfied with and she never wavers from her decisions. She always respected our suggestions, we were people to her.
I learnt at our lunch, she did her double masters degree in USA (couldn’t quite wrap my head around that..but.. someone very smart?!) Apart from her slightly impaired motoring skills when she got up to walk, I wouldn’t have guessed, still frighteningly sharp…
As for her Company, if I had serious money, I would get me an SLK! A Company with a CEO that cool, deserves all my support.