I am still stinging from the loss of that one client. The Hunter and Robin have resignedly let me vent, talk about “if they come back”, etc. I haven’t been able to shake this and the “what if’s” pop in my head daily. I have not been in touch with them except for one follow up item this week, which my fave quickly responded to. Then the Hunter told me what needed to be said – they aren’t coming back. They picked the man, not the woman. They picked the testosterone, not the person who did all the heavy lifting.
Just now I realized that I am going through a break-up, much like my marriage, just like being fired. My former boss and I are dividing up the “married” friends. He is keeping some and I’m keeping others. It just burns me when I discover that they like him better even though I did all the work. The Hunter says that it isn’t a question of like, but the clients just didn’t want any change – they wanted the status quo. Yes, there are contracts in place. Yes, the contracts have to be cancelled and new ones signed, but is that really so much change? I was willing to use the same terms and contracts – dammit – I WROTE those fucking contracts. The people on the ground are changing for the clients, but apparently that isn’t enough to convince them to change.
It gives me a grim, dark satisfaction that my former boss is struggling to service these clients. He doesn’t have any files – his assistant is constantly asking for the information. I talked to her the other day. She called me on her cell when the office was empty because she is so afraid of the ramifications of consorting with the enemy. Yes, he’s struggling. He has no one of my level of expertise – even he doesn’t have my skill set in this particular niche. Yes, I agreed to be her reference because she wants out also and once she leaves he will be sunk. She confirmed that it was a “good old boy” decision. She told me to be glad I am rid of them. Then she went on to tell me that my boss is full of hate and anger with me. His fucking nutcase wife has gotten inside his head plus he is dealing with the shock of my blindside. It’s just like my divorce – one side (me) is comfortable with the decision, the other was dumbfounded.
It just sucks when they don’t pick you – the one that has spent countless hours with them, the one that worked the longest and hardest for them, the one that was always looking out for their best interest. They pick the fucking country club buddy. They pick the man. They pick the obvious choice.
Now I look back and second-guess the entire working relationship. What will I do IF they come back? Is the Hunter right, they aren’t coming back? Yes, this client has velvet handcuffs. They need a lot of time. Do I want to do that now? They have additional work they could give me if they fire yet another man (who is doing a shitty job also). At this point, my thought is that I have nothing to lose because right now I have 100% of nothing. I talked to Robin about it. IF they decide to call me (and not someone else and they won’t have a choice because my former boss is not going to be able to deliver and they will be forced to change eventually), my deal will have changed. I get both pieces of business and my fees are higher. I have to keep in mind that I don’t need them. My ego wants them, but my business doesn’t need them. My pipeline for next year is already looking robust without them.
ARGH!!! It just burns me that I gave them a great pitch and they had already made up their minds. I bought a $100 breakfast for them when they already knew they weren’t hiring me. In retrospect, I’m proud to have done that because I don’t want to owe them a goddamn thing. See—I just keep fixating on this. I have to let it go, but I hate losing. I hated losing the married friends, I hate losing business to someone who doesn’t deserve it. It fucking sucks, but it happened. The cards have been dealt and I need to walk away from that table and find a new game.
The Hunter has been reading the beginning of this post over my shoulder while waiting for me to join him to walk the Kracken. He said that on a couple of occasions he had girls break up with him (yes, he’s usually the breaker-upper). What did he do when this happened? He fucked their friends. Perhaps I need to do that. That was my initial reaction – bring them business from the other side of the table. I know them better than anyone else in town…. But I think I first need to create distance. I need them out of my head. I need to focus on what’s in front of me and not what’s behind me. Next week the PR blitz begins. It’s time to get the word out officially that Maggie, Inc. is up and running. Time to kick some ass on my own terms.