Walking to work this morning I saw a large auto-carrying truck clattering down 2nd Avenue amid the crush of normal rush-hour traffic. On the side of the truck was a large, ill-designed sign that read: "January is Truck Owners Appreciation Month."
I thought of that for a couple of minutes. How an auto-dealer has a whole month where they appreciate the people who buy their trucks. I decided to do the same and make the next 30 days my own private Client Appreciation Month.
Actually, it began last night.
It began on a phone call that had roughly the number of attendees as the United Nations' General Assembly. While they dickered and bickered over stylistic changes to my copy, I sat mute. I was gracious and polite. I never 'said leave the style to me, focus instead on substance.' No. I bit my quavering lip.
Then when they got to substantive things and they themselves had no idea what they were and turned to me and said 'George, what do you think,' I never said, 'this is your bread and butter, not mine. You tell me.' No, again I was gracious and polite. I temporized. Finally, fractiously we retyped the copy reflecting their various whims and caprices.
And later--a late "10-minute call" that lasted an hour, I kept my tone mellifluous. I said, gently, to the client that 61 pieces of feedback from 94 separate emails was not an entirely effective way of working.
But again, I was plasticene. As smiling as a mannikin made of pure serotonin.
So now, Client Appreciation Month enters day two.
I can hardly wait.