What a strange day. Work started at 8:30 am – 70th birthday party for the father of a repeat client, brunch booked by a woman insisting I personally handle festivities. Truth is, lasting impressions are common, I’m good at my job. Meeting hundreds of clients a year, committing each name to memory isn’t a priority. No worries, even if greeting her face to face doesn’t kindle a spark, she won’t suspect otherwise.
Genuine “hello, so nice to see you agains” left my lips. “How long has it been?”. Answering “eleven months, let me find my husband and children, I want you to see the baby”, offered just enough time for a secret love my job happy dance. Off she went, oblivious to her status on my impression list.
Eleven months ago she booked a “birthday” party – 70 guests, generous selection of stationed cocktail reception food, birthday cake – standard family party. A heads up regarding relevant details would have been nice. “Guests 5-7 pm” isn’t the same as “you can’t serve anyone until the Rabbi circumcises my son, blesses the food and breaks bread”. OK – good to know.
Adaptability is my middle name -hardly the first, certainly not the last event to stray off course – what impressed client to ask for me by name almost a year later? Bah, doesn’t matter! Her name meant n0thing until the moment fresh eyes prompted “pinch me now, it doesn’t get better than this!”
Repeat client perfection has nothing to do with her impression, everything to do with mine. I wonder if she knows our first encounter is legendary? Not for omitting details of the Bris – in my line of work that’s another day at the office. Her legend wasn’t born during the party, it grew from something left behind.
If ever in doubt as to how to make a impression, let me assure you – a coffee cup of foreskin and bloody gauze will suffice. No point in calling out “excuse me, you forgot something”, goodbye pleasantries had been exchanged. Standing alone, cup of foreskin in hand, several thoughts came to mind. Was this usual practice? An oversight? Might they return in panicked haste to retrieve it?
Twenty minutes clean up, one minor detail before walking out the door. Tossing coffee cup in the garbage bin, I drove away pondering the absurdity of believing it socially acceptable to leave the caterer a cup of bloody gauze and snipped bits. Regardless, I made a positive impression, an imprint void of coffee cup acknowledgements or comprehension of the lasting impression stamped on me.