If there is anything that clients remind me of, it is of my childhood.
That’s strange, right?
Perhaps, what you need is a little bit of explaining…
When I was in Class IX, I made the mistake of attending a tutoring class where I practically spent time doodling my name. But all the other kids were pretty enthusiastic. They asked questions like, “Sir, do you think Newton would have come up with the Law of Gravity if a banana, and not an apple, had fallen on his head?” The tutor would only smile, and slyly change the subject to ‘What’s your take on the anatomical difference between an apple and a banana?’ The kids would go, “Ummm…” And that was that.
Then, one day, there came along this kid (let’s say his name was Gourob), who had an answer to everything. He was so knowledgeable that he claimed he even knew what was going on in the tutor’s mind, to which the latter would quietly excuse himself to go to the washroom.
Some clients are like Gourob. They are always armed with so much information that they put you to shame. They are like walking encyclopedias, giant atlases, OEDs (Oxford English Dictionary, c’mon!), complex algorithms…
But, poor me, do I even understand what they are talking about? No. Have mercy.
Do you know how it feels to work and re-work on an article to an extent that you can’t remember what you wrote in the first place? When clients make me feel like that, I am instantly reminded of Malati pishi (pishi meaning aunt, and the first name changed for obvious reasons). She would arrive at our house with a ‘bhanity bag’ and a suitcase bursting with clothes.
My mother would greet her by asking, “Didi, aaj dupure ki khaben (What would you like to eat for lunch)? And Malati pishi would be like, “Maach aar bhaat, aar ki chai (Rice and fish, nothing else)! If only things were that simple. In the next one hour, she would change her mind at least seven times. We would eventually end up ordering tasteless food from outside, because my mother would be too exhausted from all the chopping and cleaning.
Lesson for life: Know what you want. Because, ‘Being Malati pishi’ doesn’t make for a cool T-shirt slogan.
Is anybody listening?
“Can we have the article in two hours, 15 minutes, 35 seconds, 5 milliseconds?”
“Sorry…We don’t deliver before 48 hours.”
“What are you even talking about? If Rome was built in a day, how can you possibly not write an article in two hours?”
“But that’s a myth…the Rome part, I mean.”
“We are in a bit of a rush, so it would be nice if you could write the article in the specified time. Thanks. Bye.”
*Click. Phone disconnected*
I stare at my computer screen for a long, long time. I know I should start writing, but I can’t help remember my music teacher who taught me two songs in a span of one hour, and expected me to sing like Madonna and win the Grammys at least five times on the same day.
Now I sing only while taking a shower.
I once had such a major crush on a boy that I started following him everywhere. When I finally summoned up the courage to speak to him, he ran away. I didn’t see him again until after two years. That time, he himself came up to me to talk. I, surprisingly, didn’t recognize him initially. So he gave me that smile teenage boys resort to when they want to look cool yet shy (never works, though).
“Yeah…how are you? Long time, huh…”
“Good good…how are you?”
*End of conversation*
Why I bring up this story is to put the spotlight on those clients who look for ideas, and come back a million years later with the selected one. That’s if we’re lucky. Some never return.
I’m ordering a time machine!
A dialogue from a dream
“But good clients are hard to come by…”
“How do you define a good client?”
“It’s pretty simple, actually. You know what you want, you understand limitations, you are responsive, and you allow people sufficient time to deliver the project…”
“Yes, that simple.”
I’ll be honest. Once in a while, even this dream comes true. But, that’s a story for another time.
(Lead image: Pexels.com)