Preparedness, or lack thereof.
My fiancée and I are getting married next June, and are currently in the process of looking for a wedding photographer. She’s got the real eye for this stuff, as she is actually a photographer herself, over at ZazyPhoto, but since she doesn’t wish to be snapping shots during our big day, which would be both a) awkward and b) cumbersome, we clearly needed a hired hand to capture our special moment.
We asked around and got a tip from the neighbors next door, who had some nice photos shot by a local photographer for their recent wedding. “Great!”, we thought, “Our search through the myriad of Philadelphia-region photographers to pick the right one may be over soon!” So we called and the owner of the business wanted to meet us at a coffee shop at 9am on a Sunday, about 45 minutes from our home. Being responsible, we obliged.
We were a bit later than usual, as we had dog-centric issues that morning, but still managed to text the photographer about 40 minutes in advance of the meeting saying that we would be about 5 minutes late. We continued the drive to the coffee shop and heard nothing from the photographer via text, phone, email–nothing.
What does a ball dropping sound like?
When we got there at 9:06 am, he was nowhere to be found. We waited for about three to four minutes, then decided to call him, as we had never met and didn’t know what he looked like. So, we dialed him. No answer. Thirty seconds after we left a message, Mr. Photographer calls to ask blearily, “Yeah? I–I just got a call from this number??”, to which my future wife explained who we were, and that we were supposed to meet him, and how he had specifically asked for this place. “Uh, can you give me like, 20 minutes? I could meet you there soon? I had a late night…”. Suffice it to say, we declined.
Unprepared? There’s no repair.
You can imagine how the rest of the conversation went. This clearly talented individual (based on his past work for our neighbors) had lost all credibility in one fell swoop by not keeping his commitments. In business, and in life, all that you have going for you initially is your word. Do what you say you’re going to do. Call back the people whom you promise will hear from you at the time that you say you’ll call them. If you don’t have an organizational bone in your body, I can help. In my upcoming series of posts, I will talk about tracking your commitments, and various ways to do so.
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