Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Just gave clients bottle of Champagne and a note congratulating them on their one year anniversary in business. He said "will probably sell this. How much should I sell it for?"

Monday, October 06, 2014

Conversational Possum

I just made that up, but it is a phrase I have been needing for ages. I have often, and of late increasingly more often, found myself in a situation where I am being either enraged or bored to tears by a person who is holding court on a subject anout which they clearly know nothing. 

Mostly this involves me being around a bunch of strangers, or worse- clients or friends of clients. 

My strategy is to feign ignorance, deafness, or nature's call- anything to get out of further engagement, especially when I know that correcting these jackasses or in any way disagreeing with them will likely cost me business. 

At least now I have a spirit animal for these occasions.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

I have this client. I'll call him bill. Bill and his wife bought a wine shop in the suburbs last fall. The first time he contacted me, just prior to the large portfolio tasting that my company held, I was a little suspicious.

He was vague about exactly what he was doing, and he wanted me to meet with him and show him as many wines as possible. It turned out that he had not completed the purchase of the shop, and the people that were working there were not aware that it was being sold. All very logical, but when someone contacts you and wants you to spend hours opening hundreds of dollars worth of wine for them to taste and you have no idea whether or not they're actually going to buy any, well, let's just say there is some hesitation.

Once I figured out what was going on. I did set an appointment with him for a Friday afternoon. When he arrived at our office, he was quite disheveled, with half of his shirt untucked and a stain on his tie, which was longer in the back than the front. He proceeded to talk loud enough for everyone on both floors to hear, and during our tasting spit at least half of the wine he tasted down the side of the spit bucket and all over the table. He also proceeded to take three phone calls, sitting in front of me loudly and animatedly speaking to both his wife and his daughter (the latter twice) as if I we're not there and we were not in the middle of a business meeting. The whole experience was bizarre, and I was relieved when he left, and also convinced that he would never be a business owner. 

I was wrong, as it turned out, and they made the transition in early November, in time for the holiday season. His wife is a lovely woman, and what she lacks in general disheveled mess she makes up for in general oddity. They are very nice people, and things seem to be doing okay for them so far. I stop in at least every other week, and I usually do a tasting there every other month. There have been many repeat experiences with Bill's odd behavior and general slovenliness, but I have come to find it mostly charming.

Last week, I stopped in to see Bill with so gorgeous Italian wines. I could see from across the room that something was off, but it wasn't until I was directly in front of him but I realized he was wearing his shirt inside out. It was a purple polo, and there was a tag sticking straight up from his right shoulder waving at me well I tried to concentrate on the task at hand. I also noticed that he had one pant leg tucked into his sock- not because he rides a bicycle to work, but because he apparently lacks any sort of mirror anywhere in his house.

I sent a text to the BH when I left:

"Leaving suburban wine shop now. Be home in forty minutes. Bill wearing shirt inside out."

BH: "He probably has a stain on the other side."



Saturday, June 07, 2014

(Note: apparently, every edit and subsequent repost here means the date changes. This was more timely when it was originally published. I bugger it up because I was obsessing about a small error.)

Yesterday at the office, we were tasting wine with a delightful Frenchmen from Alsace. At the end of his presentation, Bernard turned to us all and asked

"Does anybody know what today is?"

We all answered that it was the anniversary of D-Day, because of course the anniversary was marked by the President and every other politician, and various ceremonies were being covered by national media so we had all been reminded en route to work in one way or another. 

He said to us "I wasn't there of course, but my grandfather made sure to tell me about it every year. The day when the Allies came... It changed everything," he said, a tear coming into his eye and then mine. "So thanks for that." 

And then he raised a glass of the amazing Cremant that his family has been making for generations and said "Vive' Liberacion!" (I'm sure I've butchered the spelling, as I was a student of Spanish in high school and not French, but you get the idea.)

It is good to be reminded on occasion that we were not always the world's destructive toddler. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

I just got a text from a client. It is 7:30 PM on Friday of a holiday weekend. In the past two weeks, I have sent this client no fewer than three emails detailing exactly what they carry from our portfolio, and what they need on their shelves. They had a very large turnover of staff recently, and the owner is now running his own wine and spirits department.
The owner, I should mention, is a very wealthy young guy who, despite having absolutely no experience in the industry, decided to open a restaurant and grocery store.

The text reads "hi heybartender – Sean so-and-so from such and such business here. Do you happen to be around this weekend and have a few cases of XYZ Wine handy?"

And some people wonder why I drink and cuss so much.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Today was one of those days when I had to convince myself not to quit my job. 

The really difficult/beautiful thing about this particular job is that no one is actually looking over my shoulder. I could conceivably just go fuck off for an entire day, or hell an entire week, and as long as I put the orders through at the end of each day, nobody would notice. Unfortunately I have an actual work ethic, so the likelihood that I will ever take advantage of that is remote. 
Four more weeks until the BH and I have a four day weekend. We have zero days off together right now, and that has been very difficult. He's not very happy with his job either, and there's really no way for him to change his schedule right now, so were kind of stuck where we're at. 

I'm certain that I failed to mention the excruciating trips I have recently taken to the chiropractor. I injured myself a couple of months ago when I fell on the ice outside the house, and I pretty much ignored the pain that I was in until I started to wake up every morning with my left arm completely numb. I haven't even gotten adjusted by the chiropractor because I'm in such terrible shape, but I am doing physical therapy and things are getting better. I feel 100 years old.

Goddamn I am so boring.

Now you see why haven't been writing.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I'm having a hard time feeling motivated to write. It's not that I don't have anything to say, I think it's just that with Twitter and Facebook, I feel like it's already been said. Blessing and a curse, those two additions to modern life.

We haven't had a holiday of any sort in a while, and the BH and I are planning a trip to Nashville at the end of May. A much needed respite, and he can't come to soon.

Wyatt is having a terrible time adjusting to life without Kilgore. When he's left at home for any amount of time by himself, he howls and cries. This of course is going to be a bigger problem with the warmer weather coming, since we will have windows open. As long as the weather is cool, I can take him with me. He loves the car, and he's an easy companion. The problem will come when it gets too hot to leave him in the car during my sales calls. I'm trying to get my head around the idea of getting another dog. Not ready for it in so many ways.

Still not seeing much of anyone, but we are getting out more. Happy that the playoffs and started, though it this rate they do promise to be the death of my liver.

Gods I'm boring.