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."