Monday, April 28, 2008

Stranger Things...

How wild is this? I get into Grand Junction, walk into the hotel lobby – and run right by a fellow board member from another organization, who lives in Houston. He was surrounded by a group of guys (he’s in a powerful position). I really don’t know him that well, and he had on a ball cap, so…

I hesitated. Got on the elevator. Decided to e-mail him and see if my eyes were deceiving me.

Nope, it’s a small world. He’s in the bar with a bunch of guys. Think I’ll pass. Even though he’s like The Top Dog of His Very Major Freakin’ Oil Company. So, I asked him to meet me for breakfast, but he’s going out to their rig at 5 a.m.

I don’t really want to go into the bar. It’s probably smoky, and I’m. Alone.

Well, not really, but my Young Whippersnapper Salesman has already gone to his room – he was up all night working with consultants, and had to be on a rig at 5:30 a.m. this morning. He would get up and go with me, if I made him, but I’m not going to do so.

So, I think I’ll pass. The trials of being a woman in the oilpatch…gotta keep that reputation pristine!

On another note entirely, my Lord, the scenery driving up from Denver was absolutely breathtaking. I had a hard time driving, I was so admiring the view. And then, I met my young whippersnapper salesman in a small town enroute. We had an appointment to meet a manager for an oil company. We go into the office, for our 3pm appointment. We wait, and wait, and wait. An hour and fifteen minutes. And finally, he comes out of another meeting, and gives us the finger. (Not that finger! The index finger, that means “just one more moment.”)

And ten minutes later, he comes out, and we meet. He was Australian. We’re both Texan. Now, I can communicate with a freakin’ wall. But this guy? No way. I mean, we handled it, but I know I didn’t understand everything, nor did my salesman. Still, we tarried on. It was hilarious, well, after we got back in the vehicle, anyway. My salesman looked at me with this look of shock on his face.

Salesman: What did he say?

Janie: I think he said “I lost two consultants to your firm, are you working for ABC Oil Company?” (By the way, this is not beginning said meeting on a positive note.)

Salesman: Are you serious??? That’s what he said?

Janie: Yup. The very thing you were worried about, he said.

Salesman: Well, how did I do? All I understood was “ABC Oil Company.”

Janie: You handled it well. You didn’t react, you just said, “We are doing lots of work as well as project management for ABC Oil Company.” It was the perfect thing to say.

Salesman: What now?

Janie: You and I will both write him a personal note, and you will come by to see him when you’re in the area. Just by those very acts, you’ll be differentiating yourself. He’s not even met the proprietor of the company he’s currently using. At some point, he may give you a call, who knows?

(Man. I hope we can understand him better if he does!)

I love my job.


Gwynne said...

I'd be staying in my room too, but frustrated by the lost opportunity.

I think I need a primer on what it is you, what are you selling and who are your clients (generally speaking...I mean, for example, are you selling consulting services to oil companies? And if so, what kind of consulting services? I know nothing about the oil business but you've peaked my curiosity).

thisisme said...

You have to keep an eye on these Australians - we can't speak properly to save ourselves :)

I would have stayed in my room and been frustrated - I hope you at least got your thank you note written. That would have helped me.

scotte said...

Both of those are tough situations. As usual , you did the right thing. I think you could have twanged him till he said "WHAT".
That West Texas Drawl is hard for anyone to comprehend. It still gets me out of tickets in the MetroPlex.
"waalll,sery oficr,bet oout thar whir weer fram that sine meeens naw hearsshoes"
See you when you get home. Luck & Love

Janie said...

Gwynne - in the awl bidness, you cannot let yourself get frustrated. And yes, we provide engineering and project management support, as well as wellsite consultants.

Thisisme - I laughed 'til I cried when I read your comment! He was a nice guy, his accent was soooo deep that I had a hard time.

Scott - I know, I thought about really turning on the Texas accent. Then we could have looked at each other and really had a misunderstanding. Too funny!

i beati said...

precarious position so happy to hear those words i love my job

Gwynne said...

Ah, okay, is that what you did for your previous company also?

I met with both Australians and Bostonians last week, different meetings thankfully, and I found the Bostonians almost more difficult to understand! I love listening to a good accent though. :-)

Janie said...

Sandy - I do love my job.

Gwynne - in my prior job, I actually sold services - cementing, fracturing, bits, mud, everything needed to drill and/or complete a well. Same customer base, though, so it was a good transition.

Janie said...

And...I love a good accent, too! ;)

Snooty Primadona said...

Janie, you are working too hard, girl. I do know how difficult it is for women in the oil business. I was there once.

You did the right thing not going to the bar, I think. I would have, to join the group (if there was a potential customer, but that's just me, lol. I sure wouldn't go just to be going.

Chris McClure aka Panhandle Poet said...

I do believe I would have put in a brief appearance at the bar but quickly excused myself for "pressing work" (pressing my head against the pillow). There's a lot of business conducted over Scotch and cigars -- even in this day-and-time.

Janie said...

Snooty, Chris - I probably should have gone to the bar - but I just had a check about it. I don't know why, but I have to go with my gut...

I'll see him next week at the OTC in Houston, so it's all good.

Chris McClure aka Panhandle Poet said...

Stick with your intuition.