I dropped the ball today.

This is embarrassing. I was working on a project recently and because of the equipment involved, there was a substantial amount of money on the line. For the customer, that is. Well, I was doing what I always do and not really paying attention to much of what was going on around me when I heard a horn repeatedly going off.

This may require a few lines of back story. See, I work for a company that’s owned by a very famous company that a lot of people don’t like. Even though my job “duties” don’t involve the parent company in any way, I still have the parent company’s logo and lettering all over my company vehicle and uniform. Imagine driving a truck and wearing a uniform that said, uh, UPS (not the company I work for, just an example). You’re driving this big truck with big U-P-S lettering on the side and then you pull in to a parking lot and someone walks up with a UPS related question. My response is always, “You’re not going to believe me, but, I don’t work for UPS”. I’ve had people say “So, it’s camouflage, huh?” and some come right out and call me a liar. Either way, I don’t work for the company that has emblazoned it’s logo all over my truck and uniform. At least I don’t work for that division of the company.

Picture was borrowed from Youthedesigner.com

I really wouldn’t have any idea about how to work on the equipment that the parent company services. I do something TOTALLY different. In the service/repair industry my situation isn’t all that uncommon. But it’s hard to explain to people, especially when they’re upset. I’ve had a cop pull me over in drive time traffic and berate me because he was upset with service he was getting (more like not getting) from my parent company. I’ve even had  an irate customer run me off the road on a major highway. These instances are few and far between, but I’ve got friends that work for other companies and they’ve never experienced this kind of hostility from customers of their companies.

Back to where I was. I was working, outside, and about 30ft up in the air. My parent company is disliked by many. Some dislike this company passionately. So, I’m doing my thing and I hear a car horn going off repeatedly. I look around and there’s a guy doing donuts in the parking lot, not far from me, laying on the horn and giving a one finger salute to someone. I didn’t know who but I thought it was funny. You don’t see that everyday. At least I don’t.

Then I realized he was pointing it my way. Then I saw my truck and it clicked. So, I started laughing. It was funny. In the process of laughing at this guy’s rage and the absurdity of it all I dropped what I was holding. Straight down. 30 feet. It broke. And there went $1800 in hardware. I don’t think the madman in the car saw that I dropped what I was holding.

So, he didn’t realize it but in a way he inflicted a little pain on my company. We now have to eat the cost of the hardware that I dropped. I thought about coming down quickly and telling the guy what happened. I thought maybe I could give him a little satisfaction. But by the time I got down he peeled out but not before offering me a little snack. Follow? Think deep-throat.

I really dropped the ball. It takes a lot to make me laugh so hard I forget what I’m doing and drop a $1800 piece of equipment. I hope any readers out there found this as funny as I did. One person that won’t find it funny is whoever handles parts acquisitions for the account I was working on.

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