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Friday, June 08, 2007

How to get ahead in business

My first job after college was for a company that refused to give me business cards. I met clients often enough during my three years that I was starting to get embarrassed when I had to write my phone number on a piece of paper. I argued that the cost for business cards was worthwhile even if I paid for them myself (the cost being twenty dollars.) My presumption was that I could take half the business cards, spread them around all the local restaurants in their "drop your business card here and win a free lunch" fishbowls, and the cost would pay for itself.

Incidentally, have you ever wondered why they make fishbowls out of flimsy plastic? What kind of fish would be able to live in one of those things?

Sorry, I went off-topic. Without approval, I filled out the paperwork requesting business cards and submitted it for my director to sign, along with a note asking him how I should pay for them. I guess my director didn't feel like fighting with me any more, since he approved the order, without ever asking me to pay the twenty dollars. After scattering about a twenty cards in local eateries, I gave my resignation. Two days before I left, I got a call from my favorite local restaurant: my business card was selected among the dozen or so in the plastic fishbowl. That was the best free lunch I ever had.

The moral of the story: Always fight with your director. It may get you something for free!

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