Saturday, March 01, 2008

Business Success & Diving Failure

My manager said," Brazil."

I thought," Diving?"

My manager said," Very important customer... all eyes on us."

I heard," Go get wet, enjoy the summer and the water."

We have a potential customer in Sao Paulo. Potentially a very big customer! And after multiple attempts to sell them our products, we were lucky they were still willing to listen. It wasn't going well. There was no doubt, we needed a hugely successful meeting to close the deal. And so I've spent a month and flown 34,000 kilometers to prepare. The whole trip to Atlanta was initiated by the need to make this opportunity a success.

The Friday meeting was a success. The customer was impressed. My coworkers were impressed. After about 4-1/2 hours of meeting, discussing, showing and explaining I think we've got it. Which is really good, since it was clear that had we struck out a third time, the blame would be mine. Instead, glowing emails are lauding my achievement. That's really nice.

On Thursday, when I was busy not worrying about work, I called every dive shop in this part of Sao Paulo. I was looking for a group that was going diving this weekend, such that I could join them. And to my happy surprise, I found one!

It sounded simple enough. A group was leaving Sao Paulo on Friday night and taking a bus to the coast. Saturday and Sunday would be spent diving, and then travelling back Sunday evening. Better yet, when I introduced myself and explained what I was looking for, they were happy to invite me along.

And then came the details. The bus leaves Friday at 9pm. Arrives at the coast at 4am, and then it's "only one hour by boat ride" to the hotel. So sleep by 6am, with the first dive boat leaving at 10am. Considering (1) jetlag has me exhausted, (2) the meeting left me 90 minutes to pack and get to the dive shop, (3) my Monday morning flight meant there could be no diving Sunday, and (4) a price equivalent to a long weekend in the Canary Islands, the whole dream of Brazilian diving evapourated. Poof.

My manager, my director, the sales VP's and all my local coworkers will recall this trip as a major success! I can't help but think of it as 44 hours in planes for a dip in the hotel pool. Splish splash.


J. D. said...

That's a darn shame that you can't get a dive in with two full days off in Sao Paulo. But, it sounds like you've made all the right choices...even though difficult.

Congratulations on the job!!!

quilly said...

You've given new meaning to the old drinking song, "How Dry I Am."

Your sacrifice today will pay off in the long run, but sometimes it sucks being an adult.

I Dive At Night said...

J.D. thanks.

Quilly, those are two things I never want to be... dry or adult!