Vendor Story: Message from beyond the grave

I meant to post this Friday, since it would have been more appropriate for Halloween, but I’m a bit late with it.

I had been IT Director of a Boston law firm for about 4 years, which was plenty long enough to have learned to stop answering my phone. For those of you who might not know, anyone with any sort of decision-making responsibilities in IT could easily spend 10 hours/day just fielding cold calls. As such, if we don’t recognize the number (or if we don’t have an assistant to field the calls), we don’t pick up.

While I didn’t answer my phone, that didn’t mean I didn’t get my voice mail. One day, I got this message:

Hi, Jenn! This is (vendor) from (company). I was just talking to (partner), and he told me that you should definitely get back to me, since your firm is very interested in (service we needed like holes in our heads).

Not such an unusual message, right?

Here’s the problem: that partner he had “just been talking to” had passed away nine months before. To add insult to injury, said partner had been out for nine months before that battling cancer.

I didn’t call the vendor back, but I was sorely tempted to ask him how that partner was doing and what medium he used to talk to him. I mean, wouldn’t that partner’s widow want to know…?

2 thoughts on “Vendor Story: Message from beyond the grave

  1. That tops my call from this morning. The caller left a message saying that she was told "by the people at the quarry to call me since they needed her product and I was the person responsible for ordering it".Hmmmm…I guess you could call the practice of law similar to breaking up large boulders into small stones, but really now……….

  2. That is truly classy… wonder if he would have felt bad if you had called him back?Have had a few classics from recruitment consultants in the past – when we used to sit in two person "pods" in open plan office. On two occasions heard my pod-mate give a recruitment consultant / headhunter the brush off and then be asked if there was anyone else they could recommend at which point they would give my name.Two minutes later my phone would ring with the same recruitment guy explaining how I had been headhunted by their client who had specifically asked them to get in touch with me about a vacancy. Not terribly convincing!

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