Continued from Episode One.
On last blog’s episode of “How I Met Your Father, Episode One,” we had some dumb corporate-related background information as well as my realization that my client Cassidy was, in fact, not a woman! I didn’t yet know how or why this was poignant, but deep inside my young, serial-dating, somewhat-confused brain, I *knew*…something. Just something.
Cassidy was not a woman!!! Ok, I admit that my eyes may have lit up with flirty glee when this realization hit me, but probably not for more than 30 seconds or so. I was fickle. Besides, just because he was a man did NOT mean he was an attractive, young or youngish, straight man. Besides, he lived in California, a place I’d never been. Besides, umm..he was my client! Still, he found a way to capture my attention and it stuck with me and colored the way our future email conversations would be like. “Clueless In California,” the outside sales rep who had the ILM account (I was just her trained monkey, remember) quit my company rather suddenly. Her accounts were switched over to another SF-based Outside Sales Rep. The new rep already had her own trained monkeys (Inside Sales Reps) and my partner and I had enough work to do for our Houston-based Outside Sales Rep, so the powers that be decided that her team would take over “Clueless In California’s” limited accounts. I had no say in the matter. Business was business.
Until, it took a turn for the strange. Cassidy Bowman, my cool, casual ILM, not-a-woman client, wrote a letter to the head of all outside sales. I never saw this letter until it was given to Human Resources to publish in our company-wide newsletter in the “Customer Accolades” (or whatever it was called) section. People congratulated me and I was a bit flabbergasted. Sure, I had once done a quote for Cassidy at the same time as my partner, and neither of us checked with each other first, and my quote had a lower margin. Sure, I was such a Star Wars kiss-a** that I responded to all ILM emails in like 30 seconds flat. Sure, I was good at my job. Still, I was flabbergasted by the letter:
It’s nice to meet you. I am one of the three Senior Buyers you will be dealing with here at ILM along with (two co-workers). I look forward to continuing our relationship with your company through this transition period. We would like to request that Tamara Klein be kept on the team that handles our account. Here at ILM, we like consistency. Our team has had a LOT of changes recently in our ISR and their backups. We have always rolled with these changes. Tamara has always been a pleasure to work with and has done good work for our account. We do not order online as we prefer to deal with real people in our transactions. We appreciate the skill, speed, and enthusiasm to which Tamara takes on our account and it’s challenges. I know that you have your own internal practices which precipitate these personnel changes but on behalf of (two co-workers) and myself:
We want Tamara.
Yeah. If I hadn’t noticed him already because of his super cool job and his super mellow personality and my super psychic visions that told me that there was something so special about him that I couldn’t put my finger on…well, now I really noticed him.
Within only a day or two, my company listened. My partner and I were to stay on his account and we’d be working with the new Outside Sales Rep. She was super cool (still is) and knew what a computer was. (still does) Within minutes of this decision, it was all business and I went back to being the amazing Inside Sales Rep (and kiss a**) that I best knew how to be. If I was good before this letter, I was really good after this letter. I don’t know that better customer service and sales ever existed before and after me and ILM.
Several, several months passed. I was put on the account in September of 2003 and this whole switcheroo/letter/switcheroo back took place in late October. There was definitely a bond there, always. He would write a request for a quote and then add in a cute question about my weekend or details about his San Francisco weekend. Then I’d respond back with a quote and a description of my weekend or a trip I took. His life was slowly unfolding for me. He liked Phish. A lot. So did my brother. He went to Hawaii over the winter. I was jealous. Sometime in January of 2004, my OSR was going to meet him and his co-workers for lunch. My partner cc’ed me on a joke email to her about taking a picture of Cassidy for me since I was sooo curious. I was embarrassed and played it off, but it was totally true. She laughed it off that she didn’t have a digital camera and it was too bad! I can’t lie – I was waiting all afternoon for her to report back. She had a favorable review. She said he was youngish with a baby face, blondish hair and deep blue eyes. This was good. Just proof of something – that he was real, that he was youngish, that he was cute. I took it all to heart. I couldn’t picture him but I could picture a vague shadow of him. I used that vague shadow in a vivid daydream that I was visiting San Francisco for business and that we’d all somehow go..whale watching together. I know it’s weird and specific. Eventually it happened, but without all those pesky co-workers.
Later that winter in March, I went to Vancouver for the first time with my ex-boyfriend. Cassidy and I had very separate lives at this point and still knew very little about each other, save for a physical description of him, and a seemingly shared sense of humor and adventure. We both were in relationships that were ending at some point in 2004 but NOT because of each other. At least, I don’t think. Not on his end definitely since his relationship ended well before he knew a thing about me, but on my end? Maybe. It was sort of the trigger to the end. We’ll get to that.
I had a rough transition from winter into spring. First I got terrible allergies that got me to the doctor and that got me to Zytrec and that got me to many drowsy days. I worked with a few other employees at ILM and other Lucas companies. I liked all of these people, but I think I liked them even more because they were co-workers of Cassidy and somehow I thought all of my good deeds would be passed back to him through office talk. Maybe this is somehow how normal twentysomethings fantasize about clients, when left alone to work until nightfall? Or maybe, just maybe, this was a very special case.
Unfolding all the time…
Next up: real action, real excitement, real falling off the deep end of love…