Busy bossman

The officious assistant to a male executive left the following message on my voice mail at 8:40 this morning, 20 minutes before I was set to have a phone call with her boss: “Hello, this is Charlotte Mancini, Harrison Burn’s assistant (the names have been changed to protect the guilty.) He won’t be able to make the call at 9, and he will be in back-to-back-meetings for THREE DAYS, but he will TRY to call you during a break. He said he called you twice but didn’t reach you.”

I only received one voice mail from the busy bossman, not two, and that was after I left numerous messages with his officious assistant for days on end.  I happened to be in a meeting when he called back so I couldn’t pick up the phone. I guess he thinks I’m sitting by the phone waiting for his return call.

I intentionally set a specific time for boss man and I to talk, to avoid playing phone tag, so it irritated me greatly to get the idiotic voice mail this morning from his officious assistant. After hearing the message, I sent this email to bossman:

“Good morning Harrison,

“I realize how busy you are and thought we had a call set for 9 this morning, now I’m told you’ll be unable to talk for three more days.  Please let me know if you are interested in talking further about my concept for your company.  I would prefer not to play phone tag with you for weeks, only to find you are not interested.

“Charlotte told me you tried to call me twice.  I’m sorry you missed me; that’s why I thought getting on your calendar was a wiser way to go.”

I first spoke to boss man THREE WEEKS ago, when I explained my concept.  He said he loved it, but would “talk to his people,” and get back to me QUICKLY.  My concept is actually brilliant for his company.   I’m fine if he’s not interested in pursuing it (I don’t close every single sale, and besides, most people like bossman don’t know brilliant from boring), so all he needs to do is leave me either of these messages:

  1. “I’m so sorry we haven’t connected, but I’m interested in talking to you further, so I’d like you to get on my calendar with my (officious) assistant.”

  2. “I’m so sorry we haven’t connected. I’ve talked to ‘my people,’ and we’re not ready to pursue the strategy you brought to us, but thank you for thinking of us.”

I’m a big girl—FOF, as a matter of fact—and I stopped playing games with bossmen and their officious assistants years ago.


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One Response to “Busy bossman”

  1. Toby Wollin says:

    The other (and more maddening) version of this is the person who insists on calling you between 4:55 p.m. and 5:05 p.m. with a ‘tag, you’re it’ message. Then, when you call them back at 8:30 a.m. or some such, their assistant says, “Well, Mr. so and so said that he called you yesterday but you were not there.” As if YOU are the guilty party. The third version of this is the person who calls you and leaves a message at 12:55 p.m. in the afternoon. All of these are out of the ‘I’ll call when I can be absolutely sure this person will NOT be in the office so that I can say, ‘well, I called you’ and I’m off the hook,” manual. This is a sham and this person knows it and you know it too. He (or many times, she) is playing a game with you; they don’t really want to speak with you; they are not really interested in what you have to offer but they don’t want to feel guilty about not responding to you so they do it in such a manner that they avoid you. I caught someone once doing this to me – I stayed late at work several days to do it – and when the phone rang and I picked it up, what I got was , “OH! You’re in! well, I’m just on my way out.” These people are not worth dealing with. At all.


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