This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, tentatively titled “Speak Like A Pro – The PMPs Guide To Effective Communication”.
“One-oh-nine, one-oh-seven, one-oh-FIVE!”, I thought as I pulled up to my destination.
In pest control training, we are taught to park on the street, with our trucks in full view from the front door. This provides extra peace of mind for the customer. When they look through the window or peep hole, they’ll see us front and center, along with our shiny truck resting in the background.
I look at my watch. It’s 12:57pm. I’m right on time.
I hear the doorbell as I mesh the button, so I take a step backward. Standing three to four feet away from the door, I wait.
I remember waiting a bit longer than normal, but not nearly long enough to ring again.
“I wish she’d hurry it up”, I recall thinking to myself. “I’ve got this one, then I need to get down to Perry, GA for that termite complaint…”
My thoughts were interrupted by the motion I noticed in the doors window.
“That’s her”, I decided.
I double checked my distance, ensuring I wasn’t too close to the door, gave that rehearsed smile reserved for complete strangers, then came eye to eye with the love of my life.
My wife loathes when I tell the story, but our courtship began a few weeks after I made a service call to her home.
I know. I know. What I’m going to say will come across as highly hypocritical, but I suggest you NEVER “fish off the company pier”.
Too many things can go wrong.
Let’s say you meet someone you really like and you’re pretty sure they like you. You’re great at reading people and far from a “creep”.
So what’s the harm in asking them out?
What if you’re misreading their signals?
What if they have a jealous ex?
What if you two have bitter breakup?
Seeking or participating in a romantic relationship with a customer could result in a blemish to your professional reputation, a complaint to your supervisor, a bad review of your company, or dozens of other problems.
It’s just not worth the risk… unless, of course…
Often young guys ask me, “Why were you willing to put your career and reputation on the line for a date?”
But the question is also the answer.
The reason I was willing to bet all my chips on the possibility of a relationship was because I WAS willing.
I couldn’t get that woman off of my mind and I knew I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t take the chance. If things went down in flames, I was prepared for the consequences.
But don’t get me wrong, what I took was a CALCULATED risk. I knew the odds of things blowing up in my face were highly unlikely. We were extremely compatible and we were at stages of our lives where dramatic/emotional endings were not commonplace.
Nevertheless, our marriage was against the odds. It was that rare case where the stars aligned perfectly.
Just keep in mind, nothing is guaranteed. So unless you’re willing to give up everything for the possibility of relationship that might not even work out, don’t do it.