I was recently asked to call a potential client at his office. When the day came for me to reach out to this person, I made the phone call. His secretary, Carmen, answered the phone on the second ring, and I asked for Dan.
CARMEN: "I'm sorry Dan is not in the office."
ME: "Oh! He told me to call him at 10:00 a.m."
CARMEN: "He called early this morning, and said that he had a flat tire on the way to work, so he decided to get it fixed today. My guess is that he'll make it to work tomorrow."
ME: "Must have been a terrible flat tire to keep someone from coming to work all day. I hope he wasn't hurt."
CARMEN: "He's fine! This is the second flat tire he's had in the past month. The last time he was out a couple of days because it took time to get the car up-and-running."
ME: "It seems like Dan is having some bad luck this summer. Okay, please let him know that I called."
CARMEN: "I have your number, and will put the note on his desk. You can also email him, but he's way behind checking his Inbox."
ME: "Sure, Carmen! I do appreciate your help. Thanks!"
My Take on this Situation
From what I could observe, I think Dan is not very happy with this employment. It would seem to me that a flat tire can be fixed in a matter of hours. In fact, it's weird that someone would fail to show up merely because the tire has lost its air. Even if the tire needed replacement, that can't take a too long. The worst-case scenario is a half-day to get the problem resolved.
Call with Dan
I called a few days later, and I was surprised when Carmen informed me that Dan was at work. She was going to transfer the call right away. I mentioned to Dan that I was sorry to hear about the flat tire, and that I hoped all was well now. He apologized for not returning my calls and emails, and we continued our discussion.
Dan mentioned that he would run my proposal by his supervisor. He was happy with the bundle of services that we offered, and he noted our price was competitive. He was adamant I would hear from him in about a week.
A Week Later
The next week came and went, and I didn't hear from Dan. After giving him another few days, I called his office, and Carmen promptly answered the phone.
ME: "Hi, Carmen! I'm looking for Dan."
CARMEN: "He's not here today... sorry."
ME: "What happened? Flat tire?"
CARMEN: "Nope... he called and said his headlights are out."
ME: "Can't he drive during the day?"
CARMEN: "I also think he's driver's license has expired."
ME: "Okay! Got it! I'll wait to hear from him."
CARMEN: "Sure... bye."
I found out later that Dan left this company. I'm unsure what he's doing now, but I do hope that his car has four working tires, the headlights are nice and bright, and that his driver's license is current.