Jun. 28th, 2013

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I had a wonderful conversation last night with a potential customer, with an enormous number of text messages spread over several hours. I'm used to doing business by phone or email, and just using texts for quick reminders and last-minute changes of plans. (Now I feel like some kind of historical relic.) The speed and responsiveness was very convenient, especially that I could answer that yes, I am taking new students this summer, before he went on to describe his son's situation in more detail. But slower than phone...so I could look up schedules and maps between messages. And it was so very nice to not have to strain to hear! No background noise from fans or fireworks or the phone itself. No awkwardness of mismatched accents. We were going back and forth for hours, in a leisurely way.

The only problem was that I'm unfamiliar with doing business this way, so I don't know polite and professional ways to say, "This has been great, but I have to go now." Phone calls have clear endpoints. Email can arrive late at night and be answered in the morning. But after 2 hours of returning texts every 5 minutes, it seems awkward to just disappear. Even, "Ok, great. I will see [son's name] Monday at [time and place]," led to an ongoing trickle of questions.

This is, of course, a stranger who is thinking about hiring me. My usual way of ending an IM session for the night ("I think it's my bedtime, love. *hug*") does not seem appropriate.)


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March 2016


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