By Appointment Only

I moved to the fourth floor of a downtown office building a couple of months ago. Aside from the overall "cool" factor of being downtown, and having an office in a historic building with an awesome view, I had to struggle with deciding whether it would be beneficial to be off the beaten path, with no visibility and no walk-in traffic — or whether those factors would end up being the exact opposite of beneficial and cause me untold grief.


Obviously, I decided to take my chances and try to build on the "off-the-beaten-path" factor as a positive aspect of my new location.


So what happens? I've had more would-be walk in traffic in the last two weeks than in the last 10 years. Go figure.


Problem is, I can't handle walk-in traffic. I work by appointment and I have a healthy clientele already. So when people walk in my door and tell me they want to get their nails done, or set up an appointment for their friend/wife/mother-in-law, I have little response for them other than a blank stare that is trying very hard not to be a "what part of by appointment only do you think you're immune to?"


Seriously. This afternoon the door opens and Mr. I-Think-Yellow-Ties-Are-Cool walks in and tells me he'd like to set up an appointment for his wife. To which I responded, "So, would you like to purchase a gift certificate?"


No. He doesn't want to get his wife a gift certificate. He wants to set up an appointment for her to get her nails done for her birthday — tomorrow. After 5. Mind you, I don't know Mr. Yellow-Tie and I don't know his wife. And I have exactly ONE opening left for tomorrow and you can sure as heck bet it ain't after 5.


I told him that I only have the one spot open tomorrow and it's at one in the afternoon. He tells me to "pencil him in."


Well. I decided to do just that. I got his wife's name and his cell number and name and I'll be sure to contact him tomorrow morning to confirm the appointment, but I gotta be honest, I don't expect to be meeting his wife. And I suspect that if I don't contact him to confirm, I'll never hear from him.


I hate having people make appointments for other people. I'd much rather sell them a gift certificate that allows their friend/wife/mother-in-law to make her own appointment at her own convenience.


But to walk into a business and expect to be able to make an appointment for a new client with little more than 24 hours notice? And it doesn't even strike you to ask whether that's even an option? It's about all I can do not to just flat out bust out laughing!



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