Here’s a top tip: When you’re due to meet someone in a coffee shop, arrive five minutes early and call them, saying: “Hi, I’m in the queue at Costas, what would you like me to get you?”
This way, if they say: “Oh, sorry, I’ve been held up. Can we meet some other time…” then (a) you haven’t wasted 20 minutes waiting for them and (b) you haven’t wasted the price of a coffee you wouldn’t have ordered if you hadn’t been meeting someone.
And (c) any disappointment you feel at your prospect not turning up is outweighed by the sense of extreme cleverness engendered by (a) and (b)!
This, in turn, means that you’re still feeling positive about the business and so, instead of sitting gloomily over a cappuccino you don’t want, you go out into the street to use up the extra time you now have in your diary by asking a likely person: “Hi, I’ve got a prize draw going, d’you want to have a go? You could win a car!”
Yesterday, the first person said: “No thank you” but the second person said “yes” and it turned out her husband pays £90 a month to BT – mostly for international calls which I could get him for nothing! She wants me to call him on Wednesday when he gets back from Hong Kong.
But that’s the way it went yesterday: Just before leaving for the proposed meeting at Costa’s, I was putting up the badminton net with the children when my phone rang: The voice on the other end said: “Hello, my brother-in-law gave me your card. Apparently you gave it to him in the street but he’s already a member of your club and he says I should join as well. How do that?”
So I when to see him and told him and he did join. In fact he even took the leap of faith by adding Broadband for the computer his grandchildren had given him which had been sitting unused in the spare bedroom.
And then, sometime in the afternoon, when I was back in town taking my eldest son to sort out his bank accounts (why does he have two?) he wanted to go to Smiths to buy the latest Eoin Colfer. That meant I had a choice to make: Either I could go in and mooch around the magazine rack or I could stay outside with my Win-a-Mini forms. Of course I chose the Win-a-Mini and two minutes later I was talking to two people who happened to live next door to each other – and now have an appointment for Friday.