Under the Gun
I was working for a consulting firm in the NYC metro area when we got a call from a plan sponsor for a benefit calculation. We did our standard “submit request and two weeks later you’ll have your calculation”…only to learn later that the insistent plan participant…was in the client’s office with a shotgun.
A sales assistant was providing me with some data for a proposal. During the conversation, he said that we needed to wrap it up in the next few minutes. I tried to explain the severity and urgency of this proposal and that I didn’t want to rush it.
He whined a little, then admitted that he had a hair appointment.
On an extended enrollment trip through Georgia and Florida, I stopped for a meeting in a very small town off I-75. As I entered with my enrollment materials and my new laptop (the first in our office and very high-tech at the time), I was confident I was about to dazzle this group of primarily blue-collar employees. One lady appeared to be a grandmotherly type, still working because she wanted to or just had to. She listened and was very attentive throughout the entire presentation. As I was packing my gear to leave, she was still sitting at the table and looked at my laptop, then looked at me, back at the laptop, back at me. She gave me this little smile like she felt sorry for me and said, “Maybe some day they’ll buy you a big one.”
We developed a retirement class that included having some give-away items for participants. So, we ordered a large number of photo clips that employees could put on their desks-the idea being that they could put pictures on their desks to remind them of their goals. Unfortunately, some employees have had to pull them off their desks because customers inquired as to why they had “roach clips” on their desks.
Feel free to share your own “horror” stories with us (anonymously, of course) at firstname.lastname@example.org