I heard rumors about a client visit coming up starting on Monday, but since there wasn't an indication that I should be there I didn't worry though it was the client whose existence created my `job'. But when the owner sent that first e-mail about my project -- which I'd been mostly dusting for the past two weeks -- and said they could blow the client's mind with how prepared it was, that's when I started to believe this could affect me. The remarks about things to fix up including a rapid series of e-mails and phone calls came faster. Soon I knew he was looking seriously at my work since I got a phone call just a few minutes after I tinkered with something I hoped would speed up the database but actually just broke the search engine.
So come Tuesday I asked: was there to be a meeting, and did he want me there? And I came away with an answer which seemed positive but pointed out that it would be challenging to find parking by the client. But it would be possible to meet him at his home or at the office and ride up. But there wasn't any definitive answer before the end of the day Tuesday, which gave me the sort of protocol problem my mind loves: I'm hired for three days a week work, and that was already two. But if I didn't go in Wednesday I didn't have any way to find out whether I should come in Friday, so, I went in.
Unfortunately, Wednesday, the owner wasn't in, and the two other people involved in my project weren't in, and nobody was answering e-mail or phone about where I should be, or when. Through my brother, who occasionally text-messages the owner, I learned that he was thinking to leave at 10 am Friday, so I e-mailed to ask one last time and say where I'd be if I didn't hear anything to the contrary.
I got to the owner's home on time, though not as far ahead of 10 am as I'd have liked. His car was there, a good sign, as was his rather large and very bark-y dog, which was not. I couldn't get around back to the kitchen where things were normally open, and as far as I could figure his front doorbell wouldn't work. I tried knocking in windows, but with all the lights out as far as I could tell ... well, if ten minutes of barking didn't alert him, tapping on the laundry room door wouldn't. So I waited in my car another half-hour, waiting for signs of him leaving, and I saw nothing. So there may well have been a client visit on Friday, but I wasn't part of it.
Trivia: The United Kingdom placed a 100 percent import duty on foreign imported souvenirs to protect domestic manufacturers of souvenirs for George VI's coronation in 1937. Source: ``The British Monarchy, c 1820 - 1977'', David Cannadine, The Invention of Tradition, Edited by Eric Hobsbawm, Terence Ranger.
Currently Reading: 11th Month, 11th Day, 11th Hour, Joseph E Persico.