Bakerman didn’t show for my morning delivery of freshly baked buns, so I decide to call him on the phone to check whether everything is okay.
“Howdi,” I start out, and already the excitement of hearing him made me totally forget my reason for calling him. “Did my mom’s tarot yesterday. She pulled the death card twice. Does this mean I am going to die?”
I pull a horrified face which I am sure he can’t see at the other end of the line. “Went to see the solicitor yesterday. To see for marriage contract with Wim. Brrr… very scary. And also to sort out custody for Willem should anything happen to me. If I die, Willem goes to his godparents, Wim and Buidi.”
My chatter is ongoing on I’m half wondering if Bakerman is amused or trying to get a word in somewhere. “Also writing up an offer for a new client. I really want this one. It would mean 1.400 Euro monthly recurring. What can I do to make sure I get this client? Any magic or woohoo I can do?”
I pause for a moment for the magic to set in. Then I finally request a response from him: “What kind of lessons do you teach Mary?”
“Hi,” Bakerman breathes amused down the phone. “The death card means change. Not a physical death. Are you doing a prenuptial agreement? Let’s hope nothing untoward happens to you as your family will break up and the kids will lose touch.”
“Yes split contract, prenuptial,” I emphasize the cleanliness of the deal. “It’s scary though. I want to get married but last time I didnt like being married. If I die and if Willem goes to Wim or Buidi, they will maintain contact with the kids.”
“I see,” Bakerman is making sense of the ongoings. “Are you going to live together?”
“No,” I laugh out loud at the crazy suggestion. “Later when the kids are at uni.”
“Then what’s the point?” Bakerman asks me a little annoyed.
“The feeling, the intention, the love,” I spell it out for him. “The commitment.”
“Really?” Bakerman sounds unconvinced. “Oh well that’s great. Sounds wonderful.”
“It’s good and slow enough for me,” I beam at him determined not to get unbalanced in my personal conviction.
“When will this happen?” Bakerman continues prodding the reality of my plans.
“After Wim’s chemo therapy,” I announce a little too sure of myself. “I guess September. We’ll get the contract sorted now and then set a date when health permits.”
“Very cool,” Bakerman is humouring me, I can tell. “This way you get to keep your cake after you have eaten it.”
“We’re doing things backwards: buy a house, have a baby, get married… live together,” I know just by saying this that I am the rule, not the exception, but I chose to ignore the uneasy feeling creeping up on me. “ Yessss! How do I make sure to get this client?”
“Fantastic,” Bakerman susses me for now.
“Come on, a magic phrase or whatever?” I plead him to give me a feather of confidence to hold onto.
“Which client?” Bakerman questions me.
“The tourism agency one,” I go on very excited. “They want social media, Adwords and analytics.”
“What do they want?” Bakerman pretends he didn’t hear me first time. “Oh.”
“I am quoting 2.800 set-up fee and 1.400 monthly recurrent,” I go on divulging the details of the calculations I made based on the prospects business requirements.
“Can you use Mechelen as a reference?” Bakerman has got his business thinking cap on. “You will guarantee the results are true.”
“Yes I could,” I realize this is the ultimate referral which should convince my prospect of experience and quality of work. “Okay. The results are true?”
“Use Mechelen,” Bakerman emphasizes.
“Excellent idea,” I congratulate him for being such a fantastic consultant.
“Yes after you have done social media, AdWords and analytics the dashboard will reflect unbiased and true results,” Bakerman points out my own unique selling propositions. “You don’t spin the result like others do.”
“Oooh okay,” I breathe excitedly. “Is my price ok?”
“Things will start to pick up now,” Bakerman predicts ahead. “February is always a bad month. Although it’s a very good month for holidays.”
“Super,” I am happy at this thought of business picking up and income increasing. “Things will be good by the time the Star returns. Mid November she’s back.”
“I can’t say if your price is good or not as I don’t know the market value,” Bakerman points out. “Better a bit high than a bit low.”
“Okay, will review before sending,” I decide content with the outcome of this conversation.
“Good girl,” Bakerman teases me.
“How are you?” I finally recall my reason for calling him. His absence this morning to deliver my daily bread.
“I am sick with flu,” Bakerman informs me matter of factly.
“Oooh poor you,” my cheeks burn slightly red that I had not inquired before.
“Had hoped to get going now but set back another week,” Bakerman informs me I’ll be without my daily bread for a few more days. Bummer, you start enjoying little routines and it feels awful when these fall away abruptly.
“Are you being spoilt?” I want to know.
“No,” Bakerman replies short.
“No oranges and honey?” I ask incredulously. “Why not?”
“I like to be left alone to sleep,” Bakerman gives a totally plausible yet surprising answer.
“Where’s Debbie?” I ask checking if all other factors remain constant.
“She is around,” Bakerman answers my real question.
“So I’m bothering you?” my cheeks are still a high colour of pink and I’m happy he can’t see that.
“No,” Bakerman smiles. “I don’t agree that as a man I am useless when sick. I think we suffer equally as much. But life goes on. Having my tummy rubbed is fun but at the right time and for the right reason. But for flu I just need tea, vitamin C, food and sleep.”
“Agree,” I sigh relieved. “Men do make a fuss. Or life just ends there and then.”
“Yes they do become babies,” Bakerman chuckles.
“Got to go,” I jump up looking at the time horrified. “I have a conf call.”
I head back off to my desk and computer my head spinning with new ideas. I have a few new ideas how to approach this prospect with promises on how to manage and analyze their social media marketing in one dashboard, how to use analytics tools to improve their advertising performance. And I am also feeling optimistic and confident with the marketing support I am getting from my friend Bakerman. Right now I feel like yes, I can succeed!
* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.