"Look Mike, i am interested in this business, but i just can't get there today". "My sister inlaw needs me to be here for her kids, whilst she takes her uncle Tony to the hopsital". She wouldn't ask but Pete her husband has had to go to work today."Oh by the way, that board meeting you want me to attend on Thursday, no can do! I've got a checkup in the afternoon and there is no way i can cancel. Can you ask Cinthia to switch it to another day next week.
Right thought Mike, someone better start playing the Directors role or this ship is going to end up on the rocks. The phone rings, its Dave - one of Mikes clients.
"Hi Mike, thought i better let you know that our website is on the go-slow again for the tenth time this week". "James (other director) was working on it last week, but he never did get back to me." "I wouldn't bang on about it, but my MD is telling me that unless it gets fixed, we're going to have to reconsider our working relationship".
"Right Dave, i'm right on too it!". I'll be back within the hour".
Mike calls James. "Hi James, i know you can't make it in today mate, but Dave says their website is on the go-slow again and i need you to take a look at it now". Ok Mike, i'll dial in and take a look at it, but the problem is likely to be with the speed of their network. Everytime i test the site, it runs within the service level agreement guidelines. Listen James, can you test it out and then give Dave a ring to inform him of how we move forward, i'm just about to go into a meeting with the accountants to discuss this years annual report and then i've got a meeting with the bank manager to extend the terms of that loan.
"Well i'll try, said James" and then rung off.
Later on in the day Dave calls. "Oh", said Mike, "did James not call you back". "Yes he phoned back, said Dave, but he didn't resolve anything". "Right", said Mike, "i'm going to get on to him right away". No don't worry said Dave, i really rung to say how sorry i am to hear the news". "What news!" said Mike. "The news from James about your business being in trouble and that you are unlikely to be able to service us in the future!". I mentioned it to the MD and he has also expressed his condolences too".
Help, thought Mike!
Help, thought Mike!
Mike explained as best he could that the company was going through a period of transition and that a new investor was coming onboard, but as his last words left his lips - he knew that his biggest customer was now heading out the door. Probably to never return and worst still to fan the flames of the rumour still wider.
James left the company shortly after, with his head held high and personal integrity seemingly intact. But his subversive efforts were never, ever forgotten.