Our New-ish Team Members
My very own Superheroes disguised as regular blokes
Who hates autocorrect? Oh yes! Me too … with a vengeance. Some time ago (not this business, so the victim won’t be able to track me down, I hope) I wrote the perfect follow up email to a potential client who “absolutely loved” what I was about to do for her. Part of this brief involved the fact that I could write and spell.
She was, in my view, an important person who could work with me to bring both our companies to incredible heights. Or so I thought.
The email was beautifully crafted … I read, reread, triple and quadruple checked … by anyone’s reckoning this was a full audit of the most precise kind. Smiling, with just a hint of self-satisfaction, I pressed SEND and went to make a nice cuppa. As I walked out of the door, the SWOOSH of the email scooting on its way made me stop in my tracks. I’m not sure why, but I clicked my sent box and read the email for a fifth time. And there it was. I’d lost all hope in the first three words. “Signora Nocensofini” had become “Signora No sense or feeling”. That’s right … NO. SENSE. OR. FEELING!
My heart hit my feet. I hit the chocolate. I rebooted the computer in the vain hope that the error would be gone or the email might have miraculously been pinged back, never to reach the intended recipient. When I looked again, there it sat stubbornly in the sent box.
No amount of grovelling could undo what had been said. The deed was done and could not be undone.
These days, I write important emails in Word first, then cut and paste. This does not change the fact that I know Mrs Nocensofini and I could have had a wonderful and mutually lucrative relationship.
Fast forward a few years and slight change of direction (though still my beloved food and nutrition), I now focus on NPD at Davina Steel. Ironically, after that little episode, I still check Dan’s important emails and letters: by his own admission, English and grammar are not his strong points. He’s amazing at sales, contracts, logistics, supply chain … all the things at which I’m a simpleton. That comes in pretty handy, to be honest. We’ve had another two additions to our team in recent times: Tim, who can charm an order out of anyone and Stuart, who keeps everything spick and span in the money department. These three have achieved more in six months than I could alone in decade. Or two.
Before I managed to offend another entire industry, these three men took the reigns of the business, leaving me to focus on NPD, spreading the word (usually face to face where I find it easier not to make huge gaffes) and generally getting to know our customers, then trying to make their dreams come true. It’s where I’m happiest. It’s also the safest place for me, according to our recently expanded team.
Starting a new company or working alone, as I did for so many years, means you have to master everything: VAT, NPD, cleaning the toilets, dreaded sales emails … you name it. I use the term “master” loosely here. With the excitement of a growing business comes the contentment that I have three Superheroes pre-empting my every faux pas and sending me back where I belong.