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Overcoming a Toothy Situation

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Spinach in Teeth


This week I had lunch with a client at a nice restaurant.  The gentleman with whom I shared a repast is someone I've worked with for about two years now, and we have developed a friendly relationship.  In addition to helping him with commercial title insurance, I usually meet him for a meal every couple of months.  So, while we're not necessarily "buddies," we have more than a superficial association.

We had an amiable conversation, discussing business, the economy, the real estate market, kids, parenting, summer camps, etc.  We enjoyed an excellent lunch, and left, shaking hands, on a pleasant note.  Imagine my chagrin, then, when I got in my car, looked in my rear-view mirror, and realized I had visible chunks of macadamia-chicken tacos in my teeth!

I was so embarrassed!  Did my client notice?  If so, was he offended?  I felt a bit deflated as I drove back to the office.

I tried not to obsess too much about it- after all, it was too late to do anything and, ultimately, it wasn't that big of a deal... It's something that happens to everyone once in a while.  And yet, I suppose you could say the scenario stuck in my craw.  Any of my close pals would have said something to the effect of, "Hey man, you've got something in your teeth," and I would have immediately taken care of it (I even have a mirror "app" on my iphone for such situations).  My client, presumably, declined to mention anything out of politeness.  If Stewart Title or I ever did anything that wasn't to his satisfaction, however, I hope he would speak up!

The result is my dental fiasco ended up being a welcome wake-up call.  Going forward, I am going to emphasize to all of my clients that if they ever, at any point, are not 100% happy, there is no shame or embarrassment in immediately letting me know.  I would much rather proverbially pick my teeth than proverbially watch business relationships recede in my proverbial rear-view mirror!

Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

You're right. It's happened to us all. I tend to check after every meal nowadays.

Apr 25, 2013 11:38 AM
Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

Isn't that annoying, Andrew, and it makes you fume for hours after and yet it's not something you could have known about. Unless it was pointed out to you.  I think I would be embarrased to tell someone too.

Apr 27, 2013 12:08 AM
Andrew Capelli
Troy, MI

Jill: I will definitely be more paranoid about this, going forward!  :)

Toni: Agreed- it's something only close friends would normally point out, which is why, I think, it's important to express to clients and others that it's acceptable- indeed, expected- that mishaps (in any context) will be pointed out.

Apr 29, 2013 12:34 AM
Nancy Laswick
United Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ
Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun

Andrew, pointing out "hanging chad" is always tricky unless you feel very comfortable with the other person, but it wouldn't stop me from expressing my dissatisfaction/concern to that same person with a product or service they were providing but that's just me. Another excellent post, thanks for sharing.

Apr 30, 2013 07:29 AM
Nancy Laswick
United Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ
Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun

Andrew, I just realized that you went over 100,000 points! Congrats!

Apr 30, 2013 07:32 AM
Andrew Capelli
Troy, MI

Nancy: Thank you so much, both for the comment and the congratulations!  It's always nice to hit milestones like that!  :)

Apr 30, 2013 10:20 AM
Tom Snyder
Troy, MI
Tom Snyder
Great insights Andy. Thanks for sharing.
May 07, 2013 11:39 PM