The Greatest First Impression Ever (An Entry in Novembers "I Cannot believe I just did that!" contest)
When I saw the rules for this contest, it took me all of 2 seconds to know what my "I can't believe I just did that" moment would be. I thankfully haven't had too many slip ups in front of clients, but one stands out and left me pretty red in the face.
When I was still pretty green in the mortgage business at the ripe old age of 24, I got a call from an elderly client. He and his wife were looking to refinance, and I had a program that could help them. They were local, so we agreed to meet early one morning to review the options, and if all looked good, sign loan documents. He was local, but this was an area and a development I wasn't very familiar with. I also didn't have GPS.
With my handwritten "mapquest" directions (thank goodness for in-car nav systems, which I'll never again live without!) I set off for my meeting. I was running a few minutes behind, as was my custom at that point in my life (I learned the importance of punctuality far later in life than I should have!), but I would be there within 5 minutes of our set appointment time, so no need for a call, right?
I pulled into the clients development, and my mapquest directions told me the next move was to make a left at a certain street within the development. This development had a lot of lefts. Nope, not that one. Not that one, either. Nope, not this one. Noooooooo why is there a cop behind me with his lights on pulling me over?
In my effort to find my left turn, I failed to ever look right. Had I looked right, I would have perhaps seen the stop sign on the right hand side. I did not. I drove straight through it looking left all the while. This was not a good enough excuse for the police officer to not write me a ticket. While I was waiting for him to run my information, I had plenty of time to look around, and as luck would have it, I had pulled over right across the street from MY left. Life then decided to show me it's ridiculously good sense of humor as I noticed an elderly man in his front yard, hose in hand watering flowers while simultaneously watching my interaction with the 5-0. Of course this was my client. Of course I was now 15 minutes late (at least he KNEW I wasn't lying about my excuse, right?).
Thankfully, these clients were some of the nicest people I've ever met. I was also able to help save them quite a bit of money and put them in a stable position in their retirement. We had a laugh about the whole incident, and both agreed that the stop sign I ran was in a spot where no stop sign should be - it wasn't an intersection, it wasn't a high traffic area, and I cannot in my mind imagine a single scenario where that stop sign would prevent an accident. My client agreed and had wondered himself why that stop sign was there. The first encounter I had with my client was while I was late for our appointment and pulled over by the police. Justified or not - I couldn't believe I did that!