Today I called the office of the doctor who treated me in the hospital. He wanted to see me in 7 days after leaving the hospital. I believed he had made my appointment but failed to tell me what day and time. Gosh, it seems he hadn't so I needed to get signed up for one myself.
The conversation with his appointment secretary went something like this:
Secretary - I can give you an appointment on March 31st at 3 pm.
Me - But the doctor wanted to see me in 7 days. I also have blisters in my mouth from the breathing treatments. I need to get something for it right away.
Secretary - I'm sorry but that's the soonest I can get you in.
Me - But what about his instructions?
Secretary - That's the best we can give you. Do you want the appointment or not?
Me - Ok, I'll take that one.
So how does this relate to the profession of machine quilting? Well think about it. Would the appointment secretary have penciled me in for an appointment despite the doctor already being booked? In front of all the others who have appointments simply because I had a special request?
No, she wouldn't. So why is it that machine quilters feel the need to grant all our customer's special requests despite knowing we are already booked? Because we care. Because we don't want to damage our reputation. Because we don't like loosing customers. There are any number of reasons why we give up our life in favor of our special request customers.
I wish someone had been around in my early professional days to point this out to me. Machine quilters are the only professionals that will spend 24 / 7 thinking of the customers first. All other professionals will stick to a schedule.
In defense of our customers... it can't hurt to try, right? They might just get lucky and not have to wait in line. I know I really wanted to see my doctor for a follow up. My mouth is very sore and I was hoping to get some advice on treating it. I tried to get ahead of the others but the appointment secretary was firm enough to say it's an appointment in March or nothing. I don't hate her for it nor would I complain because I really want to see the doctor for a follow up visit.
So the next time a customer asks for a special spot (in front of all your customers who follow the rules) ask yourself if you are a professional? Have confidence in yourself. Stick to your schedule and your waiting list. The customers who really like your work will be willing to wait.... those that aren't willing to wait are welcome to go someplace else.
This post and the last one might sound like I'm angry or something. I never know how it reads from another's point of view. That's not it at all. I'm simply pointing out that other professionals make sure they leave room in their schedules for what's important to them. In order to be treated as a professional you must act like a professional. Learn to say no in a tactful professional manner and your customers will respect you for it.