I made a big mistake
July 24, 2012 9:06 AM Subscribe
I just squandered a great professional opportunity. Help me repair relations with a professional contact, or at the very least prevent becoming a pariah at a very important company.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (29 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a freelancer, and have been looking for more work. I've also been looking into in-house positions in New York, and have made a visit to New York in order to meet with a few people at the bigger companies in my industry.
I was lucky to score a breakfast with a higher-up at the biggest company in my industry (they represent about 75% of the industry). I explained to her that I was a professional in the industry, running my own consultancy and with a great deal of experience, and that I'd like to meet and discuss this with her, as well as discuss possibilities of working with her company. She set a date for breakfast in Manhattan. I had basically booked a ticket to New York for this very meeting.
Then I made the stupidest mistake I've made in the past ten years; I confused the date and accidentally stood her up! I realized about an hour after our scheduled time, so I think she probably ended up waiting for me at the cafe.
This is something I never do, and the timing of it is horrible. There are not many companies that do what I do, and these guys are the biggest. This meeting could have resulted in more freelance work or even an in-house position. What's more, I'm concerned it'll affect my ability to find work with the company at all (i.e. "That guy? He stood me up at breakfast. I wouldn't trust him on this project.") OR in the industry at large.
I called her after I realized I had stood her up and left her a message, apologising profusely and saying that I had no excuse but that I had confused the date. I emailed her as well, to the same effect. I thanked her again for her generosity in agreeing to meet with me, and mentioned that, if she'd be willing to give me another chance, I'd be able to visit her in the office this week at a time most convenient to her.
She hasn't responded at all, to my email or my phone call.
Clearly she thinks I'm a flake and she probably believes I don't take this very seriously. I would feel the same way. Especially when this work is project management related, and attention to details like DATES are incredibly important.
I'm going to follow up with her by email in a day or two, to thank her again for agreeing to meet and to let her know that I'd still be able to swing by the office or speak with her over the phone if she'd be willing to give me a chance. I'm trying to think about the right tone for this message, and if she's no longer interested in having a discussion with me, I'd at least like to send her a message that would at least minimize the damage to my reputation. Would appreciate any advice on how best to go about this, and what the best approach would be to this bit of correspondence.