an offer I can't refuse
May 13, 2008 6:18 AM   Subscribe

Nearly two years ago, a guest at the hotel I work at offered me something. Two years later, I'd like to take him up on it. What etiquette is involved?

This gentleman was the key financier for a very private, upscale golf and residential development. We spoke briefly about the development and he gave me his card and told me to contact him if I wanted to play the course.

Well, two years later my brother is graduating college and my uncle and dad are coming up to visit and we are planning to play a round of golf, as the four of us are rarely together. Playing this course would knock all of our socks off and be a memorable experience.

I know this gentleman is extremely busy running a real estate development company and I feel I am making the situation even worse by doing this on such short notice (the set date to play is May 16).

Anyone been in this situation before? What is the protocol here?
posted by Scottk to Human Relations (15 answers total)
 
The worst thing he could say is no, right? And then you're simply back where you started. So just contact him and lay it out like you did here and see what he says. Just be sure not to badger the man, be polite, and you may just get what you're looking for.
posted by cooker girl at 6:26 AM on May 13, 2008


No, I don't think so. If you haven't had any contact with this man since he made the offer (which he may have long forgotten) I'd say forget it. If you see him regularly and have a cordial relationship, remind him and ask if it would be an imposition to take him up on his generous offer, at this late date, for a special family outing.
posted by thinkpiece at 6:33 AM on May 13, 2008


Two years, and three-day notice -- seems like the moment may have passed. But if you're extremely self-confident and don't mind talking your way through awkward situations, you might have an outside chance of getting the offer renewed.
posted by aught at 6:47 AM on May 13, 2008


I would go for it if you are not shy? What is the worst thing that could happen? Tell him the situation, tell him you feel sorry for both the short notice and that you hadnt mentioned the topic in three years, and finish off by saying that you understand if favor in question cannot be obtained but at least you wanted to ask....
posted by The1andonly at 6:52 AM on May 13, 2008


Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I had a similar situation with a customer who happened to be the club pro at a local private resort golf community. I called a year later, he was extremely gracious, whether he even remembered me or not. He even asked me when I wanted to play, rather than fitting me in. When I was done, I was very complimentary of the staff and facilities. He invited me back.
posted by netbros at 6:54 AM on May 13, 2008


I'm sure this guy has handed out hundreds of cards to hundreds of helpful hotel employees over the years. Therefore, I'm sure he has a standard method of dealing with acceptance of this offer. You might not even be speaking with him initially; he might have an assistant at the front lines who will either help you out, or will gracefully decline your request. I don't think you have a great shot of getting in on 3 days' notice, but I also don't think you have anything to lose by calling.
posted by boomchicka at 6:58 AM on May 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


You may as well give it a try. There are numerous ways you could soften up the story to make it appear you have tried to contact him or made plans to contact him during the past two years, if needbe.
posted by fire&wings at 7:02 AM on May 13, 2008


If it's too late to ask now, it's too late to ask in the future. So basically, the phone number you have now is worth as much as it'll ever be worth from now until you eventually lose the business card somewhere. So play the card.

Do you run the risk that he has no idea who you are? Yes. So what? Do you run the risk that you'll insult him by ignoring him for the past 2 years? Yes, but his judgment of you at this point is meaningless, since you'll never have contact with him after you call him now in the event that the phone call goes sour.

This is a no lose situation. Go for it.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:02 AM on May 13, 2008


Call his office. Speak to his receptionist/secretary/assistant. He'll/she'll most likely be able to arrange it himself/herself without troubling Mr. Financier. Those people almost always have assistants to do this sort of thing.
posted by yeti at 7:10 AM on May 13, 2008


Seems like when a member or even a key financier talks to you about ever wanting to play their private course, normally it means just you. Not inviting your whole family over for a round. So besides the possible snub of not talking to him in a couple years, you also may be snubbing him by not asking him to play with you, or just the imposition of bringing so many people with you.

However, who gives a shit about all that. Worst he can say is no.
posted by travis08 at 7:16 AM on May 13, 2008


What yeti & travis said. Call the assistant--trust me, we're used to these calls, and we know when to say yes, when to say no, and when to consult the boss.

And yeah.. if a key person is saying "come play a round" they mean with them, unless what he said was "if you want to play a round, let me know and I'll get you in". Usually.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:30 AM on May 13, 2008


You might as well try. Of course, after two years he's very unlikely to remember you, and on top of that getting reservations for a very private, upscale course only 3 days ahead of tee-off... If you get in, you're luckier than a two-peckered billy goat and you should not forget to thank your benefactor appropriately.
posted by splice at 7:56 AM on May 13, 2008


Agreeing to give it a shot. It's not like he put a time limit on the offer, right? If they can't do it, they'll tell you with no hard feelings. Being slightly humble in your request never hurts either- the less people feel they aren't being taken advantage of, the more they want to help you.

"Hello, I met Mr. Bigshot a while ago, and he told me to call if I wanted to play the course. I know this is last minute, but my brother is graduating this weekend and I wanted to see if you could fit another foursome in?"

And yes, a sincere thank you would be appropriate whether you get it or not.
posted by gjc at 8:10 AM on May 13, 2008


Go ahead and call, you have nothing to lose. :D do what gjc said.
posted by Xianny at 9:12 AM on May 13, 2008


Do it! Powerful people tend to have very good people skills to promote themselves. I don't think this guy would have even offered if he didn't mean it. I have a friend who is always doing this kind of thing, and he owns a car dealership. He loves it when people take him up on stuff like this.
posted by frecklefaerie at 1:31 PM on May 14, 2008


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