Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I must write good

A couple of months ago my boss forwarded an e-mail to me. A software developer specializing in our industry and an industry publication were sponsoring a contest for a Technology Makeover. Essentially, they were offering a $10,000 technology prize to a salon or spa who, in 500 words, could prove why they deserved it.

"Do you think we should enter?" she wrote.

"Yup," I answered.

I've been pining for new software since I started because our existing software is so horrible it's not even worth writing about here. I won't bore you with the details. A conversion is, obviously, a lot of time and a lot of money, but when you can lop $10,000 off the top then there's a bit of an incentive to bite the bullet and do it.

I wrote my essay in about 10 minutes, then sat on it for weeks. I'd go back in and tweak this or that, mainly to get under the 500 word limit. Then, the day before it was due, I took a deep breath and sent it in.

That's when the pangs of doubt started. Was it too irreverent? Did it aptly convey just how much we need this new software? Are they going to look at us and say, "You can afford this on your own, we're not giving you anything. And you ought to be ashamed for trying."

The contest application said that the winners would be notified November 30. November 30 came and went, and there was no phone call, no e-mail. I was talking about it with our laser director this morning (who was also lamenting our current system and saying how much she'd like to have the new system) and I said, "Well, obviously, we didn't win. Because we were supposed to find out Friday and I haven't heard squat. Maybe we can try to build it into the budget next year."

Today, on the way to lunch with some colleagues, my cell phone rang. Crap, it's the spa. What freakin' marketing emergency has come up that you have to call me over lunch for? The spa coordinator said, "This guy is trying to get a hold of you, and he says it's an emergency...he said he's from _____." OMG. Give me the number. Give me the number now.

When I called back, the receptionist asked who I was and then put me on hold for 10 minutes. I found out later that they put me on hold to assemble their team in a conference room, so I could be put on speaker when I was told that we won. I'm pretty sure they started laughing when I screamed after they told me, and then laughed again when I said, "I think I'm gonna cry!"

Then I had the sheer joy of calling my boss (the CEO) and my CFO and telling them. They're out of town, but I could tell she was doing a happy dance over the phone. Nothing like winning a $10,000 prize to solidify your value to the company, eh?

I'm pretty sure I'm gonna sleep well tonight. That is, if I can calm down from the sheer excitement.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Post your "entry".

10:15 PM  

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