Crumpler Chronicle (Episode 4): Client Holiday Gifts

From the archive of my “up & coming” early days in the ad biz…

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Project Toronto Client Gift Delivery:

Before I forget what just transpired in the last 48 hours, let me write it down. I went to Toronto for a client meeting and to hand deliver some client holiday gifts. We decided to brand bottles of Patron with our logo. Awesome gift, but hard to get to international clients to say the least. 10:30pm, arrive at baggage claim. We were feeling pretty good because we got through customs with no issues. As we waited for our bags, Jason (my boss) and I started checking out the lady next to us. We swore that she must have drank herself silly on the airplane. Good gosh, she reeked. As my bedazzled bag paraded down the carousel, we noticed people sniffing the air and looking around. At this point, Jason and I thought everyone was on to lil’ miss-I-drank-too-much. The bag then hit the curve toward us and panic quickly set in. Nope, it wasn’t the lady next to us. IT WAS ME. Oh no! Don’t panic, Jason says. He pulls the bag off and then proceeds to bend down and start sniffing it. He wanted to assess the damage. As I watched him bent over sniffing my bag, it occurred to me that we probably should wait until we make it out of security before we bring any more attention to the bag. He aborted said sniffing and faked the ole I-lost-a-contact routine. Okay, we’re good. We zipped out of the airport and took a car to the hotel. The driver promptly told me that my bag was wet and smelled of alcohol. Yeah, thanks. Within minutes, his entire car smelled like a college dorm room. We got to the hotel and asked about an emergency dry cleaning service. Unfortunately, we missed the last pick up by a measly 20 minutes. There was no way to get my clothes back in time for our 9am meeting. Jason helped lug the bag to my room and dumped the mess in the bathtub. He had to leave after a bout of gag reflexes.

There was only one option for getting new clothes in time for the meeting. It was a designer evening gown store in the hotel that they would have opened early. After much consideration, I opted out of the $2,000 sequence dress idea and decided to hand wash my clothes. I cleaned the bathtub, filled it with shampoo and swished my clothes around like a human washing machine. Then I hung them over the AC unit to dry.

Good as gold! We had our first meeting at 9am with one of clients who was pregnant. We got her a beautiful present from Baby Gap. The box was totally warped and smelled of tequila. As she unwrapped it, it got much worse. Turns out one booty actually had tequila in it. Thank gosh she laughed it off.

In another interesting twist, my boss forget his belt and decided to go with some kind of Quicksilver backpack strap looking thing with his nice pants and shirt. It had a lightening bolt emblem or something on it. We were the most low rent Account Execs you’ve ever seen.

The other meetings went wonderful. My bag did stink up their closet, but after explaining the situation and giving them the other bottles, they were fine with it.

We finally got back to Orlando and….you guessed it…..they lost our luggage. Jason is now sitting at the airport waiting to pick them up from Air Canada. All I can say is, to heck with that bag and alcohol-based holiday gifts. Next year I hope we give Christmas ornaments….