The Practitioner: being Frank

ONE PROBLEM with being part of a small-to-medium-sized practice is that you tend to lose track of what certain people are doing, and I don’t mean staff either.

Frank is a partner. There have been several days in the past couple of weeks where I’ve thought: “Where the hell is Frank?”, or “What is Frank doing today?”

Sometimes even after speaking to him on his mobile in the morning I’m still none the wiser about his activities. He says he’s out seeing potential clients, or visiting a particular client (who happens to be his best mate).

For the past two weeks he has been “down south” seeing potential new clients. His expense claim form shows that he visited eight restaurants, stayed in four different hotels, and drank more than 15 bottles of red wine! Which client is going to be recharged for these expenses I wonder?

I shouldn’t really complain too much as most of his forays “down south” do actually produce work of some sort, not all of it chargeable though.

A consequence of him being out of the office for so long is that some of the staff see it as an opportunity to take the foot of the pedal and relax. I, however, see it as a great opportunity to run things my way and come down on people like a ton of bricks.

Having to run the practice minus Frank for two weeks every month means the time that I get to spend being proactive with clients is reduced, which makes me more paranoid than ever that clients are going to be phoning me up and giving their reasons why they are leaving us for someone else. One client, in particular, is on the verge, I am sure.

If only I had more time to spend with her, and help her to grow her business instead of dealing with all the rubbish in the office on my own.

It’s just a shame she isn’t “down south”. I could ask Frank to call in and see her.

The Practitioner’s uncensored thoughts come from the coalface of a regional office in the heart of England

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