Joi Murugavell founder of Joi Design, is a designer by trade. She's passionate about 'cutting the crap' and helping her clients make money from good, solid Brands.
Simon Young is a cofounder of iJump, a social media consultancy that helps organisations conduct real, human conversations with their communities through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other forms of social media.
James Mawhinney is the Business Development Manager at PositionMEonline, providing high quality internet marketing strategies to a range of clients including Merrill Lynch, Downer EDI, Hawaiian Group, Citect PLC, and Quest Serviced Apartments.
Three weeks ago I received the inevitable but deeply sad news that my nana (she was 94) was very ill and had about 3 days. So off to New Zealand we went to say goodbye to an amazing human being. My partner and I used to spend some nights at her place with takeaways soaking up her gems (at times watching bad TV but mostly poking fun at her whisky drinking antics). She would always say "you young people should be out having fun instead of hanging around an old lady" and we would always reply "you're more interesting than any of our friends" and we meant it.
No matter how busy you are, work is just work when life slams you in the face. The 3-5 days I planned to spend In Auckland turned into 3 weeks, she always had a very strong will, so we weren't surprised. So anyway, when I said work is just work when life turns up? that may be true when you're talking about 3-4 days, 3 weeks is a whole different story:)
I worked on my laptop, at times by her hospital bed (not strangely that inspired some good designing) but work was building up, which I am still catching up on now. I had to start telling a few clients what was happening.
It was natural and easy to tell some clients but others not so much. We all have a variety of clients, some are formal, very work focussed, others are more relaxed, everyone does their business to business communication differently. When you're faced with telling a client something highly personal, it isn't just awkward for you but for them too (at times even more so).
No one really knows what to say "sorry Joi, now about my website, it has to go live as the Ad campaign I paid a lot of money for kicks in next week". You can see how that puts someone in a very awkward position, which made me asses the situation. Clients who absolutely needed a deadline met, had no idea I was working from a hospital and their deadlines were met. Clients who could delay things, were told the truth so they understood I wasn't being slack.
Business to Business grieving is tricky, be honest but only when you have to, as being honest isn't always the best thing when you can help it.