One of the nicest men I had ever met was going to build a home with me. He had a beautiful wife and the cutest little dog ever. He had patiently waited about a year for some new lots to come open and he would get the first pick of the lots when they opened. During that year, we had become good friends and were ready to get started on his new home when the time came. He was also waiting on a new plan that I had told him we were going to unveil. It was a huge single story plan and it was exactly everything that he had ever dreamed of. He was so excited. I was excited too because this was a great plan. I was so emotional about it that as soon as I heard it was available, I called him. Big mistake!
I was very proud of what I was selling and the marketing department had really thought of some great names that were Texas themed names for all the other plans. So I was expecting a really awesome name for a Texas sized single story plan. They called me and told me that the name of the beautiful new plan was called (insert the drum-roll; dum, dum, dum…) “The Barkland.” What?! That is the dumbest name I’ve ever heard. Who was the marketing genius that thought of that? I was actually embarrassed to call my customer to tell him that his dream home is named “The Barkland”. Here is how that face to face conversation went:
“Mr. Collins! I’m so glad you could come in to see the new plan. I was so excited to call you about it being released to us.” I said when he walked excitedly into my office.
“Thank you for calling me. We’ve only been waiting for this day for a year! Well, let’s see it” he said, excitedly taking a seat in anticipation of the blueprints.
“Okay, but I have to tell you something first. I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out why they named this plan what they did. It is the worst name I’ve ever heard for a house or anything for that matter! I’m going to have to have a serious talk with our marketing team. They really screwed this one up,” I snorted and laughed.
“Oh my gosh! I can’t even imagine. What did they name it?” he said.
“The Barkland” I said in a mocking sing song voice. I instantly noticed a change on his face so I thought he was just sharing my disdain for the name as well. “I know, right? It’s horrible! Barkland. Barkland. No matter how you say it, it’s stupid.”
I laughed and realized that I was the only one laughing. He had a majorly hacked off look on his face. I said, “What is it? What’s wrong?”
“Barkland is my middle name. Barkland was my father’s name, my grandfather’s name and his father’s name. My dog’s name is Barkland as well.” He said.
I paused for a second and because we had a great relationship and had known each other for so long, I thought he was kidding with me. So I said, “Ha ha!” pointing at him, “Good one! Well I guess this is the perfect house for you, Barkland! If that IS your real name!” I laughed, thinking he was kidding. Again, I was the only one laughing and had to awkwardly stop my laugh with an uncomfortable, “Ahhh.”
“I think we’re done here. I’m not going to build a home with someone who can be so insensitive. Thank you for making fun of my heritage. Have a nice day.” He said sarcastically and got up and started for the door.
Being as quick on the draw as I am….yeah right…I started to apologize to him. It took me a while to realize that he was serious and I had really hurt his feelings. I never heard from him again and I sent cards, left emails and phone messages. Me, unknowingly making fun of his name was enough for him not to want to build a home with me. What are the flipping odds of his having the same stupid name as our new home? I still think it’s a stupid name, but if I’d have known, I could’ve at least lied about it!