A parking ticket is like a mosquito bite. It’s annoying, it itches, it lingers and it leaves a scab, or a dent in your wallet, if you scratch too much. The funny thing is if you ignore the itch and don’t scratch it, the mosquito bite fades away pretty quickly. Summer is coming; you should try it.
The problem with a parking ticket is if you ignore the ticket, it will definitely not fade away.
Fast forward to six months after ignoring my ticket. I now have a $100 dollar fine and am standing in a line with 170 other people that decided to also ignore their ticket. We are all facing the same direction and have that blank stare of desperation as if a guillotine was waiting to take us out of this misery. I look around after the mullet of the guy in front of me stops being hilarious and notice that the walls of the courthouse are chipping, the smell is musty, the area is dark and gloomy and the officers look bored out of their mind. It is nine in the morning on a Tuesday and the ticket booth is open but the courtroom has yet to open its doors.
Forty-five minutes later I’m seventh in line and I just want to scream.
Suddenly the front door flings open and a swarm of lawyers file in. A tall, young woman with glasses, pointy black shoes, silver suit and a shiny brown leather briefcase leads the pack. Behind her, in unison, they all come in, commanding attention with the click-clack of their dress shoes, and the jargon only lawyers use.
The front door slams shut. I am now third in line and a bead of sweat drips down the side of my cheek. I can’t wait to pay the ticket and get on with life—outside this dreadful place.
The door slowly creeps open and in walks a man, shuffling through papers, stopping to pick up a file that fell and looking lost and unconfident. As the guards took notice of him they attempted to usher him through the metal detector but he angrily announced himself as a lawyer.
‘A lawyer?!,’ I thought to myself. He had on black sneakers, a blue blazer and black worn pants. His collar was wrinkled and his tie was disheveled. How could this guy claim to be a lawyer?
“Sir…. Sir,” the ticket lady yelled at me, interrupting my disbelief. I had finally come to the front of the line. I paid my ticket and made my way towards the door, but not without doing a double take as the same disheveled lawyer approached me, extended his hand and told me he could help me with my case. I excused myself and let him know I wasn’t the person he was looking for; I had no case. He looked at me with a blank stare, took out his file, examined it and wandered away scratching his head.
I took a huge breath of air as I raced down the stairs and was so thankful I was only in there for a parking ticket. Even more thankful that the lawyer didn’t represent me in any case. I would much rather that the tall, professionally dressed young woman represent me. Her demeanor and the confidence really left an impression.
Who would you like to represent you?
Would you pick an older yet seasoned professional who is sloppy or a young inexperienced novice who is hungry and ambitious? They both have the same degree at very distant times in education. They both have the same title. Whether or not they have the same record is a different story.
First impressions, whether it is of a person, place or thing can leave a lasting impression. This is why the way a business is run from its website down to company dress code can leave a lasting impression on prospective clients.
Does your website have the class it deserves? Does it need to be revitalized and updated? Why not get the best of both worlds and combine experience and business know how with a sleek even sexy look to leave a lasting impression on prospects? Remember that first impressions mean everything and your corporate website is oftentimes the first introduction your business makes on a potential customer. Everything from your website design to the quality of your copy to the ease of your navigation matters to prospective stakeholders. Don’t assume that the “gray hair” of your business can sell the deal for you.