Monthly Archives: May 2013

Expectation Management

It’s tempting sometimes to not tell a client about something that may come up during a project. After all, if whatever it is doesn’t happen all the time, maybe mentioning it will alarm a client more than simply dealing with it if it comes up. This can sound like the right approach but now I have a personal perspective on this.

A few weeks ago I had two wisdom teeth removed. I’d been told there was a risk of nerve damage, that the recovery would probably be painful and that it might take longer than I’d thought, so one could argue I was prepared.

However, on about the fifth day after the surgery I woke up with the taste of dead rat in my mouth. It was awful. I rinsed, I took drugs, I even ate something (difficult as I was still basically on a liquid diet) but the taste remained. I couldn’t sleep at night as every time I swallowed, I tasted dead rat.

So I went back to the surgeon, who had a quick look and said,

“Oh yeah, that’s pretty normal.”

In conversation with others I’ve discovered that it happens to at least half of those people whom I know have had wisdom teeth out. I’ve concluded that it must be some sort of chemical the body makes to aid in healing, as it gradually faded away over about a week.

Normal? Ok, I guess I have to readjust, but I confess I felt quite betrayed that no one had thought to tell me ahead of time that this was a more than 50% likely outcome.

So, next time you’re doing a project with a client and you think there’s a chance that what you’re doing will give the client the taste of dead rat, even for a short time, tell them. Better to know ahead of time that it’s a possibility than to suffer dead rat surprise.