Posted 18 July 2012 - 07:20 PM
i had a series of calls over a period of months with a client who worked in another state. he was a senior manager in charge of sales and without fail, at some point, during each call he would complain to me about a particular subordinate of his.
his comments ranged from things like "you know he's black, and you know how they can be?" "what can i say they are dumb and lazy" "if he wasn't the only one, on my team, i'd fire his black ass" "what do you expect, they are an ignorant bunch""if i'd been the one to build the team, i wouldn't have any of them on it, too bad for me he was already hired and had some big clients who like him a lot".
each time this fellow would say this stuff i would caution him, saying he should "...be careful because you never know who might overhear you and it'd be really bad for the company and potentially for him if the wrong person heard his very candid views and complained".
now, this guy loved me (we'll call him "my bff")and took every opportunity to tell me and his bosses, how great i was and how well i took care of his business, saving his deals, closing them quickly and finding his group opportunities for up sell, during negotiations with their customers and spotting opportunities to create new intellectual property for them to exploit.
well, an opportunity presented itself for me to travel out to his region and deliver a seminar to his group and several other groups. as i was setting up in the conference room, my bff wandered in and without bothering to introduce himself (i knew what he looked liked from the firm directory photos) (no one from legal had their photos published) and asked me if i was from ny and setting up for the presentation that "splinky" was giving, i told him that i was and just as i was about to introduce myself a bunch of folks walked in, along with his bosses, interrupting us. the president of the division who i'd already seen at a breakfast meeting, turned to me and said "let's get this party started!" and he went to the front of the room and set up the talk and gave my introduction. when the president called me up to the podium, my bff went white as sheet and looked like he was going to pass out.
he was awkwardly silent for the entire presentation and the q&a bruncheon that followed.
“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
*proud descendant of cheese eating surrender monkeys*