Bad days come in all sizes and shapes, and sometimes you’ve done something so amazingly bad that even though you are the only one in the world who knows what you just did, your face turns scarlet! Yes, you can embarrass you. It’s a fact of life.
One would think – being safely withdrawn from the business world – I’d be pretty safe. And I usually am. Hardly use email; of course Facebook scares the dickens out of my kids. So that’s why I created a Flair! button that says “I embarrass my offspring” with the FB logo. 26,000 people are using that one.
But mostly I’m harmless. But a couple weeks ago, always with best intentions, with a project near and dear to my heart, I opened an email in a different manner, and unbeknowing I sent my comments – about Mel Gibson maybe having FTD of all things – to a list of national leaders. Yup. That was me, and I wanted to pull the covers over my head and just go away.
Who hasn’t said or posted something that we wish we could have taken back? Words at the water cooler, trying to be cool. Or even just listened to something you wished you had just walked away from.
Sometimes, like a day ‘power broking’ – and yes, I have no idea what that means – I screwed up on something (well heck that was expected, at least 4x a day) and just as I was going to berate myself, up popped a new email proposal. I looked at the recipients, looked at the subject, confused I began to read. And it was the outline of our competition listing how they could take over the company I was working with. OMG! To heck with the message, and omg for the sender. And I prayed for them. And I never brought attention to it. It was just a bad day.
If the Apostle’s Creed would allow addendums, where it reads “one, holy, catholic & apostolic” I’d like to add “and by the way everyone messes up.” But you cannot. I’d also add “in conflict” just because it rounds things out, don’t you think?
But on really bad, no-good days, I remember a trip with Sr. Virginia & Fr. Jim as we headed towards Conway (MI) and I was relating – yet again – aother PR faux pas and Jim slowed down on 32 as we entered Petoskey. “Vicki,” he said. “Ever stay at that Holiday Inn?” Well of course we all had; it was the first big commercial hotel, boasting “49.99 a night with a million dollar view!!!”
“See anything odd about it?”
Well yes, all the fancy schmanzy rooms with a balcony faced the parking lot, and on the Bay side it was plain windows, no sliders and uglier furniture (those were the rooms I could afford at the $49.99 a nite.)
So he told me this true story. Holiday Inn had paid more for that location than other exotic locations from around the world. They argued with the Chamber of Commerce. They argued and placated the neighbors. They promised an elegant setting proper for the history of Petoskey, Michigan, and its historic Bayshore area.
Obviously, they won all the arguments. And the ground was broken for this amazing, historical moment of letting Big Commerce into a quiet Northern Michigan conclave.On the day of the dedication, with all the headquarters honchos there to cut the ribbon, someone asked a question, not too dissimilar to another one by Aesop, 1000s of years ago, about the King and his wardrobe. Jim said the president heard the comment that was already in his head, and asked “Why are all the deluxe rooms with balconcies facing the parking lot and not the view??”
The architect, completely flustered, looked at what he created, looked beyond it to Little Traverse Bay, began blushing, and turned the architechural drawing totally around. He looked at the prints – spot on. The building was amazing in its day. One thing was missing.
Because he never looked up to the Bay, only at his plans that were perfect, he never noticed – not once – that they were upside down.
So, you think you’ve had a bad day? Come to Petoskey and smile …
Here’s the perfect song for you: