I once worked in the marketing department of a large organization where I was responsible for advertising and publications. I loved the creative side of the job—coming up with ideas and copy and design.
I didn’t like the business side of the job—coming up with estimates and costs and budgets. I’m a word person, not a numbers person. Which is why I’m always intimidated by people who know their way around a balance sheet.
Gerry was one of those people. He worked in the business office and insisted I get bids for my projects which meant I had to fill out forms—forms with numbers. I privately thought he was a little too rigid and rule-bound.
Then I messed up big time. I got the phone number wrong on a huge order of corporate letterhead—and the first person who offered to help was Gerry. He explored every possible way to fix it, but in the end we had to reprint. The cost was high—to the organization and to my ego. I was so humiliated and remorseful.
Gerry was matter-of-fact. “I’ve seen a lot worse,” he said and never mentioned it again. I did not deserve such kindness and it changed my mind about Gerry.
About some others things, too.