This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance is purely coincidental.
A few years ago, a woman took a flight from New York to San Francisco. She had never left the East Coast of the United States but was heading to a corporate networking event on behalf of her company.
She dressed very carefully to ensure maximum authority in her red business suit and matching heels. As she exited the plane and walked through San Francisco International Airport, she removed her sandals from her handbag and replaced her heels.
A young boy approached her who couldn’t have been more than four years old and asked her, “Are you Mrs. Claus? I thought I wouldn’t see you until Christmas.” It was September. The young lady looked at the parents of the young boy and they gave a nod confirming that she should play along. “Yes. I am Mrs. Claus. How are you today?” The young boy said, “I’m well. Will you take a picture with me?”
The young boy and Mrs. Claus had an impromptu photo shoot in front of Starbucks. After a few minutes, the boy’s father said, “Todd, let’s move along now. Mrs. Claus is very busy.” Todd and his parents gave thanks to the young woman and waved happily as they walked away.
The crowd at Starbucks witnessed the encounter and applauded Mrs. Claus as she sat down at her table to look over her notes. She was happily surprised by all the attention. The manager walked over to her table and handed her a $100 gift card to show his appreciation.
When the manager stepped away an older gentleman came and sat down at her table and said, “You know, I’ve played Santa for many years and I must say that I truly appreciate what you did for Todd and his parents. I just wanted to tell you that you are a wonderful woman and you are truly appreciated.”
After the older gentleman left the table, a female barista tapped Mrs. Claus on the shoulder and introduced herself, “Hi. My name is Samantha. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Mrs. Claus said, “Hi Samantha, I’m Kelly. It’s a pleasure meeting you as well.” Samantha said, “You look really busy. I’ll leave you alone. I just wanted to come over and introduce myself.” Kelly said, “No. It’s okay. Let’s talk for a bit.”
As the conversation continued, Kelly found out that Samantha was attending City College of San Francisco and studying communications. She had an interest in business and marketing and had a 3.5 GPA. Kelly gave Samantha her card and asked her to call her Boston office line one week from the day.
Kelly left Starbucks, took a cab to her hotel, checked-in and took a quick nap. The slumber lasted a little too long and by the time she awoke, there was only 30 minutes left before the event. She was the first speaker and absolutely could not be late. Luckily the meeting was held in the hotel where she was staying.
She got in the shower, slipped her suit back on, hand-ironed it, fixed her hair quickly and left her hotel room with 10 minutes to spare. She got off the elevator walking quickly. And that’s when it happened. She stumbled and fell forward, papers flew everywhere. And she was only about 300 feet from the auditorium.
She got up dusted off her knees, realized her stockings were toast, and suddenly felt a gust of wind in her unmentionables. The rear seam of her skirt had split all the way up to her waist. She ducked into the hotel gift shop, bought a new pair of stockings and a ton of safety pins. She then went to the ladies room and fixed herself up. With only two minutes to spare, she entered the backstage area, stepped from behind the curtain, and gave her presentation. For 30 minutes, she presented masterfully, took questions, and never turned her back.
When her presentation was over, a C-suite executive walked right up to her and said, “I would like to hire your firm to create a marketing campaign for us.” Kelly graciously accepted the offer and asked the man to meet her at the hotel restaurant in 15 minutes.
In the restaurant, the man introduced himself as Braddock and spoke of his business and their marketing needs at length. Then, he said something that surprised Kelly.
“You know Kelly, I don’t typically believe in coincidences but three things happened to you today that I was a part of and they showed me your character. Let me tell you what happened.
First, you took pictures with my grandson Todd as if you were Mrs. Claus. Then, you sat down with my niece Samantha and offered to help her with mentoring and possibly a career opportunity. Next, you slipped and fell when you came off the elevator, ruined your stockings and your skirt and not only did you arrive to conduct your presentation on time, you presented flawlessly.
I want you to know that I’m part-owner of this hotel and I’m asking you to accept a tentative agreement to work with us exclusively on several marketing campaigns for the next 12 months. I know that you’re currently a Marketing Manager at your firm, but I called up Julian, your Marketing Director, and asked him to promote you to Assistant Director and have you be the point-person for the entire contract.
I understand that this is a lot to process and you might be a little surprised by it all. But I only have one question, does this sound like something you would be interested in?”
Kelly said, “Yes. I would absolutely be interested. Thank you so much.”
Kelly and Braddock continued their meal, agreed to terms, and shook hands.