Falling Down On The Job
The Friday before last I injured myself by being a multi-tasking New York executive. I was rushing back to the office from an appointment, dispensing strategic counsel from my blackberry on what I thought was a dire PR crisis-in-the-making and I managed to step into a pothole and twist my left ankle.
The first surprising thing that happened was seven people rushed to gather me and my scattered belongings up off the pavement and stuff us into a cab. So much for the lore of Genovese Syndrome – New Yorker’s aren’t all dispassionate!
The second surprising thing was the phone calls I started getting after I returned to work the next Monday. Clients were “shocked to hear that I was back on my feet,” and wanted to know “if I had received their fruit baskets.” Shocked at the velocity of the empathy, I asked someone why they were so surprised that I was back at my desk.
I learned that one of my colleagues had accidentally alerted them that I had fallen down a manhole instead of tripping into a pothole!
A much more dramatic scenario than my inelegant swan dive into the middle of 57th street, but I liked it. I was a star!
Being a professional communicator I marveled at the responses this minor dramatization had incurred. A little razzle dazzle can go a long way.
The declining state of the financial markets could become a precipitous death spiral exacerbated by eroding software architectures unable to scale….
A new Italian restaurant could evoke Batali after the Tuscan farmhouse, before the Pecorino Panzanella and right on the cusp of Babbo …
Joining a social networking site can reunite you with high school sweethearts, enhance your job prospects and walk your dog when you can’t get home from the office in time …
The moral of the story? Massaging the truth is okay as long as we make sure we never actually beat the cr#p out of it!