Article or Fable

Articles & Workplace Fables

The quick-witted advertising man
The Quick-Witted Ad-Man was pitching to win the business of Shuttle, a newly privatised state-owned railway.

He arranged for Shuttle’s Chairman to visit the agency offices at midday for a pitch, which was to be followed by lunch at a nice restaurant.

Shuttle’s chauffeur-driven Chairman arrived promptly at the Quick-Witted Ad-Man’s offices, but was rather unimpressed to be kept waiting by the receptionist who was chatting on the telephone and ignoring him. When she had finished her conversation, the Shuttle Chairman introduced himself and explained why he was there. The receptionist waved him to the waiting area as she made another call.

The waiting area was a mess. Crumpled newspapers were spread over the seats and there were half-empty cups of coffee, chocolate wrappers and crisp packets on the table. There were even empty beer cans discarded on the floor.

The Chairman did his best to make himself comfortable while he waited. And waited. Ten minutes turned into fifteen, then twenty. After twenty-five minutes the Chairman stormed back to the reception desk to demand to know why he was being kept waiting. The receptionist shrugged her shoulders and offered to bring over a coffee.

Finally, after another long wait, the Chairman snapped and stood up to leave. As he did so the Quick-Witted Ad-Man walked in. He had been eyeing events through a keyhole all along.

'Now you have witnessed at first-hand what your customers endure, I think it’s time I took you for a good lunch so we can talk about how we can put it right,” said the Quick-Witted Ad-Man.'

Going through what others experience can focus the mind.