Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"We tried Bill...we tried."

Our head of International, during the seventies, was an ex Marine that had served in the Pacific during the Second World War. If you wanted to do a casting of an ex-marine, he would be perfect. He was a tough looking guy with a great stare, and when he spoke you listened.

I once turned down a job in a market and jokingly asked him if he would hold it against me, his answer was, “I am not sure that I won’t.”

Not much of a sense of humor, a real tough guy. He was a good guy though, in spite of his demeanor.
He had a great memory, and seemed to remember everybody he ever met, names, family, everything.

He did have one weakness, because of his military service, he never went to visit our Tokyo operation, number two in the world at that time. Finally he was convinced that he had to go, considering his position in the company, and especially that of our Japanese operation’s size.

He finally goes to our Tokyo operation while on a far eastern tour. He is received very graciously as is to be expected. He meets the major clients, sees the impressive agency presentation. He seemed relaxed, the Japanese manager sends him on a tour of Tokyo, and a ride on the bullet train to get a feeling of the country, Kyoto, Mt. Fuji, a very impressive couple of days. He stayed in traditional Inns had hot baths, massages, ate Sushi, the works.

When he gets back, they give him the traditional cocktail party, clients, staff, suppliers and diplomats.
While at the party he makes an observation to the Japanese manager, a very cool guy, that the country seems very crowded, buildings all over the countryside and asks the population of Japan. “ It is about 120 million people” says the manager. He thinks for a while and says to the manager, “you guys need more land.”

With a small shy smile our manager turns to him and says… “We tried Bill, we tried.”

No matter who you are, just think a little bit before you say anything…remember.

“We tried Bill, we tried.”

1 comment:

  1. I can't beleive Bill said that. Your manager, I'm sure, couldn't resist an opening like that.