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2. Always hold the door


One of the three mystical PM's (a reference to rule 1) taught me this years ago telling me a story.

A person was entering an office building for an interview. On the way in, he paused, and held the door for someone. That someone went straight to the elevator and on with their day as usual. The person went to the receptionist and asked to meet with their contact for the interview. The candidate was asked to take a seat. A few minutes later, the same someone he held the door open for came down and started the interview. It turns out that holding the door open was a factor in the decision.

This is a corollary to the "Never burn bridges, no matter how much fun it might sound like" rule. Always be on your best manners. You never know when 'that person' might be someone you run into later.

Not a week or two after hearing the above story I ran into a chance to put it into action.

I was out of town on business, and was staying at a hotel for the week. This was in the North East, and there was a significant snow storm during the night. After breakfast, I went out to the parking lot to jump in the car and drive the half mile to the client site, which is such an American thing to do!

While outside, a woman (older, overweight, but dressed in a business casual way) was trying to get her car unstuck from some snow and ice in the hotel parking lot without getting messy. I was in some business formal clothing, but offered to help push the car out of the spot. After some grunt work, the car was free. In the sudden lurch, I slipped and jammed my chin on the car's bumped. The lady waived, and hurried off to where ever she needed to go.

I went back into the hotel to change my clothes, and the desk clerk freaked that I had blood all over my chin, and shirt. I went up, changed, played doctor, and proceeded on with my day. I also called my client to let them know I would be a little late (another rule coming up.)

When I finally got to the office, and started the day, it turns out that the first meeting (we were meeting different customers and client managers to gather input for the project) was with the women I helped in the parking lot.

The meeting went very well.

Rule 2: Always be on your best behavior, and mindful of your manners. You never know who that stranger might be.

Arnulfo Wing said...
1/04/2007 09:28:00 PM  

Exceptions to rule 2: if any of the following conditions is true, then follow common sense and run.
a. You see hospitals all around you, yet people ask you for fare money for a Taxi to get to them.
b. Bus fare to exit the city at 1:30am is never a good sign.
c. If the city = Lousville, KY && time > 7pm.

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