Friday, February 25, 2005

A case of possibly scrambled brains:

I regret that I never flew on the Concorde, but I will never forget one tale of someone who did. The president of a French company whom I shall call Pierre was eager to make a big contract with our group. We were working in NYC, planning a large financial product. One Friday morning, Pierre took the Concorde to see us and nail everything down.

The Concorde carried him swiftly to New York, where he hopped into a cab and got miserably stuck in traffic. Short phone messages between Pierre and our principal guy (whom I’ll call Terry) increased the frustration; Pierre was making little progress.

Now Terry’s wife was pregnant. She did not mind his gallivanting all over the country for his financial work, but they had agreed he was to be back in St. Louis every weekend. Pierre had not arrived, and Terry had to fly home. Here’s how he solved the problem:

Terry rented a jet plane large enough for four people to sit at a table and meet. When Pierre showed up, they hopped into a limo and limped back to the airport. They then flew to St. Louis, meeting on the plane. The deal was set by the time they arrived. Pierre flew at once back to NYC, got back onto the Concorde and returned to Paris. I wonder how well he felt when he got off the plane.

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