Okay. Help me out here. And before you start, know that names have been changed to protect the innocent. Well, except for mine.
As you know, I just returned home from a days long conference in New Mexico. At this conference, a young sales professional hung out with all of us. Every day. I’m going to call him Joseph.
The very act of our friendship afforded Joseph access to my immediate professional relationships, and introduced him to even others, very powerful relationships in their own right. Most young salespeople would love to have the access this young one gained in one weekend.
A young lady flew in from another town and joined Joseph, and as such, she was welcomed into our group. I’m going to call her Deanna. Deanna was precious, a beautiful single mom, and a national sales manager for a firm totally unrelated to oil and gas. The very first night she’s there, Joseph falls ill. She pitches in and takes care of him. Joseph recovers to attend all of the events on Saturday, as well as the rest of the weekend. Saturday night, we’re sitting together at the same large dinner table, and I tell Joseph that we enjoyed Deanna’s company that afternoon when she joined us for shopping on the square. (He was playing in a golf tourney.)
His comment, “Yeah? She’s sweet. But I have commitment issues. I just can’t do it. But you know, last night, she so totally took care of me when I was sick. I couldn't believe it. It’s caused me to wonder.”
She’s sitting right next to him. I’m so thankful she didn’t hear him. I want to slap him.
I’m thinking: you need to rope up, boy, and see gold when it appears in front of you. I see a committed, professional, single mom, who’s working her fingers to the bone to raise her son. She’s been given a weekend off, and been thrown in a huge mix of people she’s never met, and she is faring very well. She's not intimidated, she's visiting with others, and very interested in their responses. I’m impressed. The entire group is impressed with Deanna.
That night, after an event, Joseph and Deanna went out to a very small, no, tiny local bar with four of my friends and their wives. These friends each happen to be VPs with ABigHonkin’Service Company. (I skipped and went to the hotel, I was exhausted.) A large time was had by all, and said night ended with all the wives and girlfriends singing on the stage with the band. These ladies, with the exception of Deanna, had known each other for years. They took Deanna under their wings, and a good time was had by all. They were all having fun, and nothing untoward happened. Their husbands/significant others thought the time was great!
The next morning found Deanna without her purse. Her Louis Vuitton purse. With her I.D., credit cards, and house/car keys. All missing. Joseph calls me and lets me know. All of the VP’s go on the search. I go on the search. We go over every step of the night, every single place that was visited. We go to the reception, the dinner, the bar, and after a thorough search, find the purse, with everything intact. We’re all so relieved. Deanna almost cries with gratitude. Later on that afternoon, Deanna flies home, actually riding to the airport with one of the VPs and his wife.
Joseph is back with us again. And we’re all bragging on how much we love Deanna, how she fit in, and how sweet she was. How all the customers and VPs and their wives loved her, as well.
Joseph? Not so much. He totally trashes her, saying he can’t believe she got up on the stage in front of such powerful people. After all, he has his reputation to protect.
I’m in shock – my friends are in shock. I’m thinking my own reputation might be in danger, if he continues to act like this. I’ve known Joseph for 3-4 years. I’ve somewhat, in a limited by distance way, mentored him, opened doors for him, and have willingly done so. He works in the same industry as I, and also works with a non-profit that helps underprivileged kids. I think he can go far. This weekend he's sought my advice, and we’ve enjoyed some deep discussions concerning furthering his education, and his ultimate career path.
I tell him in no uncertain terms his vision’s a little off. Deanna was just letting her hair down, following the older adults in the group. Matter of fact, I remind him, he has some culpability here, as well. Deanna crossed no lines, and everyone loved her. I personally think that Deanna is a deep well, very disciplined, and sweet to boot. She’s one of those rare ones - a keeper.
Joseph still keeps griping. I tell him to look in the mirror, that this is really about him, not her.
The next morning, Joseph’s readying to fly home, himself, and can’t find his rental car keys. He calls me, and tells me he thinks that Deanna took the keys home by mistake. The rental car company has to drive from another town and make a new set of keys so he can get to the airport. He calls her, and she doesn’t have them. He’s still blaming her.
I give up. Whatever this is, it’s not about me.
Tonight, I receive this e-mail.
It was great seeing you again this year at NMOGA.
As always, I had a great time with you and your friends/customers.
You are such a great person and always so kind to me. It is no wonder why you are so loved everywhere you go.
On a not so "cheesy" note, haha, I was hoping to follow up with a few people to say thanks.
If possible, please send email addresses for the below.
Dean Brown (wifes name?)
Jim Ican’trememberhislastname (wifes name?)
Danny (last name?)
Ronald & Rhoda S – BigHonkin’ServiceCo (last name?)
Peter G/J – BigHonkin’Service Co(last name?)
Dolores & Lonnie Smith
Thanks again! Hopefully next year that man you love will join the fun... ;)
I don’t know if I’m more pissed that Joseph didn’t think to get their business cards or that I still might be a little ouchy from once being a single mom myself. Or if I just feel used.
Guess I’d better go look in my own mirror. If you hear this big crash, know that it shattered the moment I showed up.