Engaging the Beatles to sing on my birthday (courtesy, actually, of my wonderful friend Maggie) is nothing compared to what everybody thought of me after the fireworks at my sales meeting.
Toilet paper is pretty boring, and it’s even more boring if you’re just changing the name of your brand and pretending it’s a major improvement. To convince the sales force of this, you have to put on a big show for them – or so we in marketing told ourselves. The meeting was at a resort on the Gulf of Mexico near Mobile, and I thought it would be fun to conclude it with fireworks, since I love fireworks.
Unfortunately, I’d happened to mention to the production company that it would be my birthday that night – and so, at the end of the show, there it was for everyone to see: “HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOBBIE,” glittering across the water.
I was thrilled, but horrified – I wished I could, Lady Macbeth style, tell everyone, including the CEO I’d invited as a surprise speaker, I didn’t know about it! I’m not that narcissistic! I wouldn’t spend company money to celebrate myself! The production company paid for it themselves, they said! (Right.)
Did they sell more Cottonelle as a result of those fireworks? Doubtful. Did I get fired? No. But it was a spectacular, if embarrassing, birthday.