‘M’ also stands for Moses.
Charlton Heston has been Gail’s hero for decades. He could not have had a more loyal fan. She has watched Ben Hur a hundred times. Literally. A dozen or so years ago he and his wife appeared live at a Dallas theater center for readings from a book they had written. The small theater was packed. At the end, we were all invited to bring our program down to the stage for his signature. Gail brought along a small folder containing 2 cassette tapes of Heston reading the Bible. We purchased it many years before and thought it would be great to have him sign it.
When we approached him and Gail politely asked him to sign it, in addition to the program, he looked up with the most menacing frown and low grumble. It was so embarrassing to us and a giant disappointment that ‘Moses’ could be so unfriendly. He signed both, grudgingly.
This last Christmas at a Market Street in Frisco, TX, close to Christmas, I was at the end of an incredible day engraving wine bottles. Almost 300 bottles had been done in just under 9 hours. I was zonked and ready to be out of there. The compressor had been put in the case. The drill and regulator had been placed in their spot and I was 80% packed up. Just then, a middle-aged lady walked up, smiled, and said, “Oh I’m sorry to ask but could you please do one more bottle?” I did NOT want to do one more bottle. Instantly ‘Moses,’ his frown, and grumble flashed vividly in my memory and I responded, “Oh, hi! Absolutely! Fill out this little form and I’ll have it done in about 4 minutes.”
When I began to engrave the names of the givers of the bottle, I thought I recognized the name of the president of a major airline. I asked. It was. She was his wife and she thanked me profusely for doing her bottle. She left, I repacked and went home.
The next day at another area Market Street the lady returned earlier in the day and purchased 6 more bottles for the couple to give as Christmas gifts. She thanked me again for the last-minute request the day before. We visited briefly and she took her 6 bottles.
Two days ago I got a call from her husband’s secretary asking about an ongoing program for the airline to send bottles to dignitaries and retiring board members. That new opportunity for our business begins today with the first two bottles!
Again, for an instant, I was glad for the memory of that moment with Charlton Heston when we were not quite so welcome. Gail and I harbor no resentment toward the man. We still love his work and the chance to meet him. He was probably in early stages of the Alzheimer’s disease that eventually took his life.
The moral of this story is that you never know who you’re dealing with. Go the extra mile. Accommodate requests that could make a positive impression with ripples. At every event I do, some customer will make the ‘Moses Memory’ surface and I do my best to smile and do what they want. The phone could ring later.