by Hope Madden
My company’s new president spent all last week in the Columbus office. Her agenda included one-on-one meetings with each of us. Nice, eh?
This kind of information makes you look at your office with new eyes, though. What impression was that Zombieland poster going to make? Or the shrine to Springsteen? Or the other shrine to Duran Duran? What would she think of Raoul, my life sized cardboard zombie stand up?
I decided it wouldn’t matter, though, as long as her first impression was an accurate reflection of me.
Then I remembered the last time I was introduced to a new corporate authority figure.
My editor Linda, an incredibly dear and sweet woman who worries a great deal about what I might say at any moment, brought our new Editor in Chief Paul down to my office to meet me a few years ago. She clearly was a little anxious about the introduction, which made her a bit giddy and that got her to chatting nervously until she was dizzyingly out of control.
Linda: This is Hope.
Paul: Good to meet you.
Linda: She’s a twin! Her sister’s name is Joy! Hope and Joy!
Me (thinking): Good God.
Linda: They were born near Christmas! Her sister is a little person!
Me (thinking): It sounds like Joy’s a midget. He probably has a circus act in his head right now: giant and midget twins.
Paul: Smiles politely. Shifts uncomfortably.
Me: It’s great to finally meet you. I hope you have a good visit.
Linda: Yep, she’s our local anarchist.
Me (thinking): WHAT??!!!
Paul: Clearly uncomfortable.
Linda: Yep, she sure hates President Bush.
So, about as well as it could have gone, right?
Anyway, I decided to switch my nameplate with that of a colleague who’s out on maternity leave and just meet the new president in her office. Problem solved. Except that now she thinks my kids are Asian.