Upon Receiving the Award for Excellence in Marketing

Very pleased . . . very pleased . . .very happy

| September / October 2003

Friends . . . colleagues . . . My Esteemed et cetera: As we all know, I am not worth the price of the felt that is glued to the base of this year's award, appropriately titled, 'Rise to the Challenge VI.' But I will always remember the words of my good friend Martin J. Moorlin, a figurehead of this department for many years who, as some of you may recall, was the recipient of 'Rise to the Challenge II' in a year that featured some very stiff competition. He said these words to me: 'Richard,' he said, 'you must not work five days, but six. And the sixth day' -- this is important now -- 'the sixth day must be a Sunday.'

That's good advice for anyone.


Friends, I'd first like to address the topics of Fear and Confusion. There was once a flow chart in Conference Room B. On it were the names of all those working on the Sani-Flush account. At one point, someone -- some jokester -- slipped into the room and drew a sequence of arrows and stars on the flow chart. Arrows leading from one name to another. Arrows leading up, or down, or off into nothingness. Some names were starred. Some names were double-starred. The more I studied this chart, the more it seemed to me that the stars and arrows suggested coded decisions by a malevolent executive. And as people walked in, sat down to lunch and saw their names, the effect was galvanic. Reese Carter, an ex-jock with impressive reserves of arrogance, was himself immobilized with fear and contempt. On the flow chart, his name? No stars. He had no arrows. He thought he was being fired. I found him later in the john. He was clipping his toenails. When I casually asked him about the Gopher game the night before, he just looked at me and laughed, with equal parts bitterness and mania.


Mysterious symbols. Runes and incantations. It occurs to me, friends, we don't talk enough about magic in our profession.

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