As a shopping mall marketing director, I wrote the words for our tall outdoor mall marquee signs.
One day my boss’s boss walked into my office and asked “do we promote specific stores on the marquee?”
I already knew we do not promote specific stores on the marquee.
He leaned in, too close and too soon after his typical “lunch,” and stage-whispered “’GREAT VALVES INSIDE’?”
I stepped back, confused.
“Dave, why are we promoting the Firestone tire store?” he asked.
Oh I get it. Valves. Tires have valves. The big mall marquee had a typo.
Writing mall marquees. Not really why I got an MBA at nearby The Ohio State University, but it was still among my responsibilities.
I used worksheets that had little squares on them to count how many letters would fit on the sign.
And I wrote the letters as neatly as I could. Yet, you can imagine how a “V” could look like a “U.” And with my handwriting, I couldn’t really blame our maintenance worker who changed the sign.
I let him know I’d take care of it.
A couple of lessons here:
– Good handwriting. Still useful in this day and age, right?
– Don’t ignore little details, like making sure there’s a nice fat curve on the bottom of your capital U
– Don’t assume the person you’re talking to can read your mind. Or read at all because in this case, the guy actually couldn’t. Yes, we had a person who could not read in charge of changing our mall marquee signs. That might be a topic for another article.
– And as for my regional manager, and in so many cases, clear is better than clever.
Who knows what great things we might have accomplished during our ten-minute conversation if I had any idea what he was trying to tell me?
What do you think?
See you tomorrow!