The Write Person for the Job

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.

Old school.

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!