I love hearing funny stories, stories that bring a smile to my face and have a habit of laughing at myself almost to the point of constantly..! I often do the strangest of things and during my working life there were many I can tell you!
Before my self opted sabbatical I worked in the recruitment field specialising in the automotive and engineering sectors so my clients were international OEMs (sorry no names allowed). When meeting clients I often used ice-breakers depending on the person I am meeting, it gets them to feel more comfortable, laugh a bit and well when they are at ease my job is easier and they are more willing to give more than they had bargained for. I sit here and still giggle at the time when one of the senior managers of an automotive OEM came through to my company for a strategic meeting.
He and I were discussing personality profiling, the pros, cons and the likes and gave me an address to look up on the net… he had to go off to another meeting so I decided to go and have a look at the site in the mean time and gather further information for him and for myself in order to research it further. I put in the site address … now please bare in mind, this guy was polite and conservative in the sense of the kind of jokes he could hear right… so the site opens up only it wasn’t a site about personality profiling… wait for it… it was a porn site dedicated to spanking!!! I decided to quickly nip down to the meeting room (the meeting hadn’t started yet) and ask him for the address again… he duly gave me the same one again and I told him it can’t be and that unless spanking was the type of personality profiling he was talking about with a big grin on my face… at first he just looked at me and then burst out laughing – we laughed so hard until we cried… turns out I miss spelt the address 😉 .
Till this day he still teases me and it became legend through out our dealings to the point where when I met the head of Engineering he says “ah so you are the famous one who knocked someone over during your drivers” only to continue our meeting with chirps in between. That and the fact that I knocked my tester over in the yard while doing parallel parking for my driver’s test 😉 Since then he told me he would chauffeur me personally when ever I was in the area to protect the other drivers on the road and so that we can improve my spelling…
There are many such stories I can tell you and even though they were indeed embarrassing mistakes in reality they were a constant laugh a minute and helped build an incredible working relationship during strained times between our company and theirs. Humour worked for me, I love the quick witted chirps and I have found that with dealing with men in a men’s being able to take the chirps and dish them back managed to bridge many a working relationship.
Humour is so often the best medicine, the moral of this story… laugh and learn, we all make mistakes 🙂