BOB, she wept on the phone, “I don’t have a job!” “How’s that?” I asked, very surprised, “You have many years before retirement and you’re good at your work, I thought?” “That’s what I thought too,” she whispered, “But a young boss took over and he felt that I didn’t have the ruthlessness and focus to deal with my juniors! She felt I was too soft!”
I felt sad as I put down the phone, and thought of her young boss who felt that being compassionate and kind was a liability, “maybe they needed to know that feelings like caring could also help them in their career,” I thought to myself and remembered a little story related by Fulton Oursler.
Says Oursler: I often remember with pleasure an encounter one story night, many years ago when an elderly man and his wife entered the lobby of a small hotel in Philadelphia. The couple had no baggage. “All the big places are filled up,” said the man, “Can you possibly give us a room here?
The clerk replied that there were conventions in town, and no accommodations anywhere. “Every guest room is taken,” he explained. “But still I simply can’t send a nice couple like you out into the rain at one o’clock in the morning. Would you perhaps be willing to sleep in my room?…
Oh, I’ll make out just fine: don’t worry about me.” The next morning, as he paid his bill, the elderly man said to the clerk: “You are the kind of manager who should be the boss of the best hotel in the United States. Maybe someday I’ll build one for you!”
The clerk laughed. And he laughed again when, after two years had passed, he received a letter containing a round-trip ticket to New York and a request that he call upon his guest of that rainy night. In the metropolis the old man led the young clerk to the corner of Fifth Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street and pointed to a vast new building there, a palace of reddish stone, with turrets and watchtowers, like a castle from fairyland cleaving the New York sky.
“That,” he declared, “is the hotel I have just built for you to manage.” As if hit by lightning, the young man, George C Boldt, stood fixed to the ground. His benefactor was William Waldorf Astor – and the hotel, the most famous of its day, the original Waldorf-Astoria.
So my young friends who are now becoming bosses treat all people with care, especially those who seek our help, for under an old ragged coat they may hide their wings..!