On days I like my job, I do it better. When I do my job better, I like it more.
If I bring a good attitude to work, it usually makes for a better day. If I have a good day, it usually improves my attitude. Life’s funny that way, isn’t it?
Often I can’t control any of it. The job deals out the cards, and I play the hand I’m dealt. Sometimes it’s not a great hand, but sometimes an ace appears. Someone like Mr. K shows up.
Mr. K’s story
So on this given day, I was working with colleagues and a client on a TV spot. We were at their location, shooting video and recording audio of their staff interacting with some of their clients.
Into the room, in a wheelchair, rolls Mr. K., wearing shorts and a bright blue shirt (and matching blue socks with no shoes). He’s also wearing a grin as big as the room. And he’s singing, loudly: “You ought to be in pictures, you’re wonderful to see; you ought to be in pictures, oh what a hit you would be!”
In between release forms that need to be signed, shots that need the client’s approval, and generally doing whatever it is I do, I engage Mr. K. in conversation. He is a big man, with a Big Personality to boot. He’s in a wheelchair, in rehab, yet I feel his positivity. I want some of it. I feel good when I talk with him. He seems to feel good when he talks with me. He speaks to me about his kids and I chat about mine. He goes on cheerfully about his grandchildren and the second chances he’s been given is his life. I relate, looking forward to having grandchildren some day.
He finishes his small but positively beaming role in our commercial, entertaining the staff and the video crew all the while, then turns to me and says, “Thanks for the memories.” We trade another story each about our kids, then he recounts how he couldn’t be at one recent family gathering due to his health. He recalls for me exactly what his grandson told him. “It’s okay, Gramps, we’ll see you next time. But we missed you. You were the missing piece of the puzzle.” With that, he welled up and his eyes went wet with the happy tears of an old and wise man. He thanked every one of us on the floor and told us all to “have a glorious day.” I was moved. I had done my work that day. And Mr. K. had fixed any attitude problem I may have had.
The good stuff
Sometimes the really good stuff—the tug at the heartstrings stuff—happens to the people we put in our commercials. We reach them, they feel good about their brand, and they reach us when we least expect it. Mind you, this is all before the commercials ever reach their intended audience.
All I know is Mr. K. reached me that day. He was indeed the missing piece of the puzzle.
Hey, Mr. K., thanks for making my day. This one’s for you! “You ought to shine as brightly, as Jupiter and Mars; you ought to be in pictures, my star of stars.”
Happy Thanksgiving, and have a glorious day.
Steve Johnson, Managing Partner