Own The Room

Years ago when I was in marketing,
I led the creative for a significant client pitch.
With me on the team was a high level
strategy guy we brought in from New York.
Ted Parrack.
Ted defies convention in just about every way.
He doesn’t look like an “ad guy” —
by Don Draper standards or today’s standards.
He’s more Harvard meets Hell’s Angels.
When we arrived at the client’s office,
Ted asked if we could
get into the conference room early.
While the rest of us were shuffling in,
Ted got busy with the patience and precision of
Harvey Keitel’s character “The Wolf” in Pulp Fiction.
You know the scene where he cleans the car
after John Travolta offs Marvin in the back seat.
Silent. Focused. Meticulous.
Ted erased white boards.
Placed random papers,
coffee creamers and extra napkins
in the garbage can.
Moved the garbage can out of sight.
Unplugged, wrapped and tucked
all the telephone-related paraphernalia
into the credenza.
Wiped the aforementioned credenza with a napkin.
Put napkin in pocket.
Adjusted blinds.
Took his seat.
All without a single word.
Then, Ted snapped open his laptop,
looked at me and said,
“Julie, always own the room.”

"I don’t know, Linus, I’m just not happy."

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