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Good Impression

After a number of years on the road, Sammy started his own import/export business. His little enterprise was coming along nicely. Some important principals were coming from Japan and he was most anxious to make a good impression. He hired a luxury car, picked them up at the airport, and drove them to a first-class hotel.

"You make yourselves comfortable here, and I'll be back at seven so we can have some dinner."

His visitors were suitably impressed. Right on seven Sammy was back to take them into the dining room. Their discussion proceeded nicely. As they were talking, Sammy noticed out of the corner of his eye Sir Gordon Squire, the internationally famous retailing magnate, sitting at a corner table. He at once had a brilliant idea for making a really big impression on the Japanese.

"Forgive me if I appear rude, gentlemen, but I've just seen Gordon Squire at a table across the room. He and I have some unfinished business. I wonder if you'd mind very much if I excused myself for a short while. It won't take very long."

The Japanese agreed at once and watched Sammy thread his way between the tables. They were very impressed that someone so young should be on speaking terms with Sir Gordon Squire. When he approached Sir Gordon's table, Sammy was most deferential.

"Pardon the intrusion, Sir Gordon. I have followed your career with great interest, starting as you did in a small way with one country store, and building up an empire of department stores and shopping centres that stretches right across the country. It is surely one of the nation's great success stories. Now I am starting off to build up an import/export business and I've come to ask you a small favour. At my table I have with me some important clients from Japan, and I'm very anxious to make a good impression on them. Do you think it might be possible, when you're leaving, to stop by my table and say, 'So long, Sammy. I'll give you a ring next week'?"

Sir Gordon had a quiet smile and said:

"Oh yes. I think we might arrange that."

He turned to his secretary.

"You remind me when we're leaving to stop at Sammy's table on the way out."

Sammy thanked him and returned to his clients, who were very impressed by all this. They returned to their discussion. Nearly an hour went by, and Sir Gordon and his secretary got up to leave. On his way out he stopped at Sammy's table and dropped his hand on Sammy's shoulder.

"So long, Sammy," he said. "I'll give you a ring next week."

Sammy looked up in annoyance.

"Piss off will you, Gordon? Can't you see I'm busy?"

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