Michelle Gardiner, account director of Emap Metro, takes one step
forward and 25 steps down at a rather painful client presentation.
Michelle Gardiner was always the clumsy one at school. Even when she
left, the striving saleswoman was convinced that her lack of
coordination would strike at a career-inhibiting moment.
It seems she was right. As a newly appointed ad manager, she went along
to a client presentation accompanied by one of her sales executives.
’I sat there as the advertisement manager and occasionally interjected
salient points into my sales executive’s presentation, giving the
impression of being a responsible and mature ad manager.’
But the sophisticated image didn’t last long. After the meeting,
Gardiner fell headfirst down a series of steep rickety stairs, handbag
flying ahead of her. By the time the client had picked her up, she had
grazed her arm, spilled the contents of her handbag over the reception
area, ripped her trousers and broken the heels of her new boots.
’I left my equally embarrassed colleagues to say goodbye and limped out
of the offices to lick my wounds,’ she says.
Gardiner won the business, but it was some time before people asked for
her presence at a meeting that wasn’t on the ground floor.