Diary: Crash And Burn

Michelle Gardiner, account director of Emap Metro, takes one step forward and 25 steps down at a rather painful client presentation.

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.



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