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Breaking Wind: The Sales Meeting From Hell

I was in a meeting with a very large and well-known company that manufacturers case packers. The meeting was to describe their newest marketing efforts to help boost their sagging sales. (Sagging for more than 3 years!) I was there as a contracted exclusive manufacturer's representative for the company and the only non direct-employed person in the meeting hall.

Seems that this was a make it or break it for the company, which had been around for over 30 years. It had been purchased along with several other case-packing companies and the management team that had been promoted to handle this division didn't seem to have a clue as how to not only run the business, but also not a clue about the machinery produced by several of the companies.

There are over 25 of us in the meeting hall. It’s dark and somewhat quiet while the new president of the division begins his PowerPoint presentation.  The presentation wasn't too awful and he did manage to hit on several key issues that the company was facing at the time.

The problems began when the newly designated VP of the company got up to speak to the crowd and to motivate his "TEAM" as their NEW COACH!  Along with it came all the “Rah Rah” one might expect.

But, immediately I could tell that either the new VP was drunk, stoned or suffering from a hangover or maybe had a severe case of stage fright. These choices were being whispered around each small group of people while the VP continued to lose his place in the presentation and slur his words constantly.

The round robin on being drunk versus having stage fright was quickly decided when the VP, standing right in front of the podium -- with an open microphone -- suddenly broke wind.

The entire room was silent. Dead silent.

Then, sheepishly, he cleared his throat and asked if there was anyone in the room that did not hear that barking spider? Again, dead silence. Not a word or whisper. The VP stood still as a stone and had the pale look of death on his face, when there was an out roar of laughter and applause. Immediately there were cat calls, "Just what we think of the new marketing plan!"  to "Whatever you were drinking last night, stop drinking it!"

The VP explained that he wasn’t suffering from a hangover or from being drunk, but instead he was suffering from the flu … and that he should have either remained at the hotel or -- hindsight being 20/20 -- should have brought a CORK along to the meeting!

Again the silence -- and then laughter and applause.

-- Submitted by David Johnson

David Johnson is the President and Sales Manager for Texas Packaging Systems and Supplies.
(817) 516-7300 Office Phone
(817) 561-0477 Fax
[email protected] 


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