Last week I had an experience that I absolutely want to share with all of you.
I was scheduled to deliver an important speech to the executives of several very prominent hotels here in Shanghai. As I arrived at the hotel I struggled to get out of the very small taxi. In my struggles, all of a sudden I heard (much to my horror) a huge rip. Yes, my pant crotch, from front to back, was wide open and everyone outside of the car was exposed to my Calvin Klein’s.
A true wardrobe malfunction was in full swing. So what to do? I did not have enough time to go back to my hotel to change and I could not stay like this to deliver my speech. So, stuck in the back of the taxi feeling very embarrassed and awkward, I asked my host, Ms. Catherine, who had just experienced this display, if she had someone at the hotel who could sew my pants in an emergency.
And this is the part that’s so fabulous. Ms. Catherine, a senior hotel vice president who was meeting me, calmly said, “Oh Mr. MacPherson don’t worry, this is not the first time this has ever happened. Please follow me to a private area and we will call the seamstress right away.”
And then while walking together she graciously said without missing a step, “While we wait for the seamstress can I order a coffee or tea for you?”
You can all imagine how embarrassed I was. But Ms. Catherine, with good etiquette skills, made me feel very comfortable in such an awkward situation.
I was so lucky to have Ms. Catherine there. She put me at ease, didn’t draw any unnecessary attention to me and we all got through it painlessly. But dear readers, I’m no fool. I’m sure when Ms. Catherine went home and repeated this story to her family at the dinner table they all roared with laughter — and that’s OK because at the moment, the most important moment in time, Ms. Catherine made me feel calm and comfortable and for that I am eternally grateful, so thank you!
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