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The chairman of a large multinational company asked a Booz Allen employee to be in Switzerland the next day by 11 a.m. for an important meeting of the board of directors. He grabbed an overnight bag, and dashed to the airport.
Early the next morning he landed in Zurich, slightly groggy, and was then off a hotel to rest, freshen up, and prepare. It was 8 a.m. When he looked in the mirror, his suit looked as though he had slept in it for 3 days. So he hung it in the shower to let the wrinkles steam away. He lay down for a 10-minute rest, but fell asleep. He awoke an hour later at 9 a.m. The suit was soaking wet. So he hung it out on the balcony to dry. Again, he accidentally fell asleep for another hour. This time when he awoke, the suit was frozen—stiff as a board. He had no choice: scraping and stretching, straining and tugging, he finally got inside it.
“His suit was melting before their eyes. Drip. Drip. Drip. Puddles formed on the floor, on his chair, and on the boardroom tabletop.”
Since the client’s office was only three blocks from the hotel, he decided to go by foot. His suit crunched as the ice crystals began to break up. He made it just in time, and was ushered into the boardroom to confer with 12 solemn Swiss directors he had never met before. As he neared the conclusion of his report, he began to feel damp. His suit was melting before their eyes. Drip. Drip. Drip. Puddles formed on the floor, on his chair, and on the boardroom tabletop. His Swiss friends were mesmerized.
He stopped the presentation, took a deep breath, and explained the whole silly chain of events that led to his thawing suit. The men laughed hard, and the chairman patted him on the back and said, “This has been a most interesting and entertaining presentation.” Then he invited him to join the board for lunch. That crazy meeting turned out to be the beginning of a fruitful relationship with the Swiss client.