I had been hired by one of the largest advertising firms in New York. I had been there 5 years before I was given an assignment that could make or break my career. I guess upper management didn’t expect much from me, because my resume and grades weren’t the greatest. Maybe they figured if I blew my first big assignment it would be easier to fire me.
My secretary was getting ready to retire. She had been with the company since it opened its doors 45 years ago. Maude was old enough to be my grandmother, and she was one smart classy lady.
I walked into the office Monday morning feeling totally and completely exhausted. My mind was fried and my nerves were frazzled. I’d been working on this big promotional layout for our clients new line and it was nowhere near finished. It was down to the wire and I had two weeks before the big day. I was about ready to throw in the towel and call it quits when my secretary walked in.
“Good morning Maude.” I wearily said .
“Good morning Mr. Blake. You look like you’ve been burning the midnight oil.” Maude cheerful said as she placed a large mug of coffee on my desk.
“Maude, please call me Jonathan, and yes I’m just about worn out trying to put the finishing touches to this layout. My brain is totally fried. Maude, you are a life saver. Maybe this coffee will energize my overworked brain where I can get a new perspective on this layout”
“Jonathan, sometimes two heads and eyes are better than one. Maybe between the two of us I could help get your creative juices flowing. You remind me of Mr. Barton when he first started this firm. My husband and I were friends of Joshua and his lovely wife, Elizabeth, when this dream of his began. We pulled our resources together and started this firm. We were the silent partners. Now let’s take a look at what you’ve gotten down for this clients big promotion.”
I was stunned at Maude’s remark. I looked at her for a while before I slowly opened up my layout.
“Maude, I didn’t know you knew Mr. Barton so well. Nobody ever mentioned that you and your husband were the silent partners.”
“Well, Jonathan I’ve never shared that with anyone until now. I would help Joshua with his layouts when we first opened our doors. He would get so wrapped up in preparing layouts for clients that Monday mornings when he walked into the office his eyes were so bloodshot they looked like two green olives in a sea of tomatoes.”
“Everybody thinks you are just a secretary. Why haven’t you told my co-workers who you truly are?”
“Jonathan, many years ago we all decided I would become Joshua’s secretary, and be the watchmen for the firm until one day we found a young man, who like Joshua, had a love for this business. I have been secretary to everyone of your piers and none, not one, has the love for advertising like you. You are driven and strive for perfection not for yourself, but for the clients. You want to give each client the best promotion for their business so they succeed and prosper.”
“Thank you Maude, but if I didn’t give each client my very best than I’m not being true to God. Mom and Dad raised us to be God fearing children. He always quoted from the Bible how we were to live our lives.”
Maude chuckled as she studied my layout.
“Jonathan I think if you move this part of the layout here it may work better.”
“Maude, oh Maude thank you. Now why didn’t I see it. I had them in the wrong sequence. That is perfect.”
Jonathan, when Mr. Barton truly does step down he wants to have a man who has Godly principals running this company. I think Mr. Barton was right when he pointed you out as that kind of person. He is going to turn his company over to his chosen successor the beginning of next year. So be prepared to start working closely with him, and be taught this business by the best of the best. Joshua Barton.
I was totally shocked by that remark. I looked at Maude with my mouth hanging open, and uttered a prayer of thanks, praising God’s Holy name for the blessing of a lifetime.
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