Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Oh, Sweet Irony! Unforgettable First Impressions Gone Awry


I recently spoke at The Turnaround Conference at the St. Peters Church of the Shepherd. My keynote address pointed out the dichotomy of Unforgettable First Impressions. In other words, GOOD Unforgettable vs. BAD Unforgettable.

Judging by the audience's response, the speech went excellent. They were volunteering, echoing, clapping - everything a speaker hopes to hear. I also had the opportunity to meet many attendees afterwards who shared stories and examples about good (and bad) first impressions.

When the day was over I walked out to my car feelin' great. The cool wind brushed against my face as the sun trickled down the sky. Then, I got smacked with one of the biggest doses of irony in my entire life...

When I opened the door to my Altima, I noticed the console of my 12 disc changer was ripped out of its socket. Hmmm, that's weird. Must've kicked it on accident when I got out of the car earlier.

I started the car and reached for my traditional post-speech celebration music, Counting Crows' This Desert Life. But it wasn't sitting in its usual cubby hole. Interesting. Guess the CD wallet fell on the floor.

Well, it didn't. I looked around the floor for a few minutes, and then it hit me: my car got jacked. Somebody broke into it, tried to rip off my CD console, then stole 30 of my CD's. And in the parking lot of a CHURCH, no less!

Un-freaking-believable.

I ran back inside to grab my client, Amanda. She was furious. She couldn't believe it. She recommended we call the police, although I told her not to make a big deal of it.

"We have to file a report. This is ridiculous!" she said.

And about 20 minutes later Amanda and I found ourselves on the front drive of the church, filing a report with the St. Peters Police Department.



Most people who get their cars or homes broken into say they felt "violated." Not me. I felt embarrassed. Because inside the church were hundreds of people I'd just given a speech to who probably thought I was being arrested for some ridiculous crime.

Officers Bittle and Molynski of the St. Peters Police asked me all the necessary questions about the incident, namely, "Mr. Ginsberg, was your car locked?"

"No...why would I lock my car? This is a CHURCH, right?" I said with a hint of sarcasm in my voice. We all laughed.



Officer Molynski asked if I worked at the church. I told him no, but rather that I was giving a speech about UNFORGETTABLE first impressions. We all laughed even harder.



Once we finished the report, Officer Molynski gave Amanda and I a few tips on theft prevention. He was thankful for our cooperation. Then I offerd to sign a free copy of The Power of Approachability if he promised to "find those bastards who ran off with my Counting Crows CD."



I left the parking lot of the church and thought, wow - talk about an UNFORGETTABLE first impression. Unfortunately, not the kind I was hoping for.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What was your most UNFORGETTABLE first impression? (GOOD or BAD)

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaking/That guy with the nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com