Most of the time I am actively reading a suspense novel… and whenever I discover new authors, I’ll dive into every one of their tomes. Thus, I quickly made my way through all 11 books in Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child’s Pendergast series after I stumbled upon “Dance of the Dead” at an airport bookstore in 2006. (Can’t wait for the next one in December!) I also read many of the novels they wrote individually.
Historical thriller films – like Nicholas Cage’s “National Treasure” – also are great entertainment for me. There’s something about the mix of history and fiction blended with suspenseful drama that creates a few hours of diversion from the challenges of everyday life.
Many of these storylines date to the American Revolution, which provided a lot of subplots as George Washington continually outflanked the more seasoned and better supplied British military officers with ingenuity and sleight-of-hand. (The best historical fiction writer is my friend William Martin. Read “Citizen Washington” for amazing insight on our nation’s greatest leader.)
If I ever get around to writing the next great American fiction novel, I think much of it will be encrypted. In the meantime, in case you’re curious what reading it would be like, here is a famous quote from the other greatest American president. Have fun deciphering:
Gpit dvptr smf drbrm urstd shp pit gsyjrtd ntpihjy gptyj pm yjod vpmyomrmy, s mre msyopm, vpmvrobrf om zonrtyu, smf frfovsyrf yp yjr atpapdoyopm yjsy szz qrm str vtrsyrf rwisz.
My wife’s book club skipped this month’s meeting and attended the movie version of a novel they read: “The Help.” Afterwards, they wanted to go to a restaurant, have dessert and discuss the film. Kathy checked out a couple of nearby eateries’ websites and selected one that remained open late on a Wednesday night. Arriving just ahead of her group at 9:58, she went inside and the hostess said, “I’m sorry, we close at 10.” Kathy said, “But your website says you’re open until 11.” The hostess replied: “Oh, that’s our midtown location.”
Kathy asked to speak to the manager. Although he arrived quickly, she had the website on her phone to show him. “I have seven women coming here to talk about a movie we just saw,” she said. “Your website says you close at 11. It doesn’t say that’s just your other location.” Without hesitating, he said: “Not a problem. We’ll be happy to stay open just for you.”
Of course, the easier, less expensive response – and more typical one – would have been: “Ma’am, I’m sorry for the confusion. The home office is responsible for the website, and I guess it is confusing. I’ll be sure to tell them to correct that.” Then gently escort my wife out the door to face her friends alone. Instead, this astute leader created a huge win for his company. Eight women had a happy ending to their evening, and I’m guessing told lots of people about the incredible service at this establishment.
How would your employees have handled a similar situation?
I finished reading William Martin’s new historical fiction novel City of Dreams last night. Great read. Here is the review I just posted on Amazon.