I was travelling with our usually restrained and carefully guarded CEO, the Man from Glad. He never says anything that he might regret later. He knows that people could well misinterpret his words, binding the company to a perceived benefit that he had no intention of extending, so he is well versed in the art of waffling when asked for a commitment. He is warm without being intimate, helpful without overstepping his bounds.
So it was a shock when, waiting for a taxi at the airport, I heard him on his cell cooing to an albeit important client, “I love you Hans”. Hans is a million dollar customer and knows it. He is an old style Prussian with little patience for the niceties of relationship building.
I bravely queried our otherwise punctilious leader.
I have to admit to being really uncomfortable with the terms of endearment and, after he hung up, I bravely queried our otherwise punctilious leader.
“Excuse me? I love you Hans? Really?”
My travelling partner looked at me quizzically. “What?”
“I heard you talking to Hans. You said…”
“I was talking to my wife”, he interjected. “I said, ‘I love you Hon.’ What is wrong with you?”
“Oh,” I said, staring off into the distance, admiring a fluffy cloud that looked ever so much like a cow. “I knew that.”