Some time ago, I sold advertising for a local daily newspaper. The previous publisher had clashed with a car dealer in the community, who was the largest advertiser for the paper. Because of the stories around this incident, my colleagues were afraid of this dealer. I was too.
One day, around Christmas, he came to our office to drop off a gift. I’d imagined him as a monster, but when I saw him, he actually looked like a very normal person. For the first time I thought perhaps he was not as bad as everyone had said.
A couple of months later, the pressroom inadvertently botched his ad so that every car in the ad looked squished. “Who’s going to tell him what happened?” management asked. I heard the words come out of my mouth, “I will.” They looked at me with relief.