The Frozen Suit
‘What is the statue of a suit doing here?’ asked a new joinee. They were on a tour at the headquarters of the company they just joined.
Mathew, their guide, knew this question would come. Hundreds asked the same question every time they passed the suit in the glass. He looked at the bunch of young joinees and started:
‘Back in the 70’s, an employee in our Chicago office gets a call from the Chairman of a Swiss MNC. He asks him to be in Zurich the next day by 11 am for an important meeting with the board. The employee just has time to get into the last flight.
He checks into the hotel at 8 am. It is only when he looks into the mirror that he realises his only suit looks slept in and crumpled. So he hangs it in the shower room to steam the wrinkles away and lies down for a short rest. But slips off into deep sleep.
When he gets up an hour later the suit is soaking wet. He then puts it in the balcony to dry and again falls asleep. This time the suit gets frozen when he awakes after an hour. Stiff as a board.
With no time left, he somehow strains and tugs himself into it. As he walks to his clients office, the suit crunches and the ice crystals begin to break up.
As he begins to talk to the 12 directors in the cosy warm board room, the Chairman notices that the consultant’s suit is turning damp. Water is dripping and there are puddles around his shoes. His suit’s melting. ‘What happened?’ he asks.
The sheepish employee then explains the silly chain of events that led to his thawing suit. Loud laughter breaks. Everyone praises him and pats him on the back. ‘This has been the most entertaining and interesting presentation’ the chairman says. He gets invited for lunch, signs the deal and begins a great partnership.
We at Booz Allen Hamilton keep this statue of that frozen suit here to trigger a question about it. And then share this story of commitment shown by that employee to every new joinee’
Retold from Shawn Callahans’s Putting Stories to Work
You can also read it on the BoozAllen website