Empress of the Universe

Friday, June 16, 2006

A True Story from September 2004.....

Was looking for an old email message this week and came across this classic, sent to a business colleague on September 17, 2004. Boy! I save everything. But this is a classic business story, don't you think?

Last week I went into the hospital for surgery. At 2 p.m. I walked into the operating room and climbed up on to the operating table. In the room with me were three surgical nurses, the surgeon, (all women) and the anesthetist. The anesthetist put me into position and everyone started hooking up sensors and lines, got the IV running; there was commotion all around. At one point, the anesthetist said, "I'm going to ask you the same question I ask everyone: Do you have any hobbies?"

"Yes," I answered. "I'm a painter."

"Oh really? Do you paint walls or canvases?" he inquired.

"Portraits, actually," I replied. He was very impressed. "Is that a hobby or is that your profession?," he asked.

"No, right now it's my dream that someday I can earn my living from my art, but right now I have to have a real job."

"What do you do now?" he asked. I told him that I run a record company that produces classical music recordings for children.

"YOU DO? OH MY GOD, I LOVE YOU" he screamed at me. All heads in the operating theatre turned to look at him. "I beg your pardon?" I asked.

He was practically jumping up and down: "My wife and I have a one-year-old daughter. She listens only to classical music." He then asked a ton of questions about which titles we produce, what series, and how many in each of the series (it turns out he owns a few Mozart Effect CDs but she's still too young for Classical Kids). I told him about each of The Mozart Effect and Classical Kids titles and said, "When she gets older, she may also enjoy our opera CD."

"OH MY GOD!" he screamed again. "I THINK WE HAVE THAT CD. That's the one with Russell Braun, right?"

I explained that Russell Braun was on one of our OTHER opera CDs (Mozart's Magic Fantasy). I was trying to think of some of the names of the opera stars on The World's Very Best Opera for Kids CD.....but things were starting to get cloudy now as the anesthetic started flowing.

"Oh, yes," he remembered for me. "That's the one with Michael Schade," HE says to ME! Inside the back of my head I'm thinking: I can NOT believe I am having this conversation.

"That's right" I say, in shock that, at that moment, he knows more about my product than I do.

"Michael Schade sings Figaro on that CD, doesn't he?" the anesthetist asks. Now, things are getting really foggy but I know that's not right....but I can't think of the name of the song that Michael Schade sings. So, getting foggier and foggier, I start singing it.....

At least the guy recognized the melody. "Oh yes, La donna e mobile," he tells me. (I remember thinking: this guy should come work for us!)

"I'd like to get more of your CDs," he said. "Where can I find them?"

"Well, you should be able to find them at any record store," I said optimistically. "Or you can go to our website at www.childrensgroup.com"

I wasn't aware of it, but the surgical nurses and the surgeon had been paying close attention to our conversation. Suddenly one of the nurses came lunging at me with a pad of paper and a pen. "WHAT'S THAT WEBSITE AGAIN?" she screamed at me.

It took every bit of energy and memory that I had to s-l-o-w-l-y get out the words: w-w-w-dot-child-rens- group - dot - com.

My last words before going under.

Fade to black.

If I had died on the operating room table that day, MY LAST DYING WORDS WOULD HAVE BEEN


No parting messages to my beautiful daughter, my loving husband, my wonderful parents. NO!!!!!!!!


I've always joked that with my long hours and stressful gig no one should be surprised to find me dead one morning slumped over my desk.......but that's not how I wanted to go: promoting our website!!!!!!!!!!!

At least our shareholders will be pleased to know that I was going for that last big sale......


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