Volume 43, Issue 8 - August 2008

theBusiness

Doc ... Can You Help Me???
b y L y l e R . H i l l

My heart was racing … my hand actually trembling. But I needed help … professional help … so I dialed the number and hoped that someone would answer. And I was pleased when they did. “May I speak to her? It’s quite urgent.” To my complete surprise, I was immediately put through to the highly respected, world famous, no-holds-barred lady who has become the nation’s most talked-about and talked-to problem solver.

“Who are you and what’s your problem?” Dr. Lorrie asked. “And please be brief. As I’m sure you know, there’s so little time and so many problems.”

“Yes, Doctor, I know,” I replied. “But I too have a problem and I need your help.”

“Go ahead,” she said in her most matter-of-fact tone.

“Well, my name is Lyle Hill and, you see, I write this monthly column for a trade publication by the name of USGlass, and in those articles I kinda make fun of the people in the glass and metal industry. I’m pretty much an equal opportunity abuser, but I guess I’m the hardest on the glass and metal manufacturers … all in good humor, of course.”

“I know who you are, Mr. Hill, and believe it or not, your articles are very good for my business. In fact, my business really picks up every time you write an article about the energy surcharge matter. And now I understand that you’ve targeted the people at the National Fenestration Rating Council. Maybe I need to start paying you a commission of some kind.”

“Hey, I’m all for that Doc. These days you’ve gotta take whatever you can get from wherever you can get it. But that’s not why I called.”

“OK then, Mr. Hill. What’s troubling you today?”

“OK, Doc, here’s my problem. Yesterday I got a call from someone who had read one of my articles and this person told me that he was personally offended by some of the remarks I had made. He got kinda nasty too!”

“Really, Mr. Hill. And how did you respond?”

“I told him that he shouldn’t have taken anything I wrote as personal in any way because everything I write is just for fun and not to be taken seriously. In fact, Doc, I was really surprised because nobody ever takes me seriously. Not my family, not my friends, not my co-workers. I don’t get it. Where did I go wrong?”

“Did you apologize for your remarks, Mr. Hill?”

“Not really, but I admit that I am bothered by all of this and that’s why I called you. Can you help me, Doc?”

“I think so,” the popular shrink-otherapist said. “And based on my previous dealings with people in your industry, would I be correct in supposing that the person who called you and got a bit abusive was perhaps a metal supplier and that you are actually one of his customers?”

“Yes, that’s right,” I replied with a renewed sense of awe. “But how did you know?”

“Quite easy, actually. You see, I have a lot of patients from the glass and metal industry and they pretty much break down into two categories. First, you have the glass guys who take everything much too seriously, particularly themselves. And even if something you wrote did hit home with them, they would never admit it. But the metal guys, that’s a different story. Everything bothers them. They suffer from all kinds of emotional maladies. However, Mr. Hill, let me assure you that you have nothing to be concerned about. The person that called did not take anything you wrote or said seriously … he was putting you on. Having a bit of fun with you so to speak.”

“Are you sure, Doc? Cause I’m telling you that this guy was really cranked up.”

“Oh I’m quite sure,” she replied. “You see, you told me that you are a customer of this particular metal supplier that called you and that is the key.”

“How so, Doc?”

“Well you see, Mr. Hill, I’ve never talked with or met even one metal supplier yet who takes any of their customers seriously … not even you!”

Ly l e R . H i l l is president
of MTH Industries of Chicago.
Mr. Hill’s opinions are solely
his own and not necessarily
those of this magazine.

USG
© Copyright 2008 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.