Laughter is the Best Medicine X: James Cooley Early in His CareerCollections of business humor, at least the ones I've encountered, are generally distressingly lame. The business anecdotes at anecdotage.com are an exception. I've browsed through them and selected several that I'm particularly fond of. The first:
One day long before his incarnation as a railway mogul, James Cooley worked as a traveling salesman for the Baldwin Locomotive Company.The day I read this particular anecdote, other readers had awarded it an average of 8.97 points on a scale of 1 to 10.
One day he visited Terence Jackson, sales and purchasing manager of the Delaware and Lackawanna Railroad - a difficult man to see under any circumstances, nevermind for an unknown salesman...
"I would like to see Mr. Jackson," Cooley boldly informed Jackson's secretary, handing her his card. She then rose and disappeared into Jackson's office, where, through the partly opened door, Cooley saw him tear his card in half and throw it in the garbage.
The secretary soon returned and told Cooley that Jackson was unavailable. "May I have my card back?" he innocently asked. Embarrassed, the secretary again disappeared into Jackson's office, returning a moment later with a nickel and a curt message: "Mr. Jackson says that your card was destroyed, but he hopes the five cents will repay the cost of printing it."
Cooley promptly drew another card from his pocket and handed it to the bemused secretary. "Take this back to him," he instructed her, "and tell him I sell cards two for a nickel."