OK Everyone: I'm here to tell you how to smooth over even the roughest of rough patches that occur in your business and personal lives.
Understand the power of flowers.
Though I don't mean to encourage lousy behaviour -- believe me -- it's hard to overstate the healing possibilities of a nice bunch of blooms.
It should be your first resort when you have strayed into jerky behaviour of any kind.
Who can stay mad when a van pulls up at the door with fresh flowers?
Notice I'm addressing my remarks to the male population?
That's because we women already know this.
I send flowers all the time.
Some people should have their local florist on speed-dial -- people like banks and phone and cable companies.
These are the folks you call to let them know they've really messed you up -- except it takes all morning to get through to someone who can deal with your problem.
At the end of it, you feel angrier than when you started.
We all have a story of some service that was botched, resulting in lost business, lost sleep, lost money or all three.
Nobody intended to hurt you -- it's not that personal -- but you were hurt, nonetheless.
When that happens, why don't they just admit it, say they're sorry and say it with flowers?
Newspapers are another example. They could probably use an in-house florist even more than the legal staff they keep on retainer, because every now and then, they make a slip.
Somebody's photo runs over the wrong name or job description. Somebody gets misquoted or otherwise embarrassed. A little "correction" on page 2 or 3 isn't always enough to quell that feeling of having been wronged.
Why not publish a correction and send flowers, too? You'd have a subscriber for life, someone who'd speak about you in glowing terms.
Somehow, corporations don't realize that sending flowers would be a useful element in their PR repertoire.
Perhaps it's the associations we have with floral offerings -- including every caricature of a guy showing up for a date.
Would the cable company feel it was less than platonic to send me flowers when they've overcharged me for the past three years and I've finally noticed and called it in?
Is it a little too intimate, perhaps?
Or is it the issue of implied guilt?
Sending flowers does acknowledge that your tail is between your legs.
If you're a bank or a telephone company, everyone knows you can never be wrong, so I guess they don't want to get into that.
Which brings us back to the men in our lives.
Is there any reason they should shy away from sending flowers at the drop of an insult or a faux pas or a really bad moment of being caught not listening?
No, gentlemen, there is not.
Send flowers to someone today!
Flowers are manly and powerful.
Go from a zero in the popularity scales to a 12, simply by dialing the phone.