Today’s GRAPE event went surprisingly well.  Penny Rosema spoke to the gathered audience at Amway HQ about negotiating tactics. As a long-time buyer at Amway, she was able to share several insights about the topic (especially in regard to human psychology). In all, a very enjoyable experience.

That was in contrast to the video shoot. Here’s the story: being somewhat of a night owl, I failed to fall asleep. For the second night in a row. But I had to concentrate on last minute event preparations. So I was in no mood to joke around with my son.  Of course, my 9-year old son didn’t care for that. Actually, he indignantly declared “you’re grumpy!”  and stomped away. “No, I’m not!” I protested. But really, my face said otherwise.  Perhaps some coffee would’ve helped. But I was in a rush.

By the time I arrived at Amway HQ,  I had already become impatient with myself. Getting set-up was not terribly difficult but other tasks awaited. More to the point, I had yet to prepare for my on-camera remarks. But that would have to wait. While talking to the camera crew, Marguerite Moore (Marguerite Moore Marketing) and Tracy Bacigal (Grand Rapids Public Museum) quietly slipped behind the registration table to take care of business. Those in the events services business recognize how helpful (and necessary) taking care of such quiet tasks can be. And I’m grateful to both for making this event run more smoothly.

Wishful thinking lead me to believe that a cursory glance at my talking points would suffice. Now I finally admitted that perhaps it was too late. Filmmaker David Boeckel asked if I wanted to try an interview format.  “Sure, that’s fine”  I said, believing in my off-the-cuff abilities. But my mind still wasn’t really in gear. And I was not yet ready to be pleasantly conversant. Fortunately, David’s professional manner and easygoing personality kept me going – despite having to do several takes. Still, I was already beating myself up about it. How could editing possibly cover up all my flubs? That’s when several GRAPE members came to the rescue. Proving once again the group’s value in a very real sense.

First, David interviewed GRAPE board member Gary Ball (New Strata  LLC). His relaxed manner gave me hope that perhaps this video might be salvageable (ok- that’s hyperbole).  As he later told me, his frequent interviews have helped him become rather expert at them. After the event, Todd Drenth – a self-described “organization management macgyver” – surprisingly volunteered to give his testimony about GRAPE.  Unfortunately, I had to move out of earshot at the time. I’m still highly curious about his remarks.  Next, Jennifer V. Miller (SkillsSource) gave her testimonial. She smoothly articulated what I had sought to relay earlier – that GRAPE’s diversity provides a unique value to its members.  Just about all in one take. Finally, after patiently waiting her turn, GRAPE board member Michelle Steffes (IPV Consulting) testified about what GRAPE meant to her. Her kind words about both me and GRAPE were more than a bit overwhelming. What did I do to deserve such friends? Oh yes, I took the time to meet with them at GRAPE.

Blog Post by John M Potter