Back in May I told you about the college student who is interning with me this summer. I’ve supervised interns for many years and I’ve always had a heart for them. Here’s why:
One summer when I was 18 or 19 I interned at MCA records on Nashville’s famous Music Row. It was my first day on the job and I’d been asked to cover the front desk while the receptionist took a lunch break. A gentleman entered the building and in my best perky voice I eagerly greeted him with a “Hello! May I help you?” He nodded, smiled kindly and told me he was fine and didn’t need any help. As he ascended upstairs someone who saw the exchange rushed over and told me, “That’s Mr. Fogelsong! He’s the head of MCA!” This bystander seemed alarmed that I didn’t know who he was. Did I mention it was MY FIRST DAY AS A COLLEGE INTERN? Of course I was mortified. Mortified as in, “please world, open up and swallow me NOW.”
Later that day I told someone else in the office about my horrific, unforgivable error. She told me Mr. Fogelsong was actually impressed that I was so welcoming and he was glad to know the intern would be kind to visitors. Whew!
Through the years I’ve always taken the time to read every word of articles written about Jim Fogelsong’s many successes, such as his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. I was out of town last week which meant I spent yesterday afternoon reading a week’s worth of newspapers. I did a lot of skimming, but there was one article I read in its entirety: Jim Fogelsong’s obituary.
I got a little lump in my throat as I read. I was taken back to a time when I was scared of my shadow and felt awkward in most social and business situations. And I remembered fondly a very important man who could have answered my perky inquiry with “DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM?”
Instead, he chose to respond with kindness and humility.