I was in LA early this week and at the National Association of Payables and Procurement and I gave a case study presentation with my client Ellen from Holland America Line.  Ellen and I had gone through a couple dry runs of the presentation and we were pleased with how it had come along.

The information and the story were great, but I am no graphic designer and the powerpoint graphics left a little to be deisred.  Not wanting the presentation to be too dry, I added a few images of the Holland America Lines cruise ships.  These are very impressive and majestic vessles, and the images were very striking.  Ellen and I hunched over my computer for a last review before our case study and she saw the photos for the first time.  Out loud, she said almost wistfully, “what a pretty ship” and then she took another moment and spoke again, “it really is gorgeous.”

Ellen has worked for HAL for 26 years, she has been on her share of cruises and she has seen the entire fleet in photos and in person more times than she can remember, but after all of this, she is still moved to the point of calling her ships “gorgeous” when presented with their image.  I hope everyone reading this blog can feel as proud of their company as Ellen feels for hers.

Everyone of us deserves to be as impressed with the product that their company produces.  I understand that we are not all in the cruise line industry and falling in love with our product may not be as easy for us, but we should always seek to find some part of our work that makes us proud.  In my own situation, I work for a company that performs profit recovery and optimizes vendor data for Fortune 10o0 companies.  It is not always the most glamorous work, but it is wonderful work when I see how much we deliver to our clients and how they feel about working with us.

At the end of  the case study Ellen produced a stack of business cards and held them up in front of about 50 people.  She offered to hand out a card and have a conversation with anyone in the room that was planning a recovery audit in the next year.  As she put it, She “loved working with Lavante.”  In all her 26 years she said that she had never  enjoyed working with recovery auditors until engaging with us.  I guess her comments are something that I can be proud of.