Fran Ambrose, president
of Ambrose Rigging

Grace under fire

January 23, 2012
by Philip F. Jacobus, CEO
One day I was working with Fran Ambrose, who is the president of Ambrose Rigging.

We were removing an MRI from a hospital and it involved closing part of the parking lot for a crane. We had worked with the radiology director and we thought we had everything lined up in advance, but at the last minute someone from the hospital administration came out and was upset about the arrangements.

This individual was yelling, screaming, waving his arms and calling Fran Ambrose an idiot and a fool. Most people would not respond very well to this and in fact might let their ego get in the way. Fran Ambrose is the sort of guy who can bend steel with his bare hands and for a few moments, I held my breath.

Fran extended his hand to the individual, introduced himself, and in 10 minutes had calmed the fellow down so we were able to proceed with the removal.

As we were packing up the truck, I asked Fran about the incident. Fran said, "Phil, you are my customer and it is my job to look out for you. Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me."

I learned two valuable lessons as a result of that experience. The first one was always put your customer first.

I did not learn the second lesson until many years later, when I was working with Fran Ambrose's son and we were involved in a similar situation.

Fran Jr. was confronted by an unpleasant customer but he never lost his cool and relied on his warm personality to diffuse the situation. I asked him about it and he said, "I learned from my dad to always put the customer first."

So the second lesson that I learned is that your staff will learn from what you do, so set a good example.

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