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Up against a wall? Try humor

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Creative consultant Andy Stefanovich had a problem in 1995. A Fortune 100 client wasn’t paying its tab, and nothing, from calls and gifts to lawyerly nudges, had produced a payment. Now Stefanovich was facing layoffs at his company, Play.

To clear her head, a colleague took Stefanovich’s dog out for a walk and came back with a crazy idea—a letter:

“My name is Gekko, and I’m Andy’s 43-pound golden retriever mix. I come to Play every day and my title is top dog.

“I’ve been going home with Andy in the evening to an empty dog bowl, and I don’t know if it has anything to do with accounts receivables at Play. If it does, I would appreciate any consideration.

“I look forward to meeting you when you come visit the Stefanovichs. I’ll show you my small, but fun, backyard.

“Thanks, Gekko”

The next day, a package arrived with a check for $93,000 and a dog biscuit.

Lesson: You don’t have to be ha-ha funny to use humor in a tight spot.

— Adapted from Look at More, Andy Stefanovich, Jossey-Bass.

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