Today I made the trip from Gaffney, South Carolina to Charlotte, North Carolina to visit the Carolina Panthers. My visit looked like it would be a short one, but my fortunes changed when the man working the security fence changed his mind and allowed me to walk into the stadium to drop off my resume. Once inside, I met Gary at the security check point. After he complimented me on my attire and politely “brushed my shoulders off” for me, he agreed to listen to my story. He had the type of reaction that I love to see. First, he asked me if I was serious. Then, after telling him this was in fact the 12th team I had visited in the past week, he tested my determination by asking me when I was going to see the New York teams. After telling him I checked them off my list on Friday he accepted my trip as something serious. He told me he would tell “Ryan,” the man who I assume does the hiring, about my story. He then gave me a telephone number to follow up with. After thanking him and shaking his hand I left with a smile on my face and an eagerness to head to Nashville. As I reached the guard at the security gate, Gary signaled for me to come back. Arriving back in the stadium, Gary was just then hanging up the phone. He told me he just spoke to Ryan and Ryan would be down in a few minutes to grab the materials I had left with Gary. He also said that Ryan told him the Panthers were currently staffed but if a position opened up, Ryan would be calling me. I couldn’t have asked for a much better outcome than that.
This story was very similar to the Steelers situation. And just think, if I had not been lucky enough to have the man working the security fence change his mind, I would have never been able to meet Gary. Or have the shoulders of my suit jacket dusted off for me.