The Dog Is on the Roof

Tact is one of the lost arts of the twentieth century. I heard about a man who lacked tact. He was the type of person who just couldn’t say anything graciously. He and his wife owned a poodle. They loved this dog. It was the object of their affection. The wife was to take a trip abroad, and she made it to New York on the first day. She called home and asked her husband, “How are things?”

He said, “The dog’s dead!”

She was devastated. After collecting her thoughts, she asked, “Why do you do that? Why can’t you be more tactful?”

He said, “Well, what do you want me to say? The dog died.”

She said, “Well, you can give it to me in stages. For example, you could have said, ‘The dog went out on the roof.’ And then when I travel to London the next day and call, you could tell me, ‘Honey, the dog fell and had to be taken to the vet. In fact, he’s in the hospital, not doing well.’ And finally, when I call you from Rome, ‘Honey, brace yourself. Our dog died.’ I could handle that.”

The husband paused and said, “Oh, I see.”

Then she asked, “By the way, how’s Mother?”

He said, “She’s on the roof.”

Source: How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life, Michel LeBoeuf
Submitted by Gabriel Ruhl

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