The Power of O

Anyone who knows our ace customer service manager and bookkeeper extraordinaire Janeen Mulligan knows she is the world’s biggest Oprah fan. Janeen tapes every show, knows all things Oprah and has been trying for more than ten years to get tickets to the see the show.

Me, vice president Tara Taffera, our ringleader Janeen Mulligan and vice president Holly Biller outside Oprah's Harpo studios.

Now most people would have given up hope by now but Janeen, in a nod to the premise of Oprah’s beloved book “The Secret,” believed that her dream would come true. And two months ago it did. Janeen got four tickets to the 21st-to-last taping of the Oprah show in Chicago.

“I want you to come with me,” she said to me, along with our VPs Holly Biller and Tara Taffera, when she came in dancing the morning after receiving notification that she’d secured four tickets. “People go with their best friends to Oprah,” she said.

Now, honestly, I am not a big Oprah fan. I like watching her from the business perspective. After all, she is a magazine publisher and the only person I know who can put herself on the cover every single month and still do great on the newsstand. And she is an economic powerhouse. But beyond that and catching a few shows over the years, I am not too into Oprah.

But like Tara and Holly, I care about Janeen an awful lot and decided if she wanted me there, I was going. Just her excitement was totally infectious. “Besides,” I remarked, “we will go to Chicago and there will be a story about glass.”

You see, for me, there’s always a story about glass. “I don’t know about your story Deb,” said Tara skeptically as we made our way in the shuttle over from airport to the hotel. “All we are doing is a short tour of the city and seeing Oprah, I don’t see how we will find a glass story in that.”

Another angle of the offending glass, very difficult to see.

“You could always do a story about all the glass in buildings,” said Holly helpfully. But the truth of it is, we’ve already covered most of the great glass projects in the city so I wasn’t too hopeful of finding anything new there.

“I’m not worried,” I said out loud while secretly hoping I did not have to eat my words. “There’s always a glass story.” They were not convinced.

We met our great driver, Matt, of Chicago Private Sightseeing tours (they did a great job, by the way) and we then picked up our guide, George. George is an actor and student of Chicago who also speaks fluent Mandarin and works in China every now and then, so we knew we were in for an intense Chi-town learning experience.

We paused for what was to be a brief stop at the hotel (the James Hotel downtown, not recommending that one though) and went to check in. It took us awhile as the hotel thought we non-smokers might for some reason enjoy rooms in which smoke was the dominant fragrance. But we got that settled and returned to the shuttle.

“George will be right back,” said Matt. “He … uhh… had to use the restroom.”

So we waited, and we waited a bit more … and then some more and I started to worry that George was not feeling well. But just then, he emerged, sporting a bloody nose, tissues and bandages.

“I am sorry about all this blood on my nose,” he said. “But there’s like a resting area upstairs in the hotel and I was going up there to get something and I walked right into this glass wall. Must be for decoration or something but you can’t really see it and I cut my nose. It’s really not well designed.”

At that point, four women who should have been saying how sorry they were to him, or asking him if he was all right, instead started laughing, clapping and high-fiving each other. We’d only been there two hours and the story, courtesy of George’s nose, was already in the glass.

We did explain all this to Matt and George, but I will grant you it loses something in the translation and we did take pictures of the offending glass so you can be the judge.

Oh, and Oprah, she was really good too.

The offending glass, very difficult to see.