Theres a charming story that Thomas Wheeler, CEO of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, tells on himself.
He and his wife were driving along an interstate highway when he noticed that their car was low on gas. Wheeler got off the highway at the next exit and soon found a rundown gas station with just one gas pump. He asked the lone attendant to fill the tank and check the oil, then went for a little walk around the station to stretch his legs.
As he was returning to the car, he noticed that the attendant and his wife were engaged in an animated conversation. The conversation stopped as he paid the attendant. But as he was getting back into the car, he saw the attendant wave and heard him say, “It was great talking to you.”
As they drove out of the station, Wheeler asked his wife if she knew the man. She readily admitted she did. They had gone to high school together and had dated steadily for about a year.
“Boy, were you lucky that I came along,” bragged Wheeler. “If you had married him, youd be the wife of a gas station attendant instead of the wife of a chief executive officer.”
“My dear,” replied his wife, “if I had married him, hed be the chief executive officer and youd be the gas station attendant.”