The Hammer Doesn’t Build The House

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A couple of weeks ago, at work, the interim president’s executive assistant asked me to take some photos at that afternoon’s all-hands meeting.

Without saying why, she made a point of also asking me to especially look for opportunities to take photos her boss.

So I grabbed the institution’s cheap, old digital still/video camera, and, while everyone else sat in rows of comfortable chairs at tables, I “floated” around the room, taking photos of them, and repeatly walked up to the front of the room to get closer shots of the meeting’s various presenters.

Near the end of the meeting, they pointed to a temporarily connected telephone near the speaker’s podium, and announced that we were about to receive an important phone call from the Regional Vice President.

At that point, I was standing at the back of the room, but, after a few seconds, I decided that, instead of just standing there, I might as well switch the camera to video mode and shoot a video of the phone call.

That way, if it turned out to be a boring call, I could just delete it, but if it turned out to be interesting, I could post it on our shared network drive for everyone to be able to see it.

I quickly walked to the front of the room and positioned myself right next to the interim president as he answered the call on speakerphone, so that everyone could hear the Regional Vice President. As the RVP spoke, I slowly and repeatedly panned from the telephone to the interim president’s face to the audience and back.

After a minute of greetings and motivational pep talk, the RVP slowly and teasingly announced that, after a long and exhaustive search that involved interviewing a dozen or so candidates, the regional office had found us a new president.

And that new president was the man that I was standing next to.

My video captured the new president’s face and the cheering audience’s standing ovation.

As well as his executive secretary handing him his new “President” name tag.

And his exuberant acceptance speech.

All from about two feet away from him.

Then I took still photos of everyone standing around, eating his “Congratulations!” cake.

And, a little while after the meeting ended, I had processed my video and posted it and my photos on our shared network drive.

Several people told me that they choked up with tears when they watched that video.

I believe it — I’ve choked up every time I’ve watched it.

I’ll bet that the new president’s wife cried when she saw it — she couldn’t be at the meeting because she and their children still live at their soon-to-be-previous house, near his previous job, a few hours away. For the past several months of his interim presidency, they’ve only seen each other on weekends.

My colleagues at work first learned of my past experience as a television director when they saw the 30-minute and 7-minute instructional videos that I produced earlier this year. Then, a few months ago, they saw my videos of Bud.

But now that they’ve seen my video of the interim president becoming the new president, more and more of them are thinking of ways to use my media skills.

I’m very happy about that, even though shooting photos and producing videos are not in my job description.

At least not yet.

The increased demand for my media skills confirms that they understand that the hammer doesn’t build the house; the brush doesn’t create the painting; the pen doesn’t write the story; the camera doesn’t create the memory; and the musical instrument doesn’t perform the song.

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