Santa gives sassy teen a second chance

Last night I had the honor of being Santa Claus to about 300 of Appalachia’s poorest. It was a great honor.

Things were going along very well when Santa encountered a teen, and she was very interested in impressing her friends and at Santa’s expense. She wanted to embarrass Santa, so she pulled on his beard and said something about, “I know this is a fake beard.”

I, as Santa, did not relinquish my professional face. This means I did not put on my personal face and act out, rather I kept my professional face on and treated her with dignity and respect.

I asked the young lady if this is what she really wanted to be as an example to her friends. I asked her to stay in the spirit of Christmas for her friends and for the younger children around her. She stormed off.

Later it was time for Santa to come back and give all the children their Christmas candy canes. She came back and again, in a playful way, took several candy canes, again, to impress her friends. But as her friends walked off, she told Santa, “I’m sorry. I won’t do this again.”

I bring this up for your consideration so that when you encounter people who are difficult, the five universal truths will sustain you. Sometimes, those difficult people may walk away.

But when they come back with the realization that things could be and should be better, then you have accomplished your mission.

Coach Bob Lindsey
Verbal Defense & Influence Advisor
To see Bob tell his story, visit