I remember everything about the day I met John. I was 20 years old and was hired to be the secretary for an accountant in a nearby town. I had been working in Toronto for just over a year in a large office but I was tired of the commute. In March 1976 I decided I wanted a change in my life and moved out of a large bullpen into a two person office. I settled into the office and one morning my boss Tim gave me a set of financial statements to type up. He told me to make sure I stay within one inch margins because the guy I was typing them for was VERY picky. I very carefully typed up these statements (remember .. these were the days where there were no computers, I had an IBM selectric typewriter).
On Friday these two men return with my boss (Tim) after lunch. I was surprised at the difference between the new men, one was tall, thin, calm and blonde and the other was shorter with a bushy beard and almost a frantic way about him. The tall man sat down across from me and asked for the statements. Tim off handedly said “This is John and George” and I immediately thought of the Beatles.
I passed the statements to John and without even a look at me he took the ruler from my desk and started to measure the margins. Now, I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m an introvert but I’m not a wall flower. I’m a strong person and I don’t like being pushed around or insulted. I immediately got my back up when John started to measure the margins of the statements I typed.
He leaned back, looked at me and said, “They are fine”.
I said, “Fine? Fine? They are perfect.” I gave him a look that surprised him. He handed me a package of paper and asked me to photocopy several copies of the statements and bind them. It was only then that I saw the paper was framed like a picture frame and the statements had to sit inside the frame. He apologized for his tone to me and I could see the other two men were shocked by this change in John. John asked me what I thought of the letterhead and I told him it was old fashioned and dated and not something a progressive firm would use. He never ordered that paper again.
The three men talked in Tim’s office while I copied and bound the statements. I could hear them laughing and for some reason I could feel the tension in my entire body. I went in and handed John the statements and could feel his eyes on me. When John and George left Tim turned to me and told me I better get used to them because he had just agreed to go into partnership with them and I would be joining them. We were to become the Four Musketeers.