My first web press check took place at a Midwestern magazine printing plant. Colleagues and I were checking a fold-out map for insertion in Sunset and Better Homes & Gardens magazines.

While waiting in a conference room to be called to the press, we heard an incredibly loud metallic CLANG, followed by dead silence as the press ground to a halt. Suddenly our reps looked pale. A folding arm had sheared off the web press!

Within the hour, our rep presented Plan B: the press part would be shipped in overnight from Germany, installed a day later, and we’d be back up and running again. Would we stay two nights longer, at the plant’s expense?

Apparently they expected us to scream and stomp. “What good would that do?” we asked, frankly surprised. “Our clients are rarely so reasonable or understanding,” they explained. They chalked it up to a West Coast Laid-Back attitude, but worked extra hard for us because we didn’t make an already unfortunate situation worse. (The folding arm cost about $65,000—the same as the cost of our print job!)

One night later instead of two, we flew home, mission accomplished.

Disaster Avoidance Tip

I’ve never seen The Stomp move things along or win allies. Its opposite isn’t being a pushover, though, it’s negotiating in respectful partnership to come up with the best solution to the problem.

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