Skip to main content


December 5, 2009


Posted by admin

Ad Hudler, author of SOUTHERN LIVING and MAN OF THE HOUSE, shares a story of a less-than-ideal living situation, and how a well-timed book on Christmas helped to set things right.

We had just moved from Florida to New York with a newborn in tow, and life was crazy. Because my wife had work and I did not, the responsibility of the move fell on me. And before I could go back to work, I had to find some in-home care, so I placed an ad in the newspaper and found Gloria. I wasn't crazy about her, but she was best of the lot: an expressive, Italian mother, who, I'd discover later, had a son in prison.

Our problem was this: Gloria refused to do as I said because I was a man, and, in her opinion, no man could tell her what to do with a house and baby. We fought and fought and fought. She rebelled by eating all my favorite foods from the refrigerator (we'd later discover she had had her stomach stapled). She refused to use a car seat with our daughter. And her idea of cleaning the house meant puffing up the throw pillows.

"Can't you deal with her?" I asked my wife. "She won't listen to me."

"Honey," my wife replied, "Gloria is your direct report. You're responsible for her."

"But I've never managed people before," I said. "I'm a writer. I don't know what I'm doing here."

Christmas came a month later. In my stocking was a book from my wife: THE ONE MINUTE MANAGER, by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnsons.

I read THE ONE MINUTE MANAGER in one hour, and, in one week, Gloria was gone.

-- Ad Hudler

Tomorrow, Mary Carter and Robert Goolrick discuss two rather memorable reads, and revel in the power of a well-told story.