The office manager could hear us yakking and buzzed me. She literally hissed into the phone, "Don't bother the clients!"
Every time I hear the remastered duet of Natalie and Nat King Cole singing "Unforgettable," I think of what a cool guy Nat was.
The year was 1959. There I was, 19 years old, not quite star-struck and cursed with the inability to recognize anyone famous. Great skills for the receptionist at a theatrical business manager's office.
One of the clients was Nat King Cole. He frequently came in with little Natalie in tow. One day, while he was waiting to see my boss, we had a great conversation. I was really impressed, because he was so nice and friendly. Not only that, but he was also actually someone I recognized, and I loved his music.
Anyway, the bitch of an office manager could hear us yakking and buzzed me. She literally hissed into the phone, "Don't bother the clients! You greet them and announce that they're here. That's all. Now go back to work."
I was caught off-guard, and clammed up until Cole was called into his meeting with my boss. When he came out, he popped his head into the office manager's office and said, "By the way, thanks for looking out for me, but I'm perfectly capable of choosing who I want to talk to. We were having a great conversation, and there was no reason for you to interrupt it."
No one ever told her off, and he did it with such class. As he was leaving, he winked at me and said, "Now, have a nice day. See you next time." That was the day Nat King Cole became my hero! He took the time to stand up for me and relieve my embarrassment.
I've met many celebrities since then, but this was one experience that was "Unforgettable."