The year was 1974, and America still put on a suit and tie (or a
dress for the ladies) to go to work. I had dropped out for a few months,
and was living on my boat moored off Buckingham Fountain along Chicago's
waterfront, when a friend interested me in a position on a major account
at a Michigan Avenue PR firm.
When the account director invited me in for an interview, I had to admit
that my suits were in storage while I lived afloat, and I had nothing
dressier than jeans and a tie-dyed shirt handy. He said, 'Come on
So I rowed ashore and walked across the park to Michigan Avenue and took
the elevator up to Cooper and Golin Public Relations (now
Carl Kay, the AD, and I hit it off. He offered me the job on the
Al Golin took a look at me and raised an eyebrow, but said OK.
Five years later, I was a senior VP on the McDonald's account, and went
on to a career in communications with McDonald's. Lesson learned: be
yourself and things can go swimmingly.
Chuck Ebeling retired on the cusp of the Millennium from his position as
chief spokesperson and corporate communications officer for McDonald's