And that started a great conversation that only military and ex-military can have.
I noticed this older gentleman getting a haircut today, and he had on an Army Veteran cap.
I caught up to him on the sidewalk, and I had to ask.
He said he was “invited” to join the Army in ‘69.
During the Vietnam war era, this gent asked for an audition in the Army band, and he got it. Pretty cool. Pretty choice.
Did his hitch playing the French horn.
He’s 73 and doesn’t look a day over 55.
He was also stationed at Monteith Barracks, which was a stone’s throw from where I was stationed in Germany. We talked about where we were stationed and the surrounding area for I’ll bet thirty minutes.
And while we talked, his eyes just lit up. And I could feel a smile as genuine as his spreading across my face.
You see, we are brothers—no matter when or where we served.
We have a connection—almost a blood link in our makeup. That’s something no one can ever take away.
It was just a chance meeting. But it’s one of the best things that has happened to me this week—kind of like a reward. And I love that.
I’m finished writing about the workweek for now. I did more than my share. I won’t say fair share because I signed on to complete a task, and that’s what I do. Not once this week did I let thoughts of “this is too much” or “this isn’t my job” come into my head.
The workweek is done. It is behind me.
My son received a Character Award. Below is what was said about him. I was unable to be there because of work, but his mother and grandmother attended the event.
Understandably I’ve left his name out. There were a few other lines that might identify him, but this is something a parent wants to hear about their child.
He ended up on the A/B honor roll, and I told him when we received his report card that he needed to apply himself a bit more.
Today as I rethink that he could have gotten straight C’s and I could not be more proud of him.
He reminds me in his actions that life isn’t about grades and money. It’s all about who you are and how you treat people. That you make life better and the world around you better.
We aren’t done raising him, but perhaps we’re doing something right.
I started out today dropping Sam off at school so that takes care of mile seven as well.
The car drop off line at our middle school is ridiculous in the first place. The problem was exacerbated by the new elementary school opening next door last week.
The country crowding all of these schools together with the high school right across the road is nothing but a headache for parents, teachers, bus drivers, and police.
As usual, the local government doesn’t care about the consequences, just what looks good on paper for them.
I think about this every time I have to go through it. The time and stress on all involved could have been avoided with proper planning of roads and such. But they just want to have that picture of them standing there with a hard hat and a shovel at the ground breaking.
The first store that I visited today ranks and ties as one of my least favorites to work in any day of the week. Unorganized, and it’s always rough trying to find and work the product that is needed.
Their ineptitude is always factored into the plan.
It really shouldn’t be like that. But it is.
I’m sitting here now waiting on my car. Yesterday’s adventure turned into today’s bill. An unfortunate price to pay to work and get where I need to be, but here I am. Safety for my family and myself (why would I deprive them of me?) is most important.
I always use the same place for my tires; it’s a family-run business, and they are good people. There is no rip-off here. They aim to do good work take care of people and keep you safe. I’ve got no problem with that.
And that was quite a chunk of change.
The miles are stacking up quickly, aren’t they?
The next store I have to stop at is easily my favorite. I wrote about the people here and the manager last night. They take care of me, and I take care of them.
Today’s a plus because Kevin will be working. He makes Tuesday, usually the most demanding day of our week, enjoyable. We both have a sense of humor that plays well off the others. Almost nothing is off the table when we joke around. And no one.
They say good people are hard to find in business. I say your good people are hard to find because they’re usually working their asses off covering for other people.
And that is Kevin in a nutshell.
The next store is also enjoyable. Morgan will be there, and she’s another of my favorite associates. As a matter of fact, we are the last two from the original group of folks that were there when I came to the store almost seven years ago—the last of the old guard.
And…she called out today. Lol.
The last of my stores today and tied with the first for all the same reasons. I had to hurry kind of. It has been a long day on the road. Nothing much to say about this place.
Home. Right back where I started.
It’s not the work or even the extra work that bothers me. People have lost the sense of dignity that goes with actually earning what’s theirs. They want things handed to them. And large companies are doing it. I watch people keep jobs and get paid that find every way possible not to do the job they were hired to do. It sickens me.
I’m writing this after a regular day that isn’t in a regular week.
Nothing’s off about this. Today at end of business I was at about twenty-one hours for the week.
Yes. It’s Monday.
Reset weeks are where you see what the people around you can do and a little of what they think of you.
I have people I consider friends at my stores. I watch out for them. They watch out for me.
When I walk into a store on a Monday and some of the resets are already done because “we know you’re doing this by yourself,” it touches me.
I’m just a vendor. But I like to think of myself as part of the store. I spend a great deal of my time with these folks. They are my every day.
Days like today prove to me that I am a part of the store.
A couple of weeks ago, when I ended up in the ER, the day I came back, the store manager brought me to her office and had a word with me. She wanted to know why she had to find out second-hand that I had to go to the hospital from work. She had called and checked on me while I was out. She was genuinely concerned about me. Again, I was touched. It’s unusual for a vendor to even be thought of in passing by management.
As much as I would love to move on some days, I would miss the camaraderie. I would miss being a small part of their lives.
I think it’s because all of us affect other people for good or bad. I like to think that, for the most part, I affect the people around me for good. I try to lead without leading. I have a lead by example mentality. When it’s my team, I put in the extra and let them see me doing it. And in most of the ones that have been under me, it shows.
I watch the people around me, and they change me as well. I adopt good habits from them. I watch how kind they can be when they have absolutely no reason to be.
It’s good for me, the work thing. I hope it’s good for them as well.
And would it be a Monday without a bit of hiccup?
I ain’t even mad. How can you be mad at worn-out rubber? It has served its purpose. I definitely got my money’s worth.
Tomorrow will be a little longer because of a pit stop for new tires. All of them are worn enough to replace. I practically live on the road.
Eight hour days with a few minutes over and under here and there ending the week with 40.54 hours.
That’s what I said I would do and I that’s what I did.
I didn’t put myself out this week. Some days were more stressful than others, but that’s the usual for most of us, yeah?
Next week is looking ugly.
I’m starting Sunday and calling in Ashe for backup. She has agreed to help me knock down the heavy lifting in her old store. I’m grateful.
Tomorrow is pretty much the entirety of my weekend. I have to go and film the marching band in the middle of the day. Luckily there’s something I need to find down that way. I need a new sling pack. So I’m going to do a little shopping, maybe.
Tonight I’ve been decompressing. I’ve played a little in between episodes of season eight of The Blacklist.
S8:E6 The Wellstone Agency.
Raymond has just learned of Glen’s death and is ranting about the last wishes he left him to fulfill. James Spader is at some of his funniest and best in this scene. I love the character.
Waiting for the wife and boy to get home from the game.
The girl, my eldest, is experiencing a nasty possible kidney infection. We are hoping it isn’t a kidney stone. I was afflicted by those quite a bit at one time. She takes after me both in demeanor and health. I’m trying to steer her the right way in both aspects of her life.
I started the day aiming to finish everything I could at one store. I didn’t do that.
I left some for tomorrow.
Because I need time to myself.
The wife and kids weren’t here this afternoon because of band practice.
I came home to decompress a bit. I sat down and played Call Of Duty. It’s a stress reliever.
I’ve balanced my hours this week—roughly eight hours a day at work. I’ve had to force myself to leave and not just finish every activity available.
I’ve had this verse on my mind:
“Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:34 ESV
Tomorrow’s work will be just that. Believe me, it will still be there when I show up.
This I know.
And right now, I am really at peace. It has taken me fifty-three years to find a balance in my soul, and I honestly believe I have.
The company won’t stop without you. Certain people will notice that the job didn’t get done to your standards. The ones who watch over and appreciate you will miss you, but they are few and far between.
In the end it’s a job. I’m grateful to have one. But it isn’t my whole life. There is so much more to life.