This weekend I took some time off to work my other sideline business -- mystery shopping. Saturday I made $50 for 2 hours of work at the Argosy Casino in Alton, IL observing whether the 28 people I interacted with made eye contact, greeted me and gave me a parting comment.
And I made $10 plus reimbursement for 2 movie tickets, popcorn, soda and candy to observe the cleanliness and upselling ability of the staff at the local Wehrenberg Theatre.
We saw the new James Bond movie Casino Royale . But when we got out, it really made me stop and think back......
....As a child, I was always enamored with glitz, glamour, and most importantly the latest and greatest gadgetry money could buy. I used to dream that I worked as a lead scientist in a top secret laboratory that needed the highest clearance. I worked by myself as I couldn't have any helpers on what I worked on as it was so secret.
....time passed and the love of gadgets and technology has never departed from me. But my brain doesn't have the finite raw capability to memorize exact facts and figures that a mathemetician or scientist needs. So I went into computers.
I strove to be the very best ever since Junior High School when I was first introduced to the Apple II+ in 1982. I came in before school and stayed after school just to be with the machines! I used every program the Math teacher had and became quite proficient with it. And I had a great time, because the PC did my bidding exactly as I told it without complaining, whining, or any emotions whatsoever. I've never been much of a social butterfly, so the PC helped me become my own best friend.
In High School I became the President of the Lyons Township High School Computer Club. Back then we had those wonderful TRS-80 computers and air conditioning to boot! (Back then only the Library, computer lab, and Offices had A/C). But I could count the number of friends I had on less than 1 hand. I didn't even miss not going to the Jr. and Sr. Prom.
On I went to Eastern Illinois University to study what would become a B.A. degree in Psychology of all things because I had to pick a major if I wanted to graduate in 4 years, and I was doing best in my Pschology courses. I loved to read as well as study the Spanish language, so I minored in both Creative Writing and Spanish.
Little did I know that I would meet the love of my life, the ONLY woman I ever dated in my entire life and marry her just out of Graduation. She came from a small farming community in south central Illinois called Effingham. It was she and her family that slowly began to draw me out of my selfishness and introspection.
You see, while they were dirt poor and my family and upbringing upper middle class, they taught me one thing that money can NEVER buy -- unconditional love for people for just their being them!
You see, when I grew up, love was always conditional and expressed in varying degrees. My brother was a jock, so dad went to EVERY ONE of his Football games. But when I had the chance to sing the entire Messiah my Freshman year at EIU, Daddy couldn't come because "they don't travel that far in the winter -- it's too dangerous". They would pay for airplanes to fly me home, but hardly ever pick me up, or only when it was convenient.
My parents-in-law-to-be, on the other hand, ALWAYS helped out. They'd go out of their way to pick us up on campus and take us places. Simple things really, like picnics, walks in the park, and spur-of-the-moment road trips to the malls of Champaign-Urbana 45 miles away.
My wife-to-be and my parents-in-law taught me that the love of money only leaves a big, empty hole in your heart that even all the trappings James Bond had couldn't satsfy. They tought me how to love people unconditionally.
And tonight I watched the movie Cars with our two children Marissa (8) and Ross (4) in their bedroom along with my wife, it felt so good to have one child on each shoulder, snuggling down, going to sleep and to hear them say out of the blue several times during the evening "I love you daddy!"
So how does all this sappy stuff relate to Business and Mr. Joe Schroeder?
It's simple really.
This weekend and these movies help solidify the idea that PEOPLE MATTER! And as you make more and more money in this world, it is absolutely crucial that you don't forget where you came from and to help those in need!
In order to get, one truly does have to give and be generous.
Your Good News Merchant
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