Good Morning Victims of Oblivescence,
Here I am, 69 rotations this August and have just received a promotion…. I think.
In more ways than I can list here, the company is far removed from my days of bootstrapping! Sleeping in the car, bathing in rivers, the “Three S’s” performed at a near-by community college, running for my life down Richmond, VA’s Broad Street hoping to get back to the car after picking up $300 at Western Union, knowing which hotels served a great happy hour spread saving your $30 per diem for drinks, 20 straight days of ‘Windshield Time’ in a Dodge Shadow, seeing the entire country from the ground, and of course, the sheer joy of creating something from nothing.
These were some of the best and worst days of my life!
Those experiences truly tested me and my family. Those men and women that bought into my vision of this struggling company had personal lives from hell—so I heavily suggested they stay on the road and let the company pay expenses. I’ll forever treasure those times.
I bring this up not to be nostalgic or melancholy, rather, to illustrate that nothing stays the same. I know what you’re thinking, “DAH!”
Look, I don’t pretend to have any answers unless of course you’re talking about me, and isn’t it always about me? Be careful though, many of my answers could be the result of altered perceptions, or as our beloved President’s advisor Kellyanne Conway would say, “Alternate Facts.”
My life is filled with contradictions but hopefully with enough irony so that at the end of life’s rich pageant I can look back and have a good laugh.
For the two or three of you still reading this gelatinous gob of goo, you must know the above cry for help comes from my good friend Joe. At 70 rotations he’s decided to open a bar/restaurant partnered with someone he met at Blondies before its tragic demise.
Neither one of them has any experience with this business of high mortality rates and turnover! They’ve been doing and re-doing inspections to garner the coveted ‘Liquor License,’ while appeasing the Gods of the ‘Americans with Disabilities Act. They were actually required to move all toilets an inch further from the wall; no small task! They’ve been paying four people salaries and rent since last June to the tune of $400K and haven’t sold a beer yet!
The previous establishment sat vacant for two years and Joe/partner couldn’t sign the lease fast enough. They hope to open March 2nd but now embroiled in a lawsuit with their landlord, a 90-year-old Jewish woman who saw Joe & Company coming miles away!
Never mind he’s also involved with an obvious gold-digger a full generation younger than he, but also happens to be the craziest woman to ever occupy space! She has become Joe’s “Alternate Fact!”
I don’t point these things out to denigrate my friend, rather, to demonstrate how we are indeed the sum total of the decisions we make.