Have any of you ever accepted a position for a job only to realize the first day of your new employment you are left wondering if your eager acceptance was in your best interest? (just say “yes”) My parents did try to cultivate in me the traits of perseverance and commitment to a job well done, along with a good work ethic. Hmmm…unfortunately for one summer job I accepted, it was quite difficult to uphold their philosophies. Sorry, Mom and Dad.
It all began innocently enough when, as a college student, I accepted a summer position with a company that manufacture miniature cardboard concession stands. They were brimming with delightful mouthwatering snacks expressly for business owners and their customers. I was under the impression that the businesses wait with baited breath for the sales representative’s arrival with the box of delectable delights. It was based on the honor system and the hungry…but, of course, honest (?) customers drop money in the “golden money box.”
I was told that I didn’t even have to do a sales pitch because I was essentially giving the boxes away to open welcoming arms. If I did this successfully, I would make a whopping $8.00 per box!! This most certain road to financial security seemed obvious to me. Just think of the money I could make by just “giving away” boxes of scrumptious snacks. Why…if I could “hit and give” a mere fifty businesses a day that would be $400 per day. I repeat…$400 per day!! I could practically envision the dream house I would be able to afford as a college girl…no less. Just imagine…I could hardly wait to get started on this obvious rewarding adventure??
Next scene…now envision this…a pitiful “giving away” peddler woman trudging along the streets awkwardly balancing boxes brimming over with yummy snacks, as I begged and pleaded with business owners to take them off my hands. There was no “giving away” in this scenario. I was getting an earful of all of the negative aspects. They had obviously, accepted the initial snack donation from the “giving away” salesperson before me. Apparently, the goods became rancid, the honor system worked poorly and let’s not even talk about the ant problem it generated. I heard it all as my dream house was dissipating in my mind.
Images of a letter that my father had written me in college flashed before my eyes. He said, “Your mother and I are so glad you are having the opportunity to be on your own and to take care of yourself (as we know you can).” It was that last little parenthetical part that was plaguing me. Was there, perhaps, some doubt? Hmmm…I must think about the work ethic concept he had tried to instill in me. I thought to myself, ‘Alright then…I’m going to beg for someone to take this box of junk off my hands one more time and if that doesn’t work, this job is history!’
Soooo….I located one more potential business prospect. As I was getting out of my car, I glanced up to see what kind of place I would be “giving” the snacks. Much to my amazement and delight there was a man standing inside smiling and waving at…could it be…why, yes, he was waving at me!! I was about to make $8.00!! My father was right after all. I could take care of myself I was about to make money for my supper.
I flashed my biggest smile and waved enthusiastically at him. I entered the business with excited anticipation for what was about to transpire. But, of course, judging from his brilliant, accommodating smile, I knew “he” was the one anticipating me and my “box of junk.”
Now here comes the ending that has become fodder over the years for my friend’s entertainment purposes while pointing and laughing at me. It is has been funny fodder that is told time and time again. It’s okay…I’m laughing with them…anything for the healing power of laughing pleasure!
Here’s the ending: Get ready to laugh! Here goes… As I eagerly rushed into the business, I saw standing before me a cardboard man with a giant smile and a waving hand.
You know the ending…..laughing yet?
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