The Greatest Periodical Ever Written
I considered two or three different topics for this week’s blog.
As I composed each one in my mind, the best I could muster was one funny moment not good for more than three or four sentences if I wrote in the style of a third grader trying to build up his word count. (One of my sons was really, really, really, so, so good at that writing technique.)
The brevity of my draft stories made me feel like I was writing for Reader’s Digest.
The thought of Reader’s Digest instantly caused me to remember a boss from twenty-five years before who called that magazine “the greatest periodical ever written”. I was never sure if he believed this because of the monthly content, the humor, or the fact that articles were the perfect length for his daily visits to the restroom.
And, of course, now I was reliving the few years we worked together and the fact that there was rarely a dull day. I never knew what might come out of his mouth.
I recalled one day when several of us went to a Hooter’s for lunch. As we walked in, my boss turned to me and said “you have to pick up the tab because if my wife sees this place on my credit card bill, she’ll kill me.” I said “no problem, my wife doesn’t look at my credit card bill.” When I walked through the door that evening, I IMMEDIATELY told Jenni where I had gone for lunch, who I was with, and the entire conversation. My brilliant wife called the boss’s desk phone that night and left a voicemail reading him the riot act for corrupting her husband—all with a straight face! The next morning the look on his face was priceless as he played back his messages!
And then there was the time I hired a new accountant—George.
At the conclusion of our interview, I was giving George a tour of the building. We stepped into the boss’s office for a brief introduction. After a little chit-chat, my boss looked at George’s shoes, noticed some scuffing, and asked “George, are you pigeon-toed?”. After some awkward silence, George proceeded to tell a heart-breaking story of a childhood accident that left him in a full body cast and caused his foot to permanently turn in slightly. I decided if he could survive that interview with such grace, I would hire him.
During George’s first week of work, he was staying with a friend before his family could make the move to town. After about his third day on the job, he had car trouble and ended up covered in oil. He was out of clean clothes and had no access to laundry facilities. He had to make a late-night run to the nearest store still open (K-Mart) to have clean clothes for work. The next day George arrived to work in khakis and a button-down, blue shirt. At some point in the day George ended up in the same room with my boss who took one look at him and asked “George, do you buy your clothes at K-Mart?” He replied “yes sir, I do!”
I think poor George stayed with us another 7 or 8 months.
Maybe I need to check back with my old boss and see if he thinks my blogs could qualify as the “greatest periodical ever written”.