by Adam Zack — February 27, 2019
It’s 6:00 a.m. Wednesday morning and I was resigned to not getting a blog done this week. In fact, I asked DW for a pass. The National Grocers Association is in town, coupled with Harold Lloyd’s M4 Marketing share group left not much time to think about writing. That changed at 5:00 this morning.
I grew up in the mountains of Southern California. We had beautiful summers and snow in the winter. Sometimes a lot of snow. My dad wanted to be able to get us out of the snow occasionally on weekends, so he bought us a mobile home in Desert Hot Springs, near Palm Springs. Single-wide in a trailer park called Sam’s Family Spa. There were hot tubs, a swimming pool and an arcade with air hockey. Between riding our bikes, playing baseball (more like pickle or monkey in the middle), it was a pretty charmed life for a 6th grader. One weekend we were at the pool and I saw my 6th grade teacher Mrs. Johnson. She was with some other teachers at the pool. And the school vice principal was one of them! She wore a bikini and was drinking beer. And she was smoking. Smoking! It was big news in 6th grade. Teachers didn’t wear bikinis. And for sure they didn’t smoke cigarettes. When I got back to school on Monday my friends could not believe the news. It soon became the major topic of gossip, and someone said something to Mrs. Johnson and I was called in to the office for a sit-down. Uh oh. Mrs. Johnson was not pleased that she was the scandalous topic of the 6th grade paparazzi. In my naive world teachers were up on a pedestal and there were no cigs and brews near it. I was made aware that teachers were in fact normal people too. They deserved to have their privacy and personal life without being judged like the National Enquirer. It was something I had never even considered. It was a lesson that I never forgot, and I try to apply it to my employees, customers and business contacts. All of these people have personal lives, too. Just because I deal with them in a business setting it does not mean that’s all they do. They may smoke and drink beer and wear bikinis and cavort wildly, and that’s the balance that keeps them real.
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