A true success story
Still other roads to success can be equally obscure and what at first seems ill fortune becomes over time opportunity, career fulfillment and financial security. We will call him Jack and he was working as a distillery representative in Southern California for brands that were not particularly powerful in the marketplace. I got to know him quite well mostly on a personal basis since his company hardly ever did any advertising. Anyway he calls me one day, quite crestfallen, to report that he have been let go. The Distiller was cutting back on personnel in the Western States and he was one of the unfortunate ones to get the pink slip.
It had not been a great job and the pay was not all that good but from his conversation with me he needed it very much. On the phone I told him I would ask around to see if anyone was looking for a good distillery representative and also I would run an blind ad for him in our publication. Well the ad did not produce any leads and some time went by before I heard from him again.
He called to say, quite apologetically, that he had taken a job with a fast food place in Burbank called McDonald’s. He was manager and if he could make it a success he was promised future promotions. From his tone on the telephone I could feel that he felt it was a big downgrade from being a salesman and company representative. However he said he wanted to see me and when I had the chance to come by and he would buy me a hamburger and coffee.
I should point out that this was long before McDonald’s became a legendary success story. In fact I had never been to a McDonald outlet. But I did drop by one afternoon to visit with Jack. There he was with his McDonald shirt and hat on and was, in fact, the only one in the place which had only a small counter and three outside tables.
After that I lost track of Jack in the press of my own work which was always demanding and left me little time to follow through with people if they left the beverage industry. It was probably at least two decades later that I again heard about Jack. I was in Temecula on a press trip and as part of the tour we were shown the then new Bear Valley Country Club, a planned community with prestigious home sites surrounding the course which had been planned by Jack Nicklaus.
One magnificent home was pointed out to us as belonging to Jack __________ , a very successful business man who owned several McDonald franchises. It was my old friend who had parlayed a reluctant choice of a job into true success.
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