“All things in moderation” or “How I had McDonalds 3 times on the same day”
From David, founder of Sommbeer @
Don was a couple of decades my senior but worked for me as one of my salesman. It was awkward, or at least it should have been, but it wasn’t because Don always put me in my place. We travelled a lot together and it didn’t matter who reported to who, we were just busy trying to sell industrial equipment to everybody in the world. It was a gritty business that demanded a lot of work, focus and discipline.
One trip required a visit to Texas to support our “Oil & Gas” customers. Remember when that oil boom hit several years ago? Gas was expensive and everybody and their cousin needed our industrial equipment to get it out of the ground. Don and I were frackers.
It was 6 am and we were at Detroit metro airport waiting for our plane. Crazy stupid in the morning (cause Don always scheduled sales trips to maximize all of the #%#$%! available time).
“Don I’m starving” I moaned. “The plane is boarding, just run to that McDonalds over there” he pointed in the direction that I was already running to.
We landed, made presentations and then found ourselves racing across Texas in some domestic rental abomination. “Don I’m starving” now I felt like a kid complaining to this white-haired salesman. “David, we don’t have time we are already late”.
I badgered him enough that he drove through a McDonald’s drive thru – this was now meal #2. By midnight we had arrived at the hotel but the small town we were in had shut down for the night. Don and I walked to the only place that was open – a McDonalds located next door. We ate quarter pounders and sat around the empty outdoor hotel pool. Don took a bite of his first meal for the day, looked at me and laughed.
The next month, David and Don were scheduled to “run the booth” for a 1 week industrial sales event in Vegas! We sold, presented and entertained customers the entire week. The grand finale was a huge party with all of our customers invited to one of those famous Vegas pools. Everything bad (or good) that you can image for a $60,000 corporate Vegas party happened. Don drank a couple of his Vodka tonics and I drank everything. The night ended with the dancing girls dancing, customers shoving each other into the pool and my head resting on top of the bar. The next morning……
I woke up in the fetal position. The alarm had been going off for an hour and I was late! I raced around the room like a madman. On my way to the company booth I bumped into our CEO who looked at me and then his imaginary watch. The booth had been unattended for 3 hours!!! As I ran towards our company booth huffing and puffing, I saw a familiar head of white hair. It was Don and he had been at our booth since 6am.
“Don, when did leave the party last night?” “David” he said sternly “I was with our customers until 3am and I’ve been here since 6″. He turned around to greet a customer that had just walked up. He turned back around moments later to address me. He then said the words I will never forget “All things in moderation”.
Don didn’t run to get a meal every chance he had like I did with McDonalds and he limited his drinks at that Vegas party. Certain times require discipline and moderation. It’s like this for me now with beer. I’m a dad and I have responsibilities. Too much beer and it can interfere with what I have and want to do as a dad. As a Christian it’s important to me that my beer doesn’t interfere with my relationship with Jesus. Beer is a great hobby but like food, TV, Twitter or anything else it requires moderation.
Too much beer and I can’t really taste it enough to enjoy it anyway.I went to Don’s retirement party several years later. I sat in the back of the room and watched my old friend take it all in. He relished that last day of work. Near the end they handed Don a gargantuan sized bottle of Absolut vodka. I knew that bottle was going to last Don a long long time.
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