A Lesson Learned Young

I was 10 or 11 years old. My dad was on a job in Seguin, Texas. His inspector on that job drove off into the mud and got stuck. By the time they got him unstuck, his sedan was covered in mud.

As usual I was with my Dad on the job-site, which I did anytime I could. It was mid afternoon, about the time they always headed for the coffee shop to drink coffee. So the inspector dropped his car off at a new coin operated car wash, gave me a $5 bill, which half should have been enough to pay for the car wash, leaving half for my efforts.

Once I changed it into quarters, I put half in the coin slot and went to work. I had an old rag, so I wetted the car down good and started around scrubbing away. I turned the knob to off, so that should mean that it would let me scrub and then I’d have plenty of time leftover to finish washing and then rinse it off.

I know you are a way ahead of me on this. By the time I got all the mud off, the time expired. So I kept putting my quarters, the labor-money, in it to finish the job. By the time I poked my last quarter in the slot, Dad and the inspector drove back up to a very clean car. They congratulated me on what a fine job I had done.

After we headed down the road I told my Dad that wasn’t a very profitable venture. I asked if maybe I could tell the inspector what happened so he could give me a little more money. He told me that’s not the way business is done. Just take my lumps and learn from it.

He assured me that’s the way a lot of business deals end up and you know what, he was exactly right.

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