The Love of Work Well Done
By Wm. May
Published: 05/24/11 Topics: Comments: -
Dad was a very quiet soft spoken guy who ran a truck dealership (kinda of like a car dealership). His customers loved him, his employees loved him, and no one ever quit. He grew up on a wind-swept ranch in North Dakota, went off to war, and took care of his family every day thereafter.
Exactly fifty years ago, at the age of fifteen, a buddy and I helped him move to a new building and set up all of the shelving and equipment. He was so proud. That time frame seems impossible, except Dad departed this earth over 20 years ago.
After all those years, and on a whim, I recently stopped into the truck shop, and it was as if he had never left.
As I walked in, I must not have looked like the usual trucker because several parts men gave me the long look. One came out and said, "May I help you?"
I said, "Oh no, I was just looking around at the shop that I helped my Dad set up 50 years ago. And with that, he literally jumped up and down and said, "You must be Dick May's son. Hey everybody, Dick's son is here."
Although Dad retired from that store over 40 years ago, people came running and soon all work had stopped while the entire crew told me stories I had not heard. About his always positive attitude, his constant smile and his encyclopedic knowledge of everything truck. Some had never met me, but all knew the stories as if they knew him.
In return, I told them of how all those years ago when I was helping my Dad set up the store--worried about its future--that I had asked him, "Dad, how are you ever going to compete with Eckerts." Eckerts Truck Shop was the big dog competitor in town.
As usual, Dad just smiled slightly, looked around to make sure no one else could hear, kind of held his breath, looked both ways again, bent over slightly and then whispered,
"Well Billy boy, here is how it is. Here is how I see it."
"Number one, I am fairly sure I can out think them."
"But number two, I am 100% absolutely sure I can out work them."
The love of work, the love of work well done, was my Dad's secret weapon.
It was only a few years after he uttered those words (that I have now repeated hundreds of times,) that the Eckerts closed shop.
Dad's business became every trucker's favorite place to buy parts, get their rigs serviced or just stop in for coffee and see that smiled, a smile that is still remembered 40 years later.
Wm. May – Truck Lover