May 13, 2024

The Benefits of Working Hard in America

By: David Seymour

“I don’t know man, I just got home from work”, are words my neighbor recently uttered to me when I asked him a second time to sign a petition relating to a local community effort that would prevent a rode diet. A rode diet takes an existing road way, for example 4 lanes, and lessens the width to a 2 lane road with middle passage ways. One that he previously agreed to. The petition seeks to collect 5% of registered voter’s signatures. Once the 5% is captured, we can present to the town and say, “Hey guess what, despite your efforts to ‘improve our lives’ we do not agree. We, the people, can discuss anything behind your backs, like you the government does all the time behind ours”.  

This situation reminds me of two anecdotal experiences in my life as a millennial with student loan debt, living in an opportunity zone vying for sustainability, amongst fierce marketplace competition and having been brought up as a coffee head. A coffee-head, you might ask. Yes, again as I repeat myself, a coffee-head, an outdated term. Now-a-days it is probably an energy- drink head. Regardless, growing up as a connoisseur of the black beverage and enjoying its energy producing side effects, my mother once told me a story about going to Starbucks at 5 am in the morning when they first opened. My mother is a notorious early bird, sometimes rising at 3 am to go to the gym in her 70s and having done so for many years, as she does not sleep.

Upon arrival my mother ordered an iced coffee. At the time, she was advised by the clerk that they did not have it and they were sorry they could not fulfill her order. My mother, being a fierce consumer, counter girl, and produce clerk most of her life, knew better. She wrote in and was advised by corporate management, ALL PRODUCTS ALL THE TIME, no excuses.

Flash to years later, frustrated in this opportunity-less zone, at a low-level job with terrible management, one client on my route was never prepared, ready or at location when he promised. I couldn’t help but think to myself, this is our society, a homeowner and businessman not able to “pull up his socks”  leading the charge in our country and all of us follow. His 15 minute delay would hinder my schedule and have a domino effect not only on my day and schedule but on that of the marketplace, delaying production and results. I can’t help but to deduce an exaggeration that this is the reason why we are in $30 trillion in national debt, have workplace negligence, a housing crisis, increased inflation, credit card debt, student loan debt, a congress that can’t act on anything, and a crisis in the Middle East and beyond.  

Anecdotal experiences, or qualitative data, tells us something. It is generally a reflection of facts and truth that exist not just on a micro scale but on a macro scale. Remember, there is no such thing as a dumb question; chances are others have the exact same questions.  

The moral of the story is, when you have Joe Biden saying to the press, “Hey man give me a break”, your neighbor saying, “I don’t know man”, corporate workers not able to produce on time and on point, and an average Joe not ready when he said he would, one must think not only does POOR leadership, poor quality, poor engagement, and too many people and institutions needing an excuse and an easy way out, manifest itself at every level of institutional life and engagement, it is no wonder why our country is in a constant state of crisis on a social and cultural level.

We must be prepared for anything, at any time, and on any occasion, and if not, we must be ready to commit to a way to be there when it is needed, or when we can. Too many, in this country, are on easy street, and it is not a reflection of what values we should have in a country where the future is more and more uncertain every day. As a small business owner, student loan debt holder, general hard worker, believer in the American dream of homeownership, and as a person that does not come from easy street, I can assure you I have worked at many different levels and understand how difficult it can be every day. Every time I am out in society, I must remind myself this is a potential client, a potential customer, and I must present well. Ultimately, when one goes out in society one must be ready for the unexpected and not assume it is a place where you can be yourself because you just “want a break man”. We are way behind compared to other countries, have too high of a national debt, and way too many problems to believe that the 9-5 is sufficient to conclude a standard workday and assume an evening of peace and sanctity.

All products, all the time and then, perhaps, America can be exceptional again!