Friday, March 21, 2014

Pack Man

The other day Barry was at his house unclogging a defiant drain and Priscilla the Packing Pro was visiting the “nullies” (her son’s children) in Phoenix, Arizona. As a result, Danny and I were alone together in the trading post.
Steve Simpson Packing

The Internet gods had been good to us the prior day, so there were Navajo rugs, woven baskets and turquoise jewelry to ship. Since Priscilla generally heads up projects of this nature and she was scheduled to be gone a few days, something had to be done before Dustin the UPS driver arrived in his big brown cargo van. Danny is not yet good at this stuff, so that left me to manage the job.

Despite our reputations, Barry and I are in fact capable. In the early days of Twin Rocks Trading Post he and I were responsible for virtually every aspect of the business, including packaging. Despite what most people believe, Priscilla did not come to us completely capable. Believe it or not, Barry and I had to train her. She was not always so competent, and we were not always so . . . well you know.

So, reaching back into the past for guidance, I assembled the necessary implements; boxes, tape, markers and labels, and set to work. Before long the orders were ready to go and I walked them upstairs to Danny for entering into the computer. Danny looked at me with a mixture of amazement, concern and fear. He obviously had little faith in my ability to ensure the orders would arrive in good condition.

At that point I decided Danny should be reminded who was in charge of this Popsicle stand. “Listen Bud”, I said in my most authoritative voice, “I was packing when you were still in Pampers!” Obviously considering our age difference and the longevity of Twin Rocks Trading Post, he acknowledged that statement might well be true. Still, I am sure Danny wondered whether his commission was in jeopardy if the contents of my packages were damaged in transit.

When things settled down, I reviewed my leadership training materials and quickly realized I had overstepped my boundaries with Danny. So, in an effort to be a kinder, gentler, more effective manager, I took my young assistant aside and explained that, because of my skills as a packer, I used to be known as the “Pack Man”. “Look” I said, trying a line I utilize for customers who also question my ability to securely box their purchases, “I have an doctorate in creative packaging.” Despite my best attempt at sincerity, he once again looked worried. “Really?” he questioned. “Ya, ya, sure”, I said, “now go back to work. Everything will be fine. Guaranteed.”

A few days later, we received a call from one of the individuals receiving my shipments. While I held my breath hoping everything had arrived intact, I heard Danny explain our prior discussions and then laugh out loud. When I asked him what the customer had said, Danny replied, “They thought you should try out for the Green Bay Packers.”

With warm regards,
Steve, Barry, Priscilla and Danny; the team.

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