Is It Always Me?
My youngest daughter would always ask the same
questions when anything went wrong for her. "Why does God hate
me" or "why do these things always happen to me?" This was when
she was three or four years old and the horrible things happening
consisted of either a broken crayon, food dripped on her clothes
or not being allowed to stay up 'all night'.
Of course she has grown and matured but still
asks the same questions in reference to much more important
problems. Such as "why is the guy I'm seeing such a jerk", or
"why do I have to finish college when I really just want to
sit home in my underwear eating pop tarts and watching TV?"
Tough questions to answer. I guess that's why most of us believe
in a higher power (I'm not talking about the CIA) and look to
him or her for guidance.
This has been a difficult period for all of
us. We no longer feel safe and secure as we once did. We have
been attacked on our own soil and nothing is the same any more.
Security is no longer an option but a way of life. Travel is
more of a chore than a pleasure. And having faith and hope is
as much a part of our daily ritual as drinking orange juice.
But it has taught us many lessons.
We have found that our industry is no longer
'recession proof' as we once believed. We were spoiled by the
past and lulled into a false sense of security. When times were
tough we were busy. When the economy was good we did well. When
the economy was bad we did well. In times of war our products
and by products were needed. In times of peace and prosperity
our products and by products were needed. What happened? Why
doesn't everyone need our products now? Was my daughter right?
Does God hate us? NAH! He just wants to make sure we are paying
To quote an old Bob Dylan song, "The times
they are a changing". Nothing is the same as it used to be and
there are new challenges for us to face every day. But these
challenges are too difficult to face alone. We need each other
more now than ever. We need the strength and support of our
families, business associates, co workers, suppliers, customers,
and yes, even our competitors. We need to be active and involved
in our trade associations. We need to be aware, informed and
prepared for change at a moment's notice. Yes, there are horrible,
terrible rotten things happening but there are also some darn
nice ones as well.
Now is a great time to set new goals and move
ahead. Although watching TV in your underwear sounds like fun
I'm sure it would be boring after a couple of years and there
really aren't that many great flavors of Pop Tarts. So we are
left with making the best out of making a living. Let's do it!
Let's come in to work every day with a smile and a plan for
improvement. Let's make those reservations for the ARA Annual
Convention in October. Let's get active again in our Local,
State and National Associations. Let's talk to our customers
and find out what we're doing wrong and what we can do to improve
our relationship and do more business.
As I end this month's article try to remember
what I used to tell my daughter when she was upset and depressed,
and kept repeating over and over again, "why is it always me?"
I would calmly sit her down, look in her eyes and say "Why not?"
Gary Wiesner is co-owner of Pro-Auto Recyclers, Williamstown,