Being the Boss’ Kid

There is hardly a member of my immediate family I have not done business with.  I started working for my mother as a child.  Her business was a printing and copying company.  She was opening a new shop in Lubbock, Texas and I was employed as a leaflet distributor, passing out information about the services provided to flatlanders.  That was the first time, but not the last.

Each leaflet I handed out had a value to it.  Each one that came into the store increased my pay.  I am sure part of the reason I was given this job was to keep me out from underfoot.  Additionally it was something that needed to be done, and one thing a printshop has in abundance is paper and ink.  More fliers could be xeroxed as needed.  It was not work that appealed to me.  I was not inherently suited to it.  While I always could talk to anyone if there was something interesting on offer, I didn’t think the new store was all that interesting.  I grew up in them.  They were as common place to me as bologna & cheese sandwiches.

I passed the first 100 or so out with something like enthusiasm.  But the task soon lost its appeal.  I continued to try to pass them out but my dwindling enthusiasm led to fewer people taking the papers as I was no longer a cute toe headed little girl, but rather a churlish child.  I wasn’t supposed to come back to the store until I had given away all the information pages to potential clients.  I had to have empty hands.  Eventually I had had enough.  I wanted to go back into the air conditioned shop instead of walking from building to building passing out “stupid paper.” A grand plan came to me: put a stack in the elevator of one of the office buildings, substantially reducing my pile.  Then I passed out what was left and went back to the shop with a bit of a spring in my step.

I collected my pay and went on my way.  I am sure you know what happened next.  Someone came into the shop with the pile I had left in the elevator.  I don’t remember my mother being angry.  I just remember that I had to pay back double what I had received and pass out another stack the next day.

As a mother, I am sure Mom was more than a bit miffed at me.  No one can frustrate a parent more than their child willfully circumventing the rules.  However in that situation she wasn’t in the role of parent.  She was my boss and she treated me as she would a different child doing piece work.  I wasn’t treated better or worse because of my relationship to the boss.  That is key to working with your family.  They shouldn’t get special treatment or be held to twice as high a standard.  If you want to work with family, this is one of the big rocks on the road to doing it well.  To quote Home Depot, you can do it, we can help.  Schedule a 30 minute breakthrough session today.

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(blog image is from The Flyer Guys Marketing, Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

 

 

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Travel for love

Travel is the through line of my life.P1020056

My step-mother used to say, ” You just say “Do you want to g…’ and Carrie is in the car.” You didn’t even need to finish the word go.  I always want to go.  I have traveled as a child, as a tween, as a teen, as a dependent adult, as an independent adult; with my parents, with my brother, with my children, with my grandparents, with cousins, with my husband, with friends, with relations and alone.  I have walked, ridden, driven, flown, cruised, trained (the OED says that is acceptable), and whatever word you would use for taking a hover craft.  On the riding front, I have primarily ridden in a car/truck/matatu but have been known to ride on a wagon, ass, mule, horse, or camel.

I like to go.  Across town trips are nice, but ones that take me somewhere else are even better.  The picture above is from Ellis Island.  My great grandmother entered the U.S. there.  She was on the go.  Hearing the stories of how people processed through that center and filtering that through the family stories of that indomitable lady, I could see her there.  I imagine she told people what they were doing wrong and sat on a bench reading one of her beloved books.  As a young woman, girl really, she left her home in Switzerland and headed to America.  What was she hoping to find?  I don’t know.  But her sense of exploration definitely passed on to her descendants.

Marie Boyd’s children scattered to the for corners of the United States and raised their children in California, Florida, Maryland, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Washington, and places in between.  The next generation went further afield, traveling and living in Asia, Africa, back to Europe, and who knows where else.  I am not sure if this is part of my family culture of if I am just trying to connect with the past, but in any case, going to this national park showed me a connection to the past I had not thought about before.

Find a place that ties your imagination to the larger world and history and soak it in to you very essence.

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“I found a house”

I hadn’t even finished saying hello, when my mom eagerly announced, ” I found a house.” We had been looking for a while and had offered on a few, but it seemed like this was different.

It turns out it was different.  A lot different.  This house was initially built in 1900 and was on a bit of land between Georgetown and Jarrell, Texas.  If you aren’t from central Texas, don’t worry about not knowing where those towns are, a good percentage of those from the area aren’t really sure where they are either.  We do know that Jarrell had a tornado though- back in the 90’s.  It was an old farm house that had been “updated” at least twice.

Mom had found the property on an auction site, Hubzu.  Take a minute to look at the pictures.  They don’t do it justice.  You can’t see the tarps held in place with old tires and rope on the roof. IMG_4990Those photos also don’t show the damage done to the side from climbing vines.  IMG_4985On the other hand, fail to convey the charm of the house.  It had great bones.

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It had out buildings.

It had potential.  And even better it also had a low opening bid and a large potential after repair value (ARV).  This could be a good property to learn how to do a residential rehab, a flip.

Mom went out and walked the property before she called me.  She had seen the potential and she really thought we should bid on it.  I was not so sure.  The pictures on the website did not convince me, but the potential up-side did get me to drive out there and look.  I saw the charm, the history and the wind mill.  I was in for the bidding.