After 17 years, McIntyre and Company was a proud and established brand. Every one of our 30 professionals were positive about our future and it showed in their daily work ethic. Then, on a Friday in 1997, the unthinkable happened. We got fired.
“Let’s go for a ride,” Slugger would say. It was not a question – it meant we were going to have a meeting. Just the two of us riding around town in his 1969 green El Camino. My food brokerage business was earning much of its income by selling seafood from Gloucester to our Carolina Customers, so I visited often. Each trip expanded my client line-up.
Business was old school in 1963 … no calculators, no computers, no cell phones. Always at-the-ready was my monthly planner and my P&G mechanical pencil. The planner was for appointments, phone numbers…the pencil was for …well, you know what it was for. With no laptops or smart phones, we carried a Fact Book to organize everything. Think of it as a primitive Google ..
At the start, I thought I knew how the future would turn out. After all, I did what the textbooks said to do – make a business plan, draft pro-forma statements – step by step. But the books failed to say what Curt said, “Now go to work!”
I had always liked VW’s. I enjoyed the cozy feel, crank windows, stick shift, and the mystery that goes with not having a gas gauge. I have great memories from my years with my little blue Beetle. It is sad when a dream dies – even sadder when the cause of death is corporate betrayal.
When my company was new, I would read the trade journals at night scanning the manufacturer’s ads. If it was a big ad I would not call; they usually had representatives, plus long distance calls were expensive. The little ads were different – they needed help. If they made a quality product for a fair price, it might be something we wanted to sell …
I wanted a forever home, a spot in the community, not just a seat on a plane. I wanted to control my life and have time for my wife and children – to attend school, religious, scouting and sports events. I wanted them to grow up in the same house and not move every few years, the way I had as a child. All of these thoughts made Charlotte the ideal location for our final move.
Married and with two young children, I took a big step to enter the world of small business. I had spent 17 years with all of the privileges of upper management in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Those years were educational and rewarding but I was ready for something new; plus, there was a side of Corporate America I didn’t want to be part of …
Can a kid’s game of pick-up-sticks teach us anything? Did you ever play pick-up sticks as a kid? We played on rainy days or when it was just too cold to be outdoors. Sitting in a circle on the floor – the first player lets all the sticks drop on the floor. The idea is […]