When our son Larry called last night, he had a great story to share:
“When we went shopping at our favorite store—Fred Meyer at 39th and Sandy—I spotted what I was sure was the store manager. They’re easy to spot—you can tell who’s large and in charge. I said, ‘You look like you’re the big man, looks like you’re in charge.’
“He said, ‘Well, I guess so; somebody’s got to do it.’
“We talked for a few minutes. After a minute or so, I said, ‘That young man you got back there in the Home and Garden Center sure is a hustler.’
“He said, ‘Oh, you mean Tyler Dennis. He’s amazing! We wish we could clone him!’”
Of course, this was music to our ears.
When Larry told Tyler, Tyler asked, “Dad why did you talk to him?” Then Larry told him what the store manager said, and Tyler said, “Oh, that’s good.”
Tyler came home after his first semester of college, having decided it wasn’t right for him. Then he couldn’t seem to find the right job. In fact, he couldn’t seem to find a job at all. Just a reminder: you have to ask before you get. He was having a lot of difficulty asking. He had a couple of things lined up that he thought he’d like to do, like be the assistant football coach at Lincoln High School, but that didn’t seem to be panning out. He had worked at the Nike employee store and hoped to get back on there. That didn’t work out. His stepmother saw a sign at the Fred Meyer store: “Help wanted.” She came home and said, “Fred Meyer’s hiring.” So he finally put his application in there. After just six months, he was made assistant manager, and you just read the rest of the story.
Larry learned that the Fred Meyer store manager has three sons, ages six, eight, and twelve, and Larry told him that his wife was shopping in another part of the store with his nine-year-old. When they came back and found Larry, the store manager said to Collin, my young grandson: “We want you working here in eight more years.”
There’s lots for us to learn from the story. One: hustling is always noticed. Two: college isn’t for everyone, especially right out of high school (See this Forbes article by Bill Conerly). I’m sure that Tyler will return to college or take night classes paid for by Fred Meyer in subjects that are important for his life and career as time progresses. If you know about Fred Meyer’s retirement plan, their 401(k) and other benefits, you know that he can have an extraordinary career at Fred Meyer. At this point, we all know that, regardless of where he goes or what he does next, he will have a fabulous career. So hustle!