Sunday, July 29, 2012

The 25-Hour Work Week

By James Wipperman, July 29, 2012

This is a story of amazing stupidity.  Several years ago, I had a job selling restaurant equipment and supplies.  It was a truly great job.  I was paid a huge base salary plus commissions and bonuses.  Most of my daily work was done outside of the office, visiting customers and drumming up new business, and it was very easy work; the company I worked for had no competition in the area.

There were four other salesmen that I worked with and they were all pretty good guys.  As a matter of fact, during the two years that I worked there, the five of us became close friends.  I think we all realized how easy we had it because we all started meeting up at about two in the afternoon for a few cocktails until it was time to go home.

We always went to the same place, a restaurant named The Riviera Grill and Bar.  The bar was located in the front of the building and had a large window that looked out onto the parking lot.  The bartender, Joseph, could see us coming and would have our drinks ready for us by the time we sat down.  Steve always drank Gin & Tonic; Scott, Rum & Coke; Doug, Coors Light with a Tuaca back; Tim, Jack & Coke; and I always had an Absolut Greyhound.

Those were great times.  We weren't tied to an office and there was no one breathing down our necks.

Our manager was a pretty good guy too.  His name was Barry and as long as we did our job, he left us alone.  And, since the five of us salesmen were putting in the same amount of energy and hours, Barry never had reason to suspect that we were only working about 25 hours a week, each.  He had no reason to say "Jimmy, why are Doug's numbers always so high and the rest of yours so low?"  We had it made.  Work a little in the morning, then get drunk every afternoon.  Now that's a job!

When the Christmas season rolled around, Barry told us all that he wanted to take us out for lunch and asked where we'd like to go.  The Riviera.  It was unanimous.

We all met in the parking lot and walked in together.  And, what happened the minute we walked in the door?  You guessed it.  Joseph yelled across the room at us "Steve, Scott, Doug, Tim, Jimmy, you're two hours early.  What's your friend having?" then, in horror, we looked at the bar and saw a Gin & Tonic, Rum & Coke, Coors Light, shot of Tuaca, Jack & Coke, and an Absolut Greyhound.


We were all let go during the first week of the new year.