Sunday, March 11, 2012

I am guilty

I am guilt of reading the obituaries. My bookmark to the local newspaper in California opens to the obits page.

I am not sure what my motivation is, perhaps confirming that we don't live forever or perhaps that I am better off that that of seeing a recognizable name in print.

I am sure some expensive shrink would be able to tell me, but it really doesn't matter.

I do have my priorities of the notices and how I respond to them.

A few weeks ago I had seen that one of the sons of one of our old long term clients had passed away.
It say that his father had died only a few years ago and either I had forgotten about it or missed that sad news.

The names that sadden me the most our names of the deceased that I had as clients. My memory instantly goes back to the various interactions that we had to their company, their employees and some of them had become good friends.

In the first decade of our business we use to enjoy a summer picnics which were hosted by our company. We would invite many friends and clients to enjoy the outing which was always done at a friends property that enjoyed river frontage. A big BBQ would be done, we always had a live band and many of the guests would bring their boats and spend the day having fun in the water.

We had always great attendance and it was one of those kind of gatherings that all looked forward to attending.

Employees, fiends, clients, families and pretty much anyone who we had contact with that we respected would always be invited and a great percentage would come and enjoy the events.

I had great admiration for many of those clients who came to event, not for just being our clients but for starting and growing their business. Once established we would at some time later get them as our clients and many because friends as I mentioned.

Now seeing that the 2nd generation had passed on, as well as the first generation who actually started the company saddened me not because our company connections, but because an age of entrepreneurship had curtailed and most of the time the company would either be large enough or the remaining family members would understand the sacrifices they would have to keep the company going.

It's not easy to keep all those balls up in the air nowadays. Knowing what I know now and seeing what I see in the amount of regulations and red tape that one must jump through, I wouldn't have the gumption or energy to start a businesses nowadays.

I can fill hours of stories of how unfair and ridiculous some of the rules and regulations are for small business, but that would just seem that I am negative.

I was a positive businessman for almost my whole business life, except for the last 5 or 6 years that it became a nightmare to conform with so many of their arbitrary rules which stifled business as I knew it.
A whole generations of business entrepreneurs will have ceased to exist, on some day in the future my obit will spell out some of those facts.

I should be lucky that so many of my schoolmates have already gone, some by choice, some by accident and some by just poor luck.
Some didn't contribute much to society , kind of sad since each person has some responsibility to leave the earth making it a little better than they found it.

Politicians Excluded in that statement......
I guess what I wanted to say was my appreciation to the people that we had relationships with, especially the customers and clients that supported us, which intern allowed us to support many families and keep the ball moving so to speak.
Today is a beautiful Springlike day, time to enjoy the rest of the sunshine and thank God for living.....
At least another day!


Steve Cotton said...

I too am an obituary reader. It started while I was working. When the bar bulletin would arrive, at least half of the obituaries were of lawyers younger than I was. That was one motivating factor of shuffling out the door at the top of my game. I suppose I now read them out of habit. Knowing my name will be on the list.

norm said...

When I worked in the oil fields, we would get an obit on all the people killed working for the firm in the last two weeks included in our pay check's envelope. It helped keep one focused on the job when in the field. Any day above the sod is a good day.

The Dodson's said...

Well Toncho, I too read the obits for many of the same reasons plus the feeling of being blessed that I'm reading it instead of being the subject. And I too am grateful to be retired from the world of mindless regulations. Wouldn't it be nice to live somewhere where it was your personal responsibility to be safe in your own environment instead of our world of regulations to do that for you? Tall guard rails. truncated domes, helmets, flashing crosswalk signals, street lights, warning signs on ladders and full page ads for prescription medicines with an adjacent full page of disclosure written by lawyers to keep the lawyers away, etc. etc. Oh wait, you're SOB, I'm still NOB; that's the problem.

Dan in NC said...

"She who must be obeyed" is also an avid obit reader, opening up the Irish Times, Independent, & Guardian on the iPad every morning with her cuppa. Her reasoning is that as families are so scattered nowadays , it is one of the most likely ways she'll see the comings and goings of family. I find it a bit macabre, and would rather keep in touch via email/letters/xmas cards.....
Dan in NC

Calypso said...

I may glance at the obits occasionally - vaguely knew Davy Jones (the dead Monkee) I Googled him and thought that he was too young to die - but one never knows about these things.

I do not think opening up to the obits is a good idea - I would not start anything off that way - just saying.

jerryL said...

One good reason to interact with clients and customers, as well as friends while they are still around!

Anonymous said...

I can explain your obsession by quoting Churchill:

'I never killed a man but I have read many obituaries with a great deal of satisfaction'