A Good Man – Chapter 10 – JohnA Passaro
As I would not be a slave,
So I would not be a master.
It is funny what the mind remembers.
I am an avid baseball fan, yet if you were to ask me which team lost in the 2011 World Series; I would stare at you blankly as I searched my mind for the answer.
I love food, yet if you were to ask me what I had for lunch a year ago, I wouldn’t be able to tell you with any confidence.
If you were to ask me to tell you the color of the pants I am wearing today, without looking – I couldn’t.
The reason is that none of these things or events has had an impact on my life.
Working with Billy did.
That is probably why I vividly remember my first day on the job.
The one on which I showed up two hours late.
“The Hamptons” wound up being East Hampton.
The furthest Hampton town from my home.
The Hamptons are located from my home in this order and distance: Westhampton (10 miles), Hampton Bays (16 miles), Southampton (22 miles), Bridgehampton (42 miles) and the East Hampton (60 miles).
East Hampton – 60 miles away.
Add in summer traffic.
Add in the fact that there is only one lane entering the town.
Hence, my tardiness.
I remember pulling up to Peconic Beverage two hours late for my first day at work, bracing myself to be balled out by my new boss.
Instead, I was met with a laugh, a smile, and a solution.
“I’m here to work for you,” I said as I entered the store.
Bill smiled and said, “I kind of expected you’d be late. Summer traffic in the Hamptons is murder.”
“I didn’t realize how far this was. It’s actually 60 miles from my house,” I said.
Knowing me for less than 60 seconds Bill said:
“You come highly recommended by my brother.
He tells me you’re a good person.
Here is what I’m going to do.
I’m going to pay for your gas, arrange your hours to minimize your time in traffic and increase the hours you work each day so you will be able to get the same hours but make one less trip a week.
This will all help to keep you sane.”
He hesitated for a second and then he said,
“And by the way, you don’t work for me – you work with me.
There is a huge difference.”
Yes, there is.
Making someone feel like they are an equal, and part of something bigger than themselves is the greatest asset a parent, a boss or any leader can have.
It brings out the best in people.
I am not saying that there is no hierarchy in life in certain situations; we all know there is.
What I am saying is – the people who make others feel like there is no hierarchy are the ones who will get the most out of another person.
Great people make other people feel great.
Looking back on my life, I find it pretty ironic that the only person I ever referred to as “my boss”, never once bossed me around.
In these non-hierarchal environments, instead of looking up or down, people look within.
And it is within where greatness resides.
Imagine if we all treated each other as equals.
What a concept.
What if that simple thought was carried out in real life?
There would be no racism.
No sexism. No glass ceilings.
No class structure.
No Ferguson, Missouri.
I guess John Lennon was on to something.
Bill had the chance to instill his hierarchy on me on my first day on the job – and he didn’t.
Instead, he gave me the feeling of being equal.
A feeling I never forgot.