Years ago when I was responsible for the operations of a world wide Information Systems department, this business forms salesman would stop in at the reception area. I, of course, would not see him. This scenario went on for weeks. He would call me and I would side step him. Eventually I agreed to see him and listen to his pitch. He was very sociable and had a great sense of humor. If I remember correctly, he offered to take me out to lunch. My policy was I would not go to lunch with non vendors. He was tenacious and I finally started to purchase product from him. This was the start of a great friendship. Frankie and I managed to always make each other laugh. Soon he was successfully bidding and winning more of my business.
Then Frankie and his family moved to Florida and he started his own forms supply business. I continued to buy from him and our friendship continued. When my youngest daughter and two of her friends wanted to go to Disney during spring break of her junior year in high school, it was Frankie who met them at the airport, drove them to their hotel, picked them up one night and took them to dinner, and drove them back to the airport. Frankie waited until they boarded and then called me to let me know they were safely headed home.
One winter when Marie and I were vacationing in Florida, Frankie let us use his condo on the beach and hosted us at his ocean front home for a salmon and steak BBQ. Frankie personally caught the salmon in Alaska. I thought his house was paradise.
Last week I gave Frankie a call at his office in Florida. We chatted about our families...his daughter is a nurse and enjoys her work, his son a junior in college...gosh how old I feel remembering him as little guy. My oldest is expecting her third, my youngest (the Disney one) has two boys and lives way out past the Nordic lodge, my son, who went to the Red Sox in Boston with us, and spring training games, and one night egged Frankie into driving over 100 mph, and he is now going through a divorce. So we caught up with each others families. Frankie told me he had a new house...his dream house on a lake. I said I've heard this several times before. Frankie assured me this was the final one. It was then that he told me that he was sitting quietly in his break room reading the "21 Steps to Success". He told me that #1 was "pick your spouse carefully". A good spouse will contribute 90% to your successful career.
I am truly successful and fortunate that Frankie is my friend!!