Will to Live – Gluttony, Anger, Greed & Lust – Part 29

After having worked for National / Canal Villere for 12 years and Schwegmann Giant Super Markets for 9 years. I decided I had enough of the of the In-Store Bakery Department. After 21 years, I needed some “me time”. Working for a company that had an owner as Public Service Commissioner and his wife as Lieutenant Governor of the State of Louisiana, I really didn’t have much time off from work. Whenever there was any kind of political function, which was several times a month, I felt the duty to personally handle it and do it myself, so it got done right the first time. I was becoming very angry about this situation. Most of this was because I had OCD and wanted things to be perfect. I was also a bit of a control freak, if I must say so myself. Between the craziness of losing everything we owned and me working all the time, we started drifting apart more and more. On a Friday afternoon. I called up the CEO and asked if he had a few minutes. Early that morning, I wrote up my resignation and never told a sole, not even my wife. He asked me to come up about 2:00 PM that afternoon. I was almost as nervous having this meeting with him as the day I had my initial interview.  Greed was starting to get the best of me. I wanted to be like other Regional Sales Managers that were calling on me. The thought of traveling to several different areas of the Country and presenting products seemed to be the ultimate job. By now, I got the gist of who and what needed to be done from the other side of the desk. After I met with him for about an hour, I told him I was just burnt out and needed to get away from working between 60 and 70 hours per week, sometimes 7 days a week. My marriage was on the rocks, mostly due to my weight, but I was just overly tired of being summoned for everything that had to do with Bakery or Catering. The one benefit, I got really good at decorating cakes and baking fancy pastries. He asked me several different questions?? The first was, did I feel I was getting paid well enough. Second, what was I going to do to support my family. Third, would I take some paid time off to reconsider. I answered very honestly to him. Yes, I felt my salary was fair. Secondly, I had no idea exactly what I was going to do for a living, but I just knew I wanted to have a career in sales. Thirdly, I did agree to take two weeks off and think about my decision to resign. I left that Friday afternoon and went home and told my wife I had resigned from my job. Immediately, she was calling me a few choice words and she was hotter than a firecracker. On the other hand, I felt relieved for some crazy reason. Of course, I had gained a good part of my weight back that I had lost of the past 3 years. So food was always my comfort zone. The more she bitched about what I did and about my weight issues, the further apart we became. Of course, I had my dear friend in Charlotte that had a very sympathetic ear. She was on my side and agreed I was working way to much. We spent many hours talking during my two weeks off from work. She worked as a Field Sales Manager for Quaker and she traveled weekly and covered about 8 states. As word got around that I was considering turning in my resignation at Schwegmann, President of Allstate Brokerage Company asked me to go to lunch and talk about an idea he had for me to still be a part of Schwegmann, but not as an employee. He said why don’t you ask the CEO if you could come to work for me at Allstate Brokerage Company and take the time to properly train your replacement, and still be involved with Schwegmann about 20 hours a week, while working with a few other Supermarket Chains that needed developing and growth. After the two weeks were up, I met with him and my immediate boss and discussed my plan. I explained to them I would work with the Schwegmann Stores about 3 days a week and could keep and eye on the business. They both agreed to this new proposal. I took another week off and met with the owner of Allstate Brokerage and we actually put a total game plan together to present to the executive team at Schwegmann. Later that week, we discussed what my compensation package would look like. He offered me 10K more in Salary, provided a nice company car, gave me a company American Express Card for travel and entertainment, provided a complete insurance package, 3 weeks of vacation time and the greatest thing to my ears, a normal 40-45 hour workweek with weekends off unless I had a food show to attend on behalf of our company. He gave me a nice office with my own conference room and assistant to handle appointments and back of the house issues. My main responsibility was to work with the Schwegmann Bakeries, while calling on Winn Dixie, Jitney Jungle, Delchamps, and A & P. I covered a 5 state region, so I was able to start traveling some. We had a big Bakery Brokerage Company. He was a subsidiary of a large Bakery Distributor known as the John Koerner Company. So this made it possible for him to represent some of the better Bakery and Deli lines in the industry, about 20 in all. I started with him and the business at Schwegmann was still growing along with our other Supermarket Chains. I even was able to work with my friend at Quaker, which was one of the companies he represented at the time. I had the best of both worlds. I kept Schwegmann happy, made more money, working less hours and was fulfilling my dreams about selling Bakery Products. We were rocking and rolling and everything was clicking, except for my marriage. My wife and I were on okay speaking terms, but she hated that I had to travel every so often. As for me, I loved it. I had the chance to get from behind a desk and see some of America on someone else’s dime. As we grew apart, my friend and I became closer. She would lean on me about her personal problems with her husband and I leaned on her about my problems with my wife. I guess you could say we were becoming more than friends, but neither of us ever crossed that line of adultery, at least while we were both still married.

Will to Live – Gluttony w/ Anger & Lust – Part 30

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