Over the next several months, Mr. Schwegmann was extremely proud of the increased sales in both Floral and Bakery Departments. He decided to promote Melinda Prieto and me to a Director’s level. Our mutual businesses in both Floral and Bakery were 2 of the fastest growing departments year after year. Melinda moved her office into Store #11 on Power Blvd, in Metairie, LA. I stayed at the home office location, Store #3 in Gentilly. I took over the entire office rearranging everything. I even ordered a Conference Table to hold meetings for 6. This new position went directly to my head. I had new business cards made, received an increase in pay, and after about 6 months, Roy Lacoste, actually gave me an assistant to help out in the stores. My attitude had changed a bit, and not for the good. This new title made me feel I was more important in my career. I was the new Director of Bakery Operations for the largest Supermarket Chain in New Orleans with more than 35% Market Share of the Grocery Business. I developed this sense of False Pride. The only thing that really changed was me. Yes, my salary increased by about 3% and yes, I had a larger office and an assistant, but other than that, nothing changed!!This was the start of more False Pride in my life. I had a lot of difficulty adjusting. I had a taste of the good life and was still not happy. I wanted more and I wanted it now! I was still meeting with Brokers and Manufactures, but now, if you wanted to take me to lunch, I wanted to go out to nicer and fancier restaurants. I was not happy with the Olive Gardens or TGIF Fridays. If we were doing lunch, it was either a Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Houston’s, Steak & Ale, or something along those lines. My weight was still a huge problem. Jane and I had begun arguing more and more about my size. We ate at home a lot, but I still had my before or after dinner runs to get a little something extra. Karen was dealing with her own issues. She always made decent grades in school. I noticed Karen was starting to pick up some weight as my daughter was following in my footsteps. I was giving her bad habits. I even sometimes took Karen with me and we never told her Mom about our little snack runs. What the hell was I doing to not only me, but my own child. Food Addiction is a real disease. I was infected and I started to give this disease to my own daughter. I was on a mission of Self Destruction. I could not see the forest thru the trees. The company started letting me visit Manufacturers and tour different bakery plants. I was wearing all kind of hats in my job. The Bakery was doing so well I even began to have input on all equipment that was being purchase from Double Rack Ovens & Proofers, Donut Fryers & Glazers, 60 & 80 Quart Mixers, Work Tables, all Pans and Small Appliances. I began meeting and working with Gabriel Aguilera, our Store Designer and Planner for Schwegmann. We even started touring Equipment Plants and attending shows like the RBA, Retail Baker’s of America, IDDBA, International Dairy Deli Bakery Associations and even the IBIE Show, International Bakery Industry Exposition in Las Vegas. My career was taking off while my home life was suffering. It was all about me!! Jane and I kept distancing ourselves due to my need for success, greed with a touch of False Pride. I was going to do anything in my power to take my Career to the next level.
Will to Live – Glutton w/ Envy & Sloth – Part 26