Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Another Metro Story

Yesterday morning came another DC Metro story.

Some dude got on the train up around Rockville, Maryland way....probably around 9AM....and died. No one noticed.

His body rode through the entire line....to DC, and then northward to the vast end of the line at the opposite end, and then retreated all the way back through DC again, to return to Rockville....where it was placed in the sitting yard for an afternoon run. Only then around 3PM, did the maintenance guys walking through the train before the afternoon run....did they discover his body.

Yep, just another day in DC. Dying and riding Metro....over and over.

There Are Winners Out There

My associate in the office had a phonecall on Friday morning. His wife wanted him to fly down to the Carolinas and help move the son out of his school academy over the weekend.

My associate is like me....just got here in January....and his family has yet to make the big move (next month).

It was a fairly urgent deal on the wife's impression. It's kinda hard on a Friday morning to find a cheap airline ticket for Friday evening, but he tried and was successful. He had to fly out of Baltimore, and the thunderstorm we had....didn't help.

So he arrives at the academy on Saturday and along the way of moving the son out....here was the director of the school. There was this three minute exchange between the two. The director....in a way....had sought my associate. He wanted to make a comment or two about the son.

Sometimes....a few words....makes a vast impression on a guy.

Over the past six months.....his son was becoming a strong leader within the class group. With a year left before graduation....he was easily the kid with the most impression on the director. The kid had taken on several last minute emergency projects when other kids had backed out, and delivered 5-star performances.

In three minutes....it was the kind of moment that makes a guy pretty happy over his kid.

Then my associate finished up and went home. He told the wife the story. She smiled and decided to add two other bits to the story.

You see....my associate has to pay in the $1500 range each month for food, board, and tuition. There's a work requirement of forty hours per month....which pays the rest. Each kid is supposed to turn in these hours to help make this private education possible. His son....over the past three or four months....had been working forty hours a week. Yeah.....there was the thirty-odd hours of school and then forty hours of work. Their monthly rate had been cut down to around half of what he was supposed to be paying. The son hadn't said anything about that.

Then came an interesting bit about the son's ingenuity. After the chow hall closed each evening....kids would come up and desire a soda or some snack. Course, unlike a military base where you had a shoppette or BX to run over to and buy a snack....they had nothing. My associate's son had gone out and bought a big stash of Chinese noodle dishes and cases of soda.....and he was selling out of his closet. The kid was turning a pretty fair profit on this little "illegal" operation. The school kinda hinted things needed to stop.....but this had carried on for several months.

So, this kid is an entrepreneur at heart.....and showing lots of attitude that you'd beg for in a kid. I told my associate....this kid is a natural MBA-degree guy. He was proud of this kid.....and that probably made the entire cost of this last-minute trip worth the effort.