Back to my future

I am not sure why but I feel like I need to share this story with someone….but I am going to.

Today during my lunch break I took off with a coworker and went down the street to a local sandwich shop. I waited patiently in line because the area is jam packed during the lunch rush. It was my turn and I walk up to the young kid and ordered my sandwich. He asks me how my day is going and I reply that its not too bad actually. I let him know I was a little tired and needed to refuel with food. He asked me what time I had to work til. I said “Until I am done”. He was shocked by my answer for some reason. Anyway’s we were doing a bit more small talk and eventually he says to me that he still has a few more hours at this lame job then has to leave for school. I asked him what was wrong with the job and he says “It doesn’t pay very well and I feel stupid that I have to work here”….I don’t know what came over me but I felt like I was looking at me 20 years ago or something. I cant explain exactly, but it was weird. I told him Don’t EVER feel ashamed of making an honest living especially while you are going to school. There are people out in the world robbing and stealing for what you are doing honestly everyday. I then pointed to a guy like 5 people back and said See that guy in the suit? Do you think that he gets paid a lot of money? He said I would think so. I said most likely he does but do you think he started out as young as you making that kind of money? And would you guess that he went to school? I seriously felt like I was talking to misguided me as a kid. I explained to him that It didn’t really matter where he went to school, if at all or how much money he made. What mattered was how hard he had to work to get where he wanted to be. I told him that I bet you that guy in the suit worked at a place just like this when he was your age. He is not better than you because of his clothing. He just has more experience with life. I told the kid that if you are the one making his sandwich after I leave to ask him what sort of jobs he had growing up. I bet you will be surprised.

Tomorrow when you walk in to Starbucks to get your coffee and the kid that helps makes a mistake, or acts a bit timid, Its ok…..That was you 20 years ago. That kid is trying to get where you are today and is scared of the world. Don’t let them be afraid. Help them. You are no better than they are. Just older and wiser.

When I was paying I told the kid that I appreciated his hard work and if it wasn’t for him I may not have eaten today. What you think is a “lame job” is actually helping out more people than you realize. Everyone is this world has their role. Its up to you to make sure its always changing. I hope he understood what I was telling him…..He probably didn’t but you never know. He might get it in 20 years.

As I was walking out I told him one last thing.

“Its never too early to start shopping for suits. Have fun getting to where you want to be”


  1. Wonderfully written and so true! I don’t think many people realize this- our value systems are a bit out of whack and we worry too much about things that really don’t matter. Success takes time! (I am still working diligently on mine- at 35!!!) 🙂

  2. I would rather feed somebody (any day) than “wear a suit”. People in suits don’t often get their hands dirty, but it’s the dirtying of the hands that spins the world. Good write-up and thanks for sharing your story. :0)

    For me, every single day is a “mission” of some sort. To learn, to teach, to grow, to move and be moved. We only get one shot! And that’s “today”. When I go to sleep at night, I want to know that I’ve made a difference somewhere and that is truly the meaning of “happiness” to me. I hope “sandwhich dude” got what you were saying, and good for you for taking the time.

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