Help Comes From The Most Unlikeliest Of Places

Life throws us many curveballs in this journey of ours. I wrote about mine here. Well, that’s just one, but it’s the biggest that has affected me in recent years.

For the past year I’ve tried to reinvent myself. During that process you try to think of what your good at. I’ve come to the conclusion. I’m not very good at anything. Sure, I can handle myself on the golf course. On a good day I’ll shoot 85. I’m known to be, “the guy you can go to with your problem and he’ll listen with an open mind. He won’t judge you.” But when all is said and done, how do I “cash in” on those things?

Then I got to thinking. Am I putting too much effort into trying to make money that I’ve lost sight of the bigger picture. Let me explain.

My last job I drove a newspaper truck in Chicago for 22 years. My main responsibility was to “get the news out” early mornings. And by early I mean I was at work by 1:30 a.m. As a driver you dealt with cash everyday. When you deal with cash your going to deal with some not so honest people. Those people could be store owners, people paying for one paper and taking 4 papers from vending machines. And sadly, fellow drivers. As a driver you in essence, “ran your own business”. At the end of the week, if you left the plant with 50,000 newspapers, you owed for 50,000 newspapers. If someone stole from you, to bad. You owe. If your day-off driver was a shady character, he could do some real damage to your account if you didn’t know what you were doing or keep great records. When you first get hired, there was no “job training”. If you got hired, you received a call to show up to work. You were handed a route book, keys to stores to make your deliveries and sent on your way. Think of the damage a veteran driver could do to a rookie. As the “owner” of the route you ran, you were responsible for that route. That meant making sure your day-off driver paid up. If you left the day-off driver with 10 papers in a vending machine when you left for your weekend, that meant he had to leave you 10 papers when you returned so the money would balance out. What if you had an unsavory day-off driver? He may only leave you 5 papers. 5 papers less in a vending machine, with 200 vending machines could mean a lot of money your out. Many times I had to follow someone to make sure this didn’t happen to me. ON MY DAY OFF.

For 22 years my mistrust has built over time. Chipped away little by little, till I got to the point where I had a hard time trusting anyone. Always thinking, “whats this guy want from me”? I lost faith in humanity. Lost faith there were still good people left in this world. Until yesterday.

I reached out to a fellow blogger not expecting to even get a response let-alone him saying yes. Anyone who knows me well knows I don’t expect anything from anyone. I made my decisions in life. I’m the one that has to deal with them. People who also know me well know I have a hard time asking for help. Call it pride. Call it stubbornness. Call it foolishness. Whatever. I don’t like to put people out. People have their own lives to deal with, they don’t need me complicating  theirs.

Steven Watkins. I want to thank you publicly for opening up your life to help me. For being a selfless human being willing to help a total stranger. I’m forever grateful.

I want people in my position to know there are good, decent people out there in the world willing to help. All you have to do is swallow your pride and ask for help.

Anyone else have a story they want to share about needing or asking for help?



  1. Tony your the best. I am happy to have worked along side of you.

  2. Thank you John. You were one of the good ones. It was my pleasure.

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