I’ve known the guy for his whole life, yet I’ve never once seen him read a book. When I viewed his high school report card, the only subject in which he received a “A” grade was physical education.
Never in their lives did his parents have any money. As soon as he got out of school, he found work at a nearby grocery store, where he stocked fruit.
At the age of twenty, the owners saw that he had a talent for statistics, and as a result, they elevated him to the position of manager. He ran into my mum while she was shopping. They decided to tie the knot. And not too much longer after that, I came along.
Since as far back as I can remember, the shop has always played a significant role in his life.
He worked six days a week. He was able to buy out the other owners with the money he saved, however, I never considered it to be an obsession or anything else. When he was at home with us, he gave us his whole attention at all times.
His family was the bright point in his life. It was never necessary for him to hang out with his friends. He adored my mother with all of his heart and soul.
And his notion of a fun time was hanging out with his family, especially with his children. I used to believe that my father’s only role in life was that of a “family guy.”
However, as time went on, I came to the realization that the people who worked for him were also a part of his “family.” Our customers never seem to be leaving. There are fifteen managers working for us, with the most recent one joining us 10 years ago.
My dad has always taken care of our workers, which is one reason why they continue to work here: through divorces, difficulties with parenting, and health challenges, he has been there for them.
My dad is the one who takes the manager who has a brain problem to his appointments and sometimes his generosity goes too far. He’s been burnt before. But it seems as if he doesn’t really care. He never stops putting all of his chips on the table for other people to win.
If you were to go into the shop right now, you would find him stacking the vegetables, exactly as he did when he was eighteen years old. He enjoys bragging to others that his children are his employers and that they have the right to dismiss him at any moment.
Everyone believes he is joking about it. However, he is not. On the day that my dad became the sole owner of the shop, he handed everything over to his four children by signing a document. When it occurred, I was there in the room.
His legal counsel and financial advisors all attempted to dissuade him from going through with it. They made the comment to him, “You’re giving away everything.” It is impossible for you to take a break from your job.
And this is how he responded: “I had no money when I first began doing this. And that’s how I plan on leaving.’”