Life is full of surprises and a lot of twists and turns. And I’m old enough to know that life is not fair. So what? I just roll with the punches. Life is not easy, and life is not fair, and anyone young enough to believe that it is, will find out quickly how wrong they are.
Most of us who’ve lived more than a few decades come to grips with the truth. The real facts of life. Life is a learning experience, and you learn to take each day as it comes and do your best.
Some days will float away into the neverlands, others will gnaw and nag you for weeks, months, or years. Some days will turn into beautiful, if fleeting, memories. Those memorable days will be little slices of joy and happiness – moments long ago that will always be living inside my heart.
And sometimes, I guess, we’re all a little bit underappreciative of the good things we have in our lives. Although I’m quite sure that most of us who are working would not count our jobs to be among the best things in our lives.
But I’m here to tell you how thankful I am that I can do what I do and have such a wonderful and meaningful time doing it.
OK. So, what is it I do that I think is so great? It’s nothing extraordinary. I’m not a surgeon saving lives, or an officer of the law preventing a robbery, or a minister or priest saving souls.
No, I’m afraid I don’t do anything so grand as those people do.
But what I do is what I like and enjoy. I get to work with someone (Darcy) who is demanding – and understanding and honest. She is not afraid to coil my gears should I get out of line. She is always there to remind me to do my best.
And I say… good for her!
Twenty-three years ago, the web was nothing like it is now. The best we had were dial-up connections. And it took minutes for sites to load. It was a new frontier, limited and limitless.
Darcy and I started out sharing graphics on an obscure website called www.thundercloud.net. I can remember coming home from the job I had at that time and Darcy would message me and say –excitedly–.”We had five visitors today!”
And it was exciting. As it got closer to Christmas that year, one day we reached a new high — fifty visitors in one day. And I thought for sure we were on the way to becoming Internet moguls.
It’s funny now, but I can remember being so excited, I’d be up at 4:00 AM and on the computer — and I’d still be on the computer at midnight, or until I could not keep my eyes open another minute.
Talk about a labor of love.
I’m not going to get into a long historical treatise here. Let’s just say we went on to create Cloudeight Stationery and become the most successful email stationery site on the World Wide Web. We had over one-quarter million mail list subscribers and we were doing so well. When Microsoft released Windows 7, it became the death knell for our stationery site and our stationery.
We had to completely reinvent ourselves — or quit.
So we loped along for a while and then in 2011, we started Cloudeight Direct Computer Care. We started helping people with their computers, and instead of charging what other people were charging, we charged a lot less. And as we got better and faster at what we were doing, we decreased the price. This is probably the opposite of what good businesspeople would do. But we thought it was the right thing to do.
And we’ve kept our prices low because we are not trying to become wealthy or earn millions of dollars – we’re long past those dreams.
But you’re probably reading this and wondering what all this has to do with me being a lucky guy. I’m going to tell you.
Every weekday, I get a chance to help people with their computers. And that’s a great part of my job, but just as great is the chance to be able to “talk” to people – most of the time in a chatbox, but sometimes on the phone. And while I may not get to know them well, at least learn a little bit about them.
And you know what I’ve discovered? Everyone is different in this crazy old world, but most people are genuinely nice. We all share the same planet, we all breathe the same air, and we are all mortal. And if we try, we can all understand each other’s trials and tribulations.
And being patient, kind. and understanding can make a difference in our lives and our world. It has made a difference with the folks I’ve been lucky enough to help, I hope.
I’m not always the most patient person, but Darcy reminded me that we didn’t always understand computers. Heck, I can remember when zip files scared me to death. And when I’d feel relieved when a program came with an installer rather than one of those confounded zip files that you had to click around inside looking for whatever it was that ran or installed the program.
Now, you’re going to laugh. I remember when I couldn’t even copy and paste. I pretended I knew how, but I didn’t. Darcy saw through that facade quickly and I had to admit I was a computer dummy, and I didn’t even know how to copy and paste. Darcy was patient with me – she didn’t make me feel like an idiot because I didn’t know how to copy and paste – which is one of the most fundamental computer skills of all.
So, I learned to be patient with people by remembering how I was when I was just learning Windows. Now I enjoy working with and helping people, getting to know them, and maybe even teaching them something they didn’t know about computers.
I know that we consider our newsletter subscribers and those who come to us for help – friends. And how important it is to always be the best we can be and help as many people as we can, whether it is financially rewarding or not.
With our business philosophy, we’re never going to get rich. We enjoy doing what we do – very much and we help a lot of people without being paid. That’s OK. While we still need to make a living, we don’t need to be wealthy. So, we help as many people as we can every day. We help many people at no charge. We try to keep the prices of the products and services we do sell as low as we can while keeping the quality high.
It makes me feel lucky when I know we’re helping people and making friends at the same time. I know that I speak for Darcy as well when I say we’re going to keep on helping as many people as we can for as long as we can – and we hope to keep on making friends along the way.
Now you see – or at least I hope you can see – why I’m lucky
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