Pack Man

The other day Priscilla the Packing Pro was on her way to Las Vegas with her family. As a result, Rick and I were alone together in the trading post.

The Internet gods had been good to us, so there were packages to pack.

Since Priscilla generally heads up projects of this nature and she was scheduled to be gone a few days, something had to be done before Pauline, the UPS driver, arrived in her U-Haul truck. A few weeks ago, her big brown truck had overturned in Monument Valley, so U-Haul was called in to assist.

Rick is not interested in cardboard and tape, so that left me to manage the job.

Notwithstanding my reputation, I am in fact capable. In the early days of Twin Rocks Trading Post, I was responsible for virtually every aspect of the business, including packing.

So, despite what some believe, Priscilla did not come to us completely formed. Believe it or not, I had to train her. She was not always so competent.

So, reaching back into the past for guidance, I assembled the necessary implements (boxes, tape, markers, labels) and set to work.

Before long the orders were good to go, and I walked them upstairs for entering into the shipping computer.

Rick looked at me with a mixture of amazement and concern. He obviously had little faith in my ability to ensure the orders would arrive in good condition.

At that point, I decided Rick should be reminded exactly who is in charge of this Popsicle stand. “Listen,” I said in my most sincere voice, “I was packing when you were still in short pants.”

Since Rick is approximately 14 years older, he looked at me askance and said, “Really?”

“Well, you know,” I sheepishly replied. As you might guess, I had done nothing to allay his fears.

When things settled down, I reviewed my leadership training manuals and quickly realized I had overstepped my boundaries with Rick.

So, in an effort to be a kinder, gentler, more effective manager, I took him aside and explained that, because of my skills as a packer, I used to be known in the trade as “Pack Man.”

“See here,” I said, trying a line I utilize for customers who also question my ability to securely box their purchases, “I have a doctorate in creative packaging.”

Despite my best attempt to calm him, Rick was still dubious. “Really?” he questioned.

“Yah, yah, sure,” I said. “Everything will be fine. Guaranteed.”

A few days later, Rick answered a call from one of the individuals receiving my shipments.

While I held my breath hoping everything had arrived intact, I heard him describe our prior discussions and then laugh out loud.

When I asked him what the customer had said, Rick replied, “They thought you should try out for the Green Bay Packers. You could be Quarter Pack, maybe Half Back Pack.”

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