My first two years away at college were a hot mess.
I was too immature to interact socially… I had very little coping skills to deal with new people in a new environment… and I felt like a fish out of water.
After these two years, I left, and finished off at a local school downtown in Manhattan, and did great. The change of environment did me good, and I got a chance to work while going to school, which helped me develop a work ethic and mature socially.
However, there was one time while I was away at school, I remember fondly
An economics professor gave us a surprise quiz one day.
To be honest, I struggled through the entire test – except when I got to the last question. The question read, “What is the first name of the man who mops the floors in the morning, before class”
I knew the answer to this question, because I usually said hello to Reggie whenever I saw him, which was pretty much twice a week, whenever I had that class.
Reggie was in his mid-30’s and grew up in the small town where I was going to school and had a couple of kids of his own.
But surely, as a test question… this must have been some kind of a joke. Nevertheless, I answered the question and handed in my exam.
Just before the class ended, one student asked if that last question was for real or not. And the professor said, “That question was 100% serious. Throughout your life, you’re going to meet many people. Some will be at the top, and some will be at the bottom.”
“But regardless where they are…” he said, “Every one of them is significant.”
I couldn’t articulate this at the time, but I somehow knew this to be true.
In fact, I remember a year or so after I graduated from college. I was working on the audit staff of a then Big 8 accounting firm, and one of my colleagues said something to me I’ll always remember.
He said, “Craig, you’re just as comfortable talking to the CFO as you are talking to the guy who cleans his office at night.”
It was nice hearing this, but the truth was… at that time, I was probably far more comfortable talking to the guy who cleaned the office.
Today, thankfully, I’m pretty comfortable with everyone.
It took a long time to get there, but it was worth it.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
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Echoes – David Gilmour, Live in Gdansk (2008)