Wow, have I been busy with life. Lacrosse if finished. (Let me tell you how popular lacrosse is here in Florida: they misspelled “lacrosse” on the trophy.) There is one more baseball on Monday. It would have been over last Monday, but we got our first rain in about 3 months here that afternoon, so they postponed the game. Everyone is over it anyway. Not because it isn’t fun, but because but we played about 22 games and these are eight-year-olds. My schedule is clearing little at a time.
My two-year-old is taking swimming lessons right now. He is learning survival techniques. My first two kids hated it and cried for through every lesson (which is 10 minutes, four times a week). Noah and David both love it. Noah is 8 and swims like a fish. David, the two-year-old, smiles and laughs through the whole thing. This is rare. Most of the time you can hear the kids screaming from the street as you are parking. But David can't wait to go.
I haven't told you this, but I am a freak about kids and water. I have an unhealthy fear about my kids (or me, for that matter) drowning. If we go to parties with the kids at a house that has a pool and no safety gate, I am like a hound dog. I don't let the baby out of my sight. If I come home and our safety gate has been left open, or if someone leaves a baby unattended in a bathtub... watch out, because it ain't gonna pretty.
I have nightmares all the time. It is weird. I think that when you grow up in Florida and you read in the paper all the time about kids drowning, you just get scared. But David being able to float makes me breath just a little easier.
I want to talk to you about my friend who works at Publix. Publix is an employee-owned grocery store in Central Florida. According to their website, there are a little over a 1,000 stores in five states in the Southeast.
Before I go on, I want to tell you that I work so I can retire. Everything I do now, as far as spending money, has consequences. I look to the end. Even though it is 20 years away, I think of the end. I love what I do, but I am definitely chasing after that carrot, and by gosh, I am going to get that thing one day. I think we are all doing that. We are all trying to build a nest egg so we don't have to die in our chairs doing a MOD filling on #13.
How much is enough? How do we do it? These are some of the questions we are all asking all the time. Are my kids smart enough to go to college? Should I save for that? (Okay, maybe we all don't ask ourselves that question. But I do. I look at my kids and say, "Yeah, you could be Duke material. But definitely community college for you." Is that mean?)
So, I have this friend who works at Publix. I think she is in her 34th year there. I don't know how much she makes, but I know it is around $12-13 an hour. She has slowly moved up and now works in the deli. Now, to the college-educated people, this job might sound trivial. What do you guys think of the person behind the counter at the deli?
I have a friend who owns his own business, This week, he found himself short-staffed. I am off on Mondays and I had told him that I would help him out if he needed. Well, he needed. So I put on a uniform and I was the $13-an-hour employee.
I have to tell you that this is good for any boss. It is good to have this feeling of helplessness, not knowing what you’re doing and hoping no one asks you a question. I had to ask people on a couple of occasions to bear with me because this was my first day on the job. One guy actually said to me, "Good luck with the new job," which I thought was nice.
It is also good because of how people treat you. I know for a fact that people treat my staff pretty badly and then come to the back and act so nice to me. Anyway, I am getting off subject. I was talking about the $12-an-hour friend.
If you work for Publix, they give you stock. After 30 years, it seems like she has been given quite a bit of stock. See, now she is working and making about $30k a year, and this year she received $12,000 just from dividend checks. She is basically getting a 30% bonus ever year. She gets paid for going to jury duty. They give all their employees a paid day off to get a physical every year. If they have to go for a colonoscopy, that day is also paid for. They get FIVE weeks of vacation.
Remember that nest egg we were talking about? Yeah, it seems that, depending on the price of the stock when she sells it, this $12-an-hour person has about $800,000 to $1,000,000. How do you like them apples?
At first, I was floored. A bit jealous, even. But you know what? Good for her. I hope like heck that that $12-an-hour person gets to buy her grandbabies everything they want. I hope that $12-an-hour person gets to fly first class to Rome and live it up. Or that she can have a mountain home or a beach condo.
Here the kicker: she is only 57. She has about 8 great years of working full-time. Which means more stock. Which means dividends. Which means more of a nest egg.
Her lifestyle is still $12 per hour. She and her husband never eat out. They drive beat-up cars. They live in a small house. They took out loans to put their kids through college. They don't know how to spend money. I was thinking I might be able to help them out in this area.
Have a great Thursday.
I still can't get over my patient with 1.8 million sky miles.