Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e at 90
There he was Carlton Chutney, Nobel Prize winning economist, decked out in his tweed jacket. "Carlton! Carlton!" I yelled as I wiggled through Union Station. "It's me, Grandpa Mike-e-e!"
"Grandpa!" he yelled back. "What brings you to D.C.? Peddling with your love an updated printing of your "Retail Life" book? Or did she, finally, wise up to you after sixty-five years?
"You kidding? She's still nuts about me...and it's sixty-seven years. But what brings you to Washington? The White House, again, perhaps?"
" Could be, my little one. I've been thinking it's time for some refreshed American thinking and unique turns. Especially with politicians again just knocking on local citizen doors and shaking hands in super markets."
"The entrenched political lobbies and corporate leadership have had it their way forever. It's time for the itty bitty business taxpayers to, literally, stand tall and think small."
"Wow-e-e! Carlton! I can't believe it! That's exactly the topic of my next column for Furniture World Magazine: "Stand-Tall!... Think-Small!" It's the key to our national problems. Carlton, how about joining me to do some research for my next article? I've rented a room right here on Pennsylvania Avenue and I'm expecting 30 small business furniture leaders to join me for a strategy session."
"OK. I've got a seven a.m. slot open," said Carlton. "Let's have the address."
"Great! Here it is. Rest up, Carlton. For tomorrow, itty-bitty furniture retailers will rise to "Stand-Tall!" and "Think-Small."
The next day Carlton Chutney showed up on time for our research session, and I (Grandpa Mike-e-e!), stood ready.
"Executive meetings in this itty-bitty closet? Ridiculous, Grandpa!" said Carlton when he saw the tiny size of the room I had rented. "It's not only too small for just a conference table, but even impossible for just a pair of folding chairs to lean closed against the wall."
"Carlton, you're thinking about old fashioned seated meetings. The shortcoming of ancient-style leadership meetings is that everyone sits. In our ten-by-ten corporate hall, all 30 retailers will stand tall! My previous research has revealed that after ten minutes almost 78.1% of seated invitees start doodling, scribbling or drawing cartoons for their kids. A-n-d we don't want that!
"As far back as our Constitutional Convention, our ancestors heard cries of "Take a stand!" or "Think on your feet!" As great leaders they knew that way-out ideas float up to the brain when one Stands, but drop like lead to the seat when we sit. Furniture retailers are trained to stand, to be seen and to be heard. When they've made their sales points, Standing in their High Point or Las Vegas showrooms, they can even write them Standing as orders. The Nobel Prize economist stood tongue-tied.
"Standing-tall together will also affect our every day thinking-small nature: Masculine shaves will have to be closer; female and male fragrances will have to be paler; diving necklines will have to be shorter. Results? Personal overhead budgets will dive... A-n-d there will be more disposable income for consumers to purchase sofas, tables and mattresses!
"Finally, as an economist you know time is money. Therefore, all lunches should be salad bar style with Standing-Tall efficiency: no waiting to be seated; no wasting time thumbing through menus for the "daily specials;" no wasting time flagging down busy waiters and no pleading for missing butter patties, sugar substitutes and extra napkins."
"Grandpa! Grandpa! That's it!" exclaimed Carlton "Standing-Tall will lead to a Standing-Half-Hour-Lunch with millions of half hours saved for good deeds. Small business furniture retail leaders will Stand Up and be counted so that the folks in Washington can become aware of their needs and issues. They will Stand-Tall on tax reform, immigration reform, consumer protection and the environment as it relates to the growth and survival of their businesses. Remember when Mr. Smith went to Washington? Jimmy Stewart never sat down. To Stand is to be counted. For the first time in our history our President, Congress, Republicans, Democrats, Labor Unions, Bloggers and Women will all agree. History will be made!"
Thanks Again For Listening!
Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90
Got a question? Got a comment? Great!! E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
PS. See the new YouTube music video staring me, Grandpa Mike-e-e! with my granddaughter Becca in a supporting role at http://bitly.com/qALkrX
About Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e!)
Retailer, author, columnist, lecturer, composer and lyricist.
Came to US with immigrant parents in 1924 at the age of three.
Graduated high school at 16.
Managed a small bedding retail and manufacturing company at 18 in 1939.
Hired as Assistant to the VP of Purchasing (Sweets Corp. of America... approximately 500 employees) in 1940 at 19.
Drafted into US Army Signal Corp - Communications Personnel Div., Fort Monmouth.Tested and selected for Army Specialized Training Program, Rutgers University. Qualified for O.C.S. - Officer Candidate School and graduated as Second Lieutenant, Inventory/ Personnel Division in 1944 at 23.
Married his sweetheart, Anita, and he gives thanks to the Almighty that they are still sweethearts... after 73 years.
Rejoined Sweets Corp as Director of Personnel in 1945 at 24.
Joined his suddenly widowed sister as President of a small retail/ manufacturing company in 1946. Stayed on for 46 years managing the custom designing of over 20,000 childrens rooms and master bedroom beds.
Attended Hofstra University (evening program), and graduated in 1968 at age 47. Two of his kids followed right along at two other college campuses.
Applied for 30 day temporary columnist opening offered by the Reed Business Newspapers in NC and stayed on for 27 years. His retail columns were distributed everywhere from Brooklyn to Bangladesh, to Belgium to Beijing.
Traveled the US and visited with 3rd/ 4th generation retail owners.
He was admitted to the Writers Hall of Fame for, "Conspicuous Excellence In reports and appraisals of the furniture industry."
Retired from retail management at age 70.
BOOKS: (1) At age 72: published first book "Where's The Green Pea?" vegetable character stories including his original music and CD.
Designed programs for primary and pre-K schools and presented them with his Anita. (2) At age 76: Gee! I Wish I Had A Bedroom All My Own," lectured in middle schools (teenage), with tech info for parents, teachers and students in Home
Science. (3) At age 80: Tzedakah - Caring And Sharing classic book with original music CD and illustrations for high school chorales and drama groups.
At 89 -- published Retail Life: How To Get In, Stay Alive a-n-d Love It! in online and printed version for business schools, industry, and entrepreneurs. Includes how-to educational section for "Wise Women Who Love A Challenge" and "Oldtimer Retailers Who've Missed Some Basic Goodies In Business Promotion. Also provides business professors and career students seeking everyday practical trade experiences and business thinking.
Invited to address Levitz Furniture retail salespersons, Furniture Designer Associate members,
IHFRA sales associations, High Point University students and F.I.T. retailer evening sessions. Also accepted as an ASID associate member.
At 90 plus... is a musical playwright, composer and lyricist with original music and thinking for very young and very old America.