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Vintage Dilbert March 11, 2011

Vintage Dilbert
March 11, 2011

A son took his old father to a restaurant for an evening dinner.  Father being very old and weak, while eating, dropped food on his shirt and trousers.  Other diners watched him in disgust while his son was calm.

After he finished eating, his son who was not at all embarrassed, quietly took him to the wash room, wiped the food particles, removed the stains, combed his hair and fitted his spectacles firmly.  When they came out, the entire restaurant was watching them in dead silence, not able to grasp how someone could embarrass themselves publicly like that.  The son settled the bill and started walking out with his father.

At that time, an old man amongst the diners called out to the son and asked him, “Don’t you think you have left something behind?”.

The son replied, “No sir, I haven’t”.

The old man retorted, “Yes, you have!  You left a lesson for every son and hope for every father”.

The restaurant went silent.

I hope you enjoyed this story about Dad's as much as I have..... 
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Take Care and God Bless :-) Kenny T
Author: Amir A Kader
Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
May 7, 1998

“You gotta be crazy!” That’s what Lee Dunham’s friends told him back in 1971 when he gave up a secure job as a police officer and invested his life savings in the notoriously risky restaurant business. This particular restaurant was more than just risky, it was downright dangerous. It would be the first McDonald’s franchise in the city of New York – smack in the middle of crime-ridden Harlem.

Lee had always had plans. When other kids were playing ball in the empty lots of Brooklyn, Lee was playing entrepreneur, collecting milk bottles and returning them to grocery stores for the deposits. He had his own shoeshine stand and worked delivering newspapers and groceries.

Early on, he promised his mother that one day she would never again have to wash other people’s clothes for a living. He was going to start his own business and support her. “Hush your mouth and do your homework,”she told him.

She knew that no member of the Dunham family had ever risen above the level oflaborer, let alone owned a business. “There’s no way you’re going to open your own business, ” his mother told him repeatedly.

Years passed, but Lee’s penchant for dreaming and planning did not. After high school, he joined the Air Force, where his goal of one day owning a family restaurant began to take shape. He enrolled in the Air Force food service school and became such an accomplished cook he was promoted to the officers’ dining hall.

When he left the Air Force, he worked for four years in several restaurants, including one in the famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. Lee longed to start his own restaurant but felt he lacked the business skills to be successful. He signed up for business school and took classes at night while he applied and was hired to be a police officer.

For fifteen years he worked full-time as a police officer. In his off-hours, he worked part-time as a carpenter and continued to attend business school. And he had started saving and preparing for his dream. By 1971, Lee had saved $42,000, and it was time for him to make his vision a reality.

Lee wanted to open an upscale restaurant in Brooklyn. With a business plan in hand, he set out to seek financing. The banks refused him. Unable to get funding to open an independent restaurant, lee turned to franchising and filled out numerous applications.

McDonald’s offered him a franchise, with one stipulation: Lee had to set up a McDonald’s in the inner-city, the first to be located there. McDonald’s wanted to find out if its type of fast-food restaurant could be successful in the inner city. It seemed that Lee might be the right person to operate that first restaurant.

To get the franchise, Lee would have to invest his life savings and borrow $150,000 more. Everything for which he’d worked and sacrificed all those years would be on the line – a very thin line if he believed his friends. Lee spent many sleepless nights before making his decision.

He decided this was it. The years of preparation he’d invested – the dreaming, planning, studying and saving now had a vehicle to make them a reality. He signed on the dotted line to operate the first inner-city McDonald’s in the United States.

The first few months were a disaster. Gang fights, gunfire, and other violent incidents plagued his restaurant and scared customers away. Inside, employees stole his food and cash, and his safe was broken into routinely. To make matters worse, Lee couldn’t get any help from McDonald’s headquarters; the company’s representatives were too afraid to venture into the ghetto. Lee was on his own.

Although he had been robbed of his merchandise, his profits, and his confidence, Lee was not going to be robbed of his dream. Lee fell back on what he had always believed in – preparation and planning.

Lee put together a strategy. First, he sent a strong message to the neighborhood thugs that McDonald’s wasn’t going to be their turf. To make his ultimatum stick, he needed to offer an alternative to crime and violence. In the eyes of those kids, Lee saw the same look of helplessness he had seen in his own family.

He knew that there was hope and opportunity in that neighborhood and he was going to prove it to the kids. He decided to serve more than meals to his community – he would serve dreams and solutions. He was going to make their obstacles their stepping stones.

Lee spoke openly with gang members, challenging them to rebuild their lives. Then he did what some might say was unthinkable: he hired gang members and put them to work. He tightened up his operation and conducted spot checks. He continually taught his employees the need for honesty and a good reputation if they were to succeed in life. Lee improved working conditions and once a week he offered his employees classes in customer service and management.

He encouraged them to develop personal and professional goals. He always stressed two things: his restaurant offered a way out of a dead-end life; and the faster and more efficiently the employees served the customers, the more lucrative that way would be.

In the community, Lee sponsored athletic teams and scholarships to get kids off the streets and into community centers and schools. The New York inner-city restaurant became a hub for ghetto kids to get a new start and dream new dreams. And in the process, it became McDonald’s most profitable franchise worldwide, earning more than $1.5 million a year.

Company representatives who wouldn’t set foot in Harlem months earlier now flocked to Lee’s doors, eager to learn how he did it. To Lee, the answer was simple: “Serve the customers, the employees, and the community-dreams, goals and solutions along with hamburgers.”

Today, Lee Dunham owns nine restaurants, employs 435 people, and serves thousands of meals every day. It’s been many years since his mother had to take in wash to pay the bills. More importantly, Lee paved the way for thousands of African-American entrepreneurs who are working to make their dreams a reality, helping their communities, and serving up hope.

All this was possible because a little boy understood the need to dream, to plan, and to prepare for the future. In doing so, he changed his life and the lives of thousands of others.

 Cynthia Kersey
 Excerpted/Adapted from Unstoppable
 Copyright 1988 by Cynthia Kersey, www.unstoppable.net 

dilbert

There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores. They both liked antiques and pottery and especially teacups. This was their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

One day in this beautiful shop they saw a beautiful cup. They said, “May we see that? We’ve never seen one quite so beautiful.”

As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the cup spoke. “You don’t understand,” it said. “I haven’t always been a teacup. There was a time when I was red and I was clay. My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over and I yelled out, ‘let me alone,’ but he only smiled, ‘Not yet.'”

“Then I was placed on a spinning wheel,” the cup said,”and suddenly I was spun around and around and around.Stop it! I’m getting dizzy! I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, ‘Not yet.'”

“Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat!” the teacup said. “I wondered why he wanted to burn me, and I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as He shook his head, ‘Not yet.'”

“Finally the door opened, he put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. ‘There, that’s better,’ I said. And he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag.’Stop it, stop it!’ I cried. He only nodded, ‘Not yet.'”

“Then suddenly he put me back into the oven, not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him through the opening, nodding his head saying, ‘Not yet.'”

“Then I knew there wasn’t any hope. I would never make it. I was ready to give up. But the door opened and he took me out and placed me on the shelf. One hour later he handed me a mirror and said, ‘Look at yourself.’ And I did. I said, ‘That’s not me; that couldn’t be me. It’s beautiful. I’m beautiful.'”

“‘I want you to remember, then,’ he said, ‘I know it hurts to be rolled and patted, but if I had left you alone, you’d have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel,but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I knew it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened; you would not have had any color in your life. And if I hadn’t put you back in that second oven, you wouldn’t survive for very long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. You are what I had in mind when I first began with you.'”

-- Author Unknown

dilbert

I like to cook. I especially like to cook when there is nothing at stake: no guests to entertain, no relatives coming to dinner. Then I throw a little of this and a little of that into a pot, and if it doesn’t turn out, it’s just Pepto Bismol for two and a couple of poached eggs on toast.

But this was Thanksgiving—Thanksgiving in a new country, a new city and with new friends. This was important—so important that I had even prepared much of the dinner ahead of time. By Thanksgiving day I was feeling a little smug. Pies were made, the turkey stuffed sweet potatoes casseroled, and the house in that once a year state of cleanliness. Then in the early afternoon, I received a call reminding me that two of my guests were vegetarian. I’m sure they could have survived on the vegetables and salads I had prepared, but I was feeling so ahead of the game that I decided that while my turkey was roasting, I’d make a quick trip to Alfalfa’s, one of our local vegetarian markets, to pick up a vegetarian entree.

We live in the country. On a busy day, a car goes by our house once every hour, so I was ill-prepared for the number of people in town who also had last-minute shopping to do. Traffic was snarled and drivers snarling. I was starting to run late, and I hadn’t even been able to get into the store’s parking lot! But the minute I did, everything changed.

The manager of the store was in the lot, directing traffic and showing people where there were empty spaces. I parked and rushed into the store. Inside, store personnel were everywhere, handing out tidbits of food, offering suggestions, and helping people find what they were looking for. I quickly got what I needed; but even though all the cash registers were open, the lines were very long. I could feel my teeth clench at the thought of my guests arriving to a burnt turkey and no hostess.

The gentleman in front of me was also experiencing some panic, or so I thought, because an attractive woman was massaging his neck and shoulders. “What a lucky guy,” I thought. Just then, the woman turned and said, “Would you like a neck and shoulder massage while you’re waiting in line?” Would I! As she worked on me and I began to breathe again, I thought, “Isn’t this great? An enterprising massage therapist plying her trade where she is most needed.” When she finished, I asked her how much I owed her. “No, no,” she said, “the massages are courtesy of the store.”

Now I ask you, was that inspired service or what? The rest of the day was a piece of cake, or pumpkin pie if you will. And the dinner, on a scale of 1 to 10? About a 14.

-- Maida Rogerson

dilbert

There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon. 

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.

“How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

“Why sir,” said the farmer, “didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”

He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor’s corn also improves.

So it is with our lives. Those who choose to live in peace must help their neighbors to live in peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors grow good corn. 

–Author Unknown

It is possible to give away and become richer! It is also possible to hold on too tightly and lose everything. Yes, the liberal man shall be rich! By watering others, he waters himself.

Proverbs 11:24-25

dilbert

I was passing through Columbus, Ohio, some years ago and stopped to eat in the depot restaurant. My attention was called to a slice of watermelon, and I ordered it and ate it. I was so pleased with the melon that I asked the waiter to dry some of the seeds that I might take them home and plant them in my garden. That night, a thought came into my mind—I would use the watermelon as an illustration. So, the next morning, when I reached Chicago, I had enough seeds weighed to find out that it would take about 5,000 watermelon seeds to weigh a pound, and I estimated that the watermelon weighed about forty pounds. Then I applied mathematics to the watermelon.

A few weeks before, someone, I know not who, had planted a little seed in the ground. Under the influence of sunshine and shower, that little watermelon seed had taken off its coat and gone to work. It had gathered from somewhere 200,000 times its own weight and forced that enormous weight through a tiny stem and built a watermelon. On the outside it had put a covering of green, within that rind of white, and within that a core of red. Then it had scattered through the red, little seeds, each one capable of doing the same work over again.

What architect drew the plan? Where did that little watermelon seed get its tremendous strength? Where did it find its flavoring extract and its coloring matter? How did it build a watermelon?

Until you can explain a watermelon, do not be too sure that you can set limits to the power of the Almighty, or tell just what He will do or how He will do it. The most learned men in the world cannot explain a watermelon, but the most ignorant man in the world can eat a watermelon and enjoy it. God has given us the things that we need, and He has given us the knowledge necessary to use those things. And the truth that He has revealed to us is infinitely more important for our welfare than it would be to understand the mysteries that He has seen fit to conceal from us.
—William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925)

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