Mr. Irrelevant

Last fall Ben's school had a function at a local skating rink. All of his friends were planning on attending, and he asked if he could go to. He said a friends parents would drive him if I could come at 8:30 and pick them up. I agreed and planned my evening accordingly.

When I arrived at United Skates of America, I parked out front and wait for my son and his friend to come out. A car pulled into the space beside me and the guy inside waved. I quickly recognized the gentleman as a Cincinnati Insurance Adjuster, and rolled my window down to make conversation.

I have known this guy for 12 years. We have worked many projects together. We have sat at a bar and had drinks at more than one Happy Hour. Our kids have even gone to the same school since they were both in kindergarten. So it was nothing to pass the time talking about old claims and industry issues. Par for the course when I get around people I work with. But then he said something that dumbfounded me.

"I am so sorry, but what is your name? I can never remember it!" What? Really? You cannot remember my name? You remember that pain in the rear in customer that tried to get their whole house painted from a small candle fire, but you don't remember that Mike Slusher is the guy in the Mammoth car? I was floored. I remember telling my boss about it the next day, and he laughed and said "He is just a strange guy", a fact I already knew but still, I was a little insulted.

When you work in restoration, there are always sharks in the water. Every week, head hunters are trying to find out who is looking and who is hiring. It has become a very competitive field. And the last few weeks, LinkedIn has heated up as no fewer than 6 recruiters have reached out to me, 3 of which were about the same job.

Every once in awhile, one of those openings is very intriguing. And last fall, I almost left Mammoth (and Ohio for that matter) to pursue another opening. We go so far into the process that Little Red and I actually went to another city and looked at houses. At the end of the day, though, it was not meant to be. However, the same recruiter that we were involved with then was one of those who touched base this week. Only, she didn't remember me. Only after I reminded her of the hours we talked on the phone and the negotiations that broke  down last September did she recall dealing with me at all. Another blow to the ego. But then...

I had the President of yet another company reach out to me. He explained that they were looking for a quality person to launch an office in Columbus. He said they had a couple people try before, but no one who had made it work. I replied back to him that I was aware of the predicament. Because I had been one of those guys. Yes, I had worked for this company in late 2011. I jumped out of bed every time the phone rang at 2 am to go chase down a fire an hour away from home, only to come back empty handed because I am not a fire chaser at heart. I sat at a restaurant in Akron Ohio and argued with this guy, begging him to let me do things my way and build a real office in this market. Yet, less than 3 years later, he doesn't remember who I am, let alone the work I put in.

I kind of feel like Mr. Irrelevant right about now.

At the end of the day, whether any of these people remember my name really is kind of irrelevant. For the adjuster, that means we have always done good work and he remembers the company name. For the recruiter, well I am not looking anyway so you can forget me all you want. And for the President of that other company? You should come on a field trip to Mammoth. Because if you had let me do things my way, then you could be reaping the rewards we are today. It's ok, though. I am where I belong. Sometimes, I just need a reminder.

Sweetheart is still not feeling great. Prayers for her are appreciated.

Day # 501. I am Mike the Mammoth guy if anyone asks. It is good to be me!


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