I like people (a lot) and am very chatty - you never know what you can learn from any and everybody. I loved my job as an importer/exporter and wholesaler/retailer of roofing materials. At the time I was one of the top three people in the World in my knowledge of natural slate, and regularly had calls from people (including architects) looking for advice. Service
to my customers was my top priority, and I'd knock out free info and tips to help them if they wanted to do their own roofs (people who had never done any roofing generally produced first class work, and the fully qualified lad we put through College was available to go and show them how to get started with setting the roof out properly, and then how to prepare the slates - sorting for thickness - and start putting the slates down properly). When I bump into old customers in the pub, they always try and buy me a drink, and when I pass their homes I frequently pop in to see how their roof is aging (they get more beautiful as time goes by). As proper copper nails weren't available on the Market, I even had them made to my design and specification, and sold them cheap
to encourage their use.
Perhaps my favourite job was as a barman (I pulled my first pint when I was 9 years old, behind the bar of one of my great aunt's pubs (a lot of my great aunts had pubs, their father bought them for them if they wanted one). I suppose it's in the blood, and you have to like people (if you don't like people, the very worst job you can have is being a barman or own a pub - this proved disastrous for a friend whose other half really hated people, and she destroyed his business because he let her near the customers).
I also love travelling all across Europe
, on my own, on a motorbike. I'll talk to anybody, and the amount of useless information I know (which frequently turns out to be useful), is truly staggering. I was very ill as a kid, and it gave me a voracious appetite for reading - used to get through an average of over 3 books
a day for years and years. I didn't care what the book was about, as long as it wasn't crap (you can tell if a book is crap, by the end of the first chapter).
While I may well appear to be a 'blowhard', I might be the opposite, but similar. 'Blowhards' to me, are very insecure people, but they are very easy to make happy. They don't want to be invisible. My local had one as a regular customer, and he could get a bit violent. Let's call him Ray (because that's his name). He had a great wife too. Keep him happy and you couldn't wish for a nicer bloke. What I would do was this:
As soon as Ray and Mrs Ray came through the door of the pub, I'd shout "Hiya Ray, what are you both having to drink?" His face would light up, he knew he wasn't invisible, and he'd be great social company for the rest of the night (and wouldn't generally let me buy him another drink, he'd keep my glass full if I let him - I didn't take advantage of the opportunity, and that registered with him). But if he walked through the door and nobody said hello, look out.
I have one of those little Ford Ka's (had a great deal on a new one back in June), it's only relevant because of dashboard warning lights. On startup one morning, the airbag warning light came on, along with a message to consult the manual. Manual said take it to dealer for investigation. So off I went.
Called in at the dealers, and went up to Anwen at the service
and repair counter, and said "Anwen, the windbag warning light has come on in the Ka, and the manual said to bring the car in. I think I have been talking too much". It took a minute for it to sink in with Anwen, but those around her were creased up.
I have worked for some blowhard bosses in my time, and they can be a real pain, until you realise the easy way to handle them, is to do EXACTLY what they tell you.
The entertainment value, is priceless.
PS It may be becoming clear that my forum name is no accident
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