"Nobody Trusts Me With Postage"
Only the names have been changed.
Up until Christmas Eve, 2005, I was the co-owner of a wonderful establishment called "CDNY." I was trusted with thousands and thousands of dollars worth of stock, paying the bills, dealing with customers, and keeping my employees happy. Not to mention showing up each day to open up shop, on time.
Now that "CDNY" has become a mail order establishment, all of our CD and DVD sales need to be packed up, posted, and brought to the post office. My business partner Toby and I had decided that it was very important to bring along our long time friend and trusted employee Rod to the new surroundings. He'd be the man who would take care of our mail and our sales, while Toby & I continued to drum up business. In no time at all, Rod perfected the postage meter. "Number zero Jiffy Lites, one CD, $1.11," he'd proclaim proudly. "No no no! That Louis Armstrong box set is too heavy! You mail that first class, you might as well take 72 cents and flush it down the toilet. That's media mail," he'd shout for all to hear.
Rod quickly became the "King of 38th Street." Elevator operators, postal workers, the locksmith, the guy in the bodega right up the block, the girl who answers the phone at Cafe Metro were all "in his pocket" within a week. They knew he knew.... "the meter."
The other morning, while enjoying our morning coffee, I decided to pay some bills. After sealing my American Express and Omaha Steak bills, I pushed my seat back from my desk. "WHERE ARE YOU GOING?," Rod quickly inquired, coffee spewing from his nostrils. "Uh...to meter my bills," I feebly answered. "You know you have to change the date." "Yes Rod, I did it this morning." Rod got up from his breakfast and walked over to the meter like a beat cop in 1920s Chicago. If he had a nightstick, he'd be twirling it. Once satisfied with the date change on the meter, he shot me a look that said, "I know you're my boss, but that doesn't mean you know postage." "I can do that for you, Saul." he said aloud. "I can do it...FREAK," I said to myself. "I got it." I said out loud.
This continued. I had a 3PM doctor's appointment and needed to leave early. There were still plenty of orders to process. I felt guilty. "Hey guys, just leave the orders and go home early. I'll come in at 7 AM tomorrow and take care of it." "That's ok. Rod'll do it." Toby, my business partner exclaimed, violently putting down his Lucy Liu biography. "Or you can do it" he said, steeling himself. "I guess. You know," he said, winking at Rod, "you don't have to worry yourself with postage. Ol' Rod here's got it down to a science. Don't you, Rod?" Rod beamed with pride, then glared at the meter. "I'd be even better if we had that new digital scale the post office is selling on their website." He got a faraway look in his eyes. "Burnished aluminum," he said, almost reverently.
All this time I thought I was the boss. But you can't be the boss when nobody trusts you with postage.