© 2022, the Institute for Applied Common Sense
If only our nation’s leaders were as sharp as 7 – 11 executives.
I’ve alluded to the importance 7 – 11 has played in my life- particularly during my return to Southern California.
I considered naming this post, “Things I Learned, or Had Affirmed During the Past Few Months.” However, after reflecting on my trip to 7 -11 a couple of weeks ago, I thought that I should pay tribute to the true source of the inspiration.
I have lived in numerous locations and patronized different 7 – 11s to get a sense of the demographics, while trying to figure out where I should land permanently. My Father taught me to look in the classified ads to gain a sense of a community. In my effort to use more cutting-edge technological tools, I simply go to a 7 - 11.
I missed this refuge during 16 years in North Carolina, since they are few and far between. The Southern California store which I first visited always has two clerks, and an amazing array of “junk.” You’ve never seen so much sugar assembled, of every imaginable color, consistency, price – prompting patrons to spend hours perusing 5 aisles, seeking that one, special, fuel injection. Imagine a junk food version of Walmart SuperCenter.
When I first visited that property, I made a foolish comment to one of the clerks regarding the scientific marketing approach to everything that was in the store, having just read an article about warehousing and inventory. She disabused me of that notion rather quickly. She said bean counters were constantly changing their approach, which she regarded as a waste of time.
I routinely find the homeless at these locations, since the clerks are always willing to engage them. The clerks themselves are an interesting bunch, prepared to deal with virtually any calamity which might pass through the door. One of the clerks was a man about 21 years of age, who wore a Bruce Lee T – shirt.
As is my wont, upon encountering 20 something folks wearing shirts of some kind reflecting 1960s and 1970s icons, I asked my classic question, “And what does a young fella like you know about _________. You are too young to know anything about Bruce Lee, or perhaps Bob Marley?” Yet, they always reveal that I am the fool. My latest clerk simply informed me, “I learned how to fight from Bruce Lee.”
He went on to describe his matriculation watching Bruce Lee films (or videos).
I refrained from watching videos for the past 14 years, not wanting to waste my time while they buffered up, and I suffered the ads. I heretofore argued that I could read text 4 times as fast. Despite being a member of the Triad Audio Visual Group for years, I continued to express my resistance to videos.
But them something significant happened about 2 months ago. I discovered the healthy line of foods put out by 7 – 11. In particular, I found a green colored, cold pressed, not from concentrate drink, and fell in love with its mint flavor. It occurred to me that instead of bitching and moaning about how people didn’t share my values, I needed to embrace the times and make a change. I needed to reach across the 7 – 11 aisle and find the healthy products and start watching videos.
Then I realized the 7 – 11 executives were way ahead of me. They started their healthy drink line 4 years ago.
Amazing what one finds when one takes time to leave one’s comfort zone and check out what others have to offer. Over the past couple of years, I’ve encountered people who, in pursuit of the goals of comfort and security, are no longer to even venture near a rabbit hole. Knowing that I am still willing to at least entertain the notion of alien abductions, without Dana Scully being around, is perhaps the most important thing that I have learned about myself over the past several months – I’ll just keep on looking out for them.
Now I appreciate that the clerk may have been wrong about the waste. Being willing to entertain those who think differently just MIGHT be a good thing for an old man as I approach 71 years on the planet.
P.S. Those of you still interested in viewing Gillian Anderson on occasion might check out The Fall.