I hired a kid many years ago to intern for me. He had just graduated from college with his MBA and wanted to get into my business. I tried to encourage him, as I do with all young people, to find another line of work, one that is more stable and doesn’t ebb and flow with the economy as mine did. But he was persistent that this is what he wanted to do.
The deal I cut was that I would pay him twelve thousand a year plus a percentage of any deals he helped me close for one year. After a year he could decide if he wanted to hang around and work straight commission as I did, or go work for a bigger company that could feed him more business. He lasted about eight months with me and now is selling computer hardware, very successfully I might add, with a large tech company on the west coast.
For eight months this kid and I spent a lot of time together. I was twenty years older than he was and in a very different place lifewise. I had a mortgage, car payments, and swim lessons to pay for. Every month the power company, cable company, and the insurance companies wanted money from me. My priorities were to keep the lights on and food on the table. Not very sexy but that is what I had to do. My intern was living with his parents and had one major expense, an older but very stylish two-door BMW.
Our “priority” differences became very apparent in the first week. I was at the office at 7 am and he would show-up at 8:30 or so. I stayed until 6:30 or 7 pm, and the door hit him in ass at 5:30 pm. On Friday’s I didn’t see him after 1 pm. He would come in on Monday mornings and regale me with stories about the bars he went too and the girls he met. I told him I went to a church basketball game, mowed the yard and cooked hotdogs on the grill. My intern was ready to find a mate and outside of work all his time, energy and money were focused on this endeavor.
One morning I took him to my favorite breakfast spot, a place that serves the best sausage gravy and biscuits I have ever eaten, a dish that I consider myself to be a connoisseur of. My intern was rambling on about some girl he had met who was not as pretty as some other girl he knew when my plate arrived. Sitting in front of me were two eggs over medium, four strips of crispy bacon, and the sausage gravy and biscuits I longed for. As my intern was running his mouth I looked at him and pointed to my plate and said “What I am about to eat is better than sex”. The expression on his face after I made this statement was priceless.
I went on to tell him that I had the girl, I had the sex and the children to prove it. But my relationship with my mate was now beyond the sex, and beyond the physical attraction. I used words like responsibility, comfort, stability, security to describe where my wife and I were at the time. Words, that I assured him if he found a compatible mate, he would use in twenty years himself.
He was undone by this thought and downright depressed. He was convinced, with the massive amounts of testosterone running through his veins that he would never, ever settle for sausage gravy and biscuits over sex. I just smiled and finished my sensuous and seductive meal.
I talked to him two years ago when he was in town to visit his parents. He found a mate, a girl he met at work, and they have two children, a mortgage, car payments, and swim lessons to pay for. He was telling me how busy he and his wife were between work and kids. That there just didn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. By the time they got everyone feed and in the bed that they were both so tired that they fell asleep on the sofa in front of the television. I told him that I had been there but it would get better. He laughed, remembering what I had told him many years ago and asked “I guess you still think sausage gravy and biscuits are better than sex?” I told him “With the kids out of the house I can enjoy both equally, something you can look forward too one day”.