That would be me


[INDENT][INDENT][FONT=Arial]The Texas Department of Employment, Division of Labor Standards claimed a small rancher was not paying proper wages to his help and sent an agent out to investigate him.
GOVT AGENT: I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them.
RANCHER: Well, there’s my hired hand who’s been with me for 3 years. I pay him $200 a week plus free room and board. Then there’s the mentally challenged guy. He works about 18 hours every day and does about 90% of all the work around here. He makes about $10 per week, pays his own room and board, and I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night so he can cope with life. He also sleeps with my wife occasionally.
GOVT AGENT: That’s the guy I want to talk to - the mentally challenged one.
RANCHER: That would be me.







There I am on John Deere out in the rain when this Govermint man pulls up to my cattle gate. I let him in and

He said he is DEA officer inspecting ranches in Texas for drugs. He said to me, “I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs.” I said, “Okay , but don’t go in that pasture over there…what ever you do”.

The DEA officer exploded saying, “Cowboy, I have the authority of the Federal Government and President Obama with me!” He reaches into his pants pocket, and pulls out his badge large and shiney badge and proudly displays it to me. “See this cucking badge?! This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish… On any land !! No questions asked or answers given!! Have I made myself clear and do you understand ?”

I nodded politely, and got back on my John Deere.

A short time later, I heard loud screams, looked up, and saw that DEA officer running for his life, being chased by my Brahama Bull, we call 2000 lbs of mean… With every step the bull was gaining ground on him, and it seemed likely that he’d sure enough get gored before he reached safety. The guy was terrified. I got off my John Deere, ran to the fence and yelled as loud as I could…

"Your badge, show him your chuckin BADGE…[LEFT][/LEFT]




I can relate to this as a member of the “evil capitalist” club…

I love when people ask me “when do you get home?” or “when do you get off work?”, they get that confused look like when a dog tilts his head when I say “whenever the days work is done, even if it stretches into tomorrow”.


Anybody that owns their own small business is on the job pretty much all the time.


You guys are RIGHT ON. Starting a business is a real challenge, days into nights and nights into day. I cannot think of all the times I found myself in some near starvation mode, wandered down to the kitchen to get some supper only to see the light of day and realize it time for breakfast and I had not even changed clothes yet from what I had on the day before. Hit the shower, hit Mickey D’s and show up.

If fun and rewarding even if you do do not make a $100 M or even $10M, its the road getting there not the objective…


LOL. Thanks for the laugh, Oaks. And you can go ahead and stick me in the, “That would be me”, column. Gotta be at least half nuts, if nothing else, to take on some of the stuff we do.

And that’s a great deal of what’s wrong w/this country: Not enough of us are. That, and the minimum wage has gone a long ways to destroying ambition and incentive to ‘get it better next time.’

There’s a McCaskill - actually anti-Akin - ad that has a woman saying, “And Akin wants to eliminate the minimum wage!”, as if he’s the one who’s nuts, and/or hates the working class.

I wish more could see it as you, RETT,, do as being one of the best things to happen to them AND our country.
FWIW, I’ve long advocated switching to ‘piece-work’ wherever possible. You’d never see production and the resulting wages go up faster!


You are so right 2 cent…

Its easy to start a business, not as easy as it used to be still easy. I started a business with $36 bucks in materials and a box of homemade business cards. I was broke, had bills and had got canned from my job (actually I quit when the boss found out I was a college student, HIS policy was all college students made min wage, no bonus or commissions, I had been there for 6 mo’s was a top salesman and was not about to work for min wage).

Now with some time on my hands and hard winter coming on was not sure what I was going to. I was out on the street duct taping the rear window on my car from me knocking it out when I tried to remove the ice from the plastic convertible rear window. My neighbor walks over and says his dad has a bunch of car lots in Dallas and they can put a new top on my car for $200 bucks. I don’t have $200 bucks. He tells me he will get me a top at cost if I want and and he has seen the guys install one, looks easy. I did, it was $36 bucks. I put it on very slowly and very carefully, its looked GREAT. I had several buddies that that also had convertibles, saw my job asked how much. I quoted $136 bucks, which was a deal to say the least but I am making $100 for 3 hrs work back in the 60’s.

I did 3 tops one weekend. Bingo, I was in business. I made cards, headed to the N Dallas malls and drove and put a card on tops. That business grew till I had an employee and a contract with the largest Chevy dealer in Dallas…I could install a top cheaper then they could install in-house.

That business put me thru college, new car, single lifestyle for 5 years, then the Army called me to active duty…

Just do it!


Good on you, Oaks. I always knew you were my kind of guy!

When we first married, Mr. 2 was working for ‘The Man’ who got to call all the shots and the wages. Yes, we were working by-the-foot, and our wages depended on how hard we wanted to work, but he still got to call what each foot was worth. Thing is, it was ‘safe’ 'cuz the work was dependable.
Then, about 12 (+/-?) years ago, a guy came to us with a proposition to go out on our own. What ‘The Man’ didn’t know is that one of his builders was fixing to drop him, and was looking for a new drywall contractor.
Scarey as hell when you’ve got a wife and 3 kids to support to do something so ‘iffy.’ We didn’t have a whole lot of capital in the bank to back us up, and maybe not even enough to fulfill our end of the bargain.
We went for it.
Best darned decision we ever made in our lives!!!


There are so many success stories like that. One of my buddies up in Dallas was a drywall man and the company he worked for, the owner spent all the money and went broke, could pay any of the folks. They had just landed a big contract for a housing area, my buddy went over to the company there in Dallas and told them they were not getting paid, and he will take over the contract and give them a 10% savings. They did, he did and last I saw him he company was one fo the major drywall outfits in DFW…

Or my neighbor: Janet went to work for a mauf company in Dallas as the Receptionist. She made min wage. But she was smart and when an opening came up as a sales assistant to the Salesman who had the Texas area she grabbed it. Now she is making about $40k, good job, inside and the sales guy is making calls out on the road. Being a hard worker she tells him you make the calls I will do everything else, she gets good bonuses!!!

She meets the Quarterback for a NFL team who is playing at Dallas. They get married and move in across the street from me so I get to know both of them well. He gets cut or something, too old I think and takes a position working for the NFL as a Ref. BIG BIG pay cut for them. Refs at that time make $75k per year plus bonus for playoffs.

Janets boss the sales guy, has massive heart attack and takes early retirement on disability. Company looking for a sales person, she jumps up and how about me, I know I have never traveled but I know every company out there and my husband can walk me right into some serious accts. They do, she does and Janet is now knocking down about $80k.

Janet does this for 3 years and walks into the company one day and said I QUIT, here is my 2 week notice, see you later bye. WHOA, what can we do to keep you, you have been here for nearly 20 years, it would takes us years to find someone else. She says, OK, I am breaking off on my own, I want 10% straight commission on all sales I make in Texas and all components orders thru my accts. They say sure, we do that, no vacation, no med you are on your own and we contract with your company. YES!

Janet sells a products used by everyone on this forum probably several times a week. Janet picked up the contract for Texas Stadium, Ranger Stadium, Astrodome, you name it.

Janet works from home, she is the company, a long day is a few hours. In 1998 I was helping her get ready for tax time…Janet made just under $9,000,000,000, yes, $9 MILLION dollars that year.

Not bad for a gal who started out as just a receptionist, saw opportunity and took it…

Sure there is a lot of right place, right time, but all of us have those shots thru our lives, maybe I was not making $9M a year putting on auto tops but I did well back then for some kid just back from Vietnam trying to go to school…


Sometimes takes the right personality, too.



Sure there is a lot of right place, right time, but all of us have those shots thru our lives

And, odd as where the incentive came, it was from reading historical novels that proved time and again that, above all, the willingness to take the chance and work hard is what breads the most success.