Try as You Might
(One of the 83 quick and practical life & work lessons from Sh*t Sandwich: Quick & Practical Success Lessons for Practically Anyone.)
You Cannot Avoid Shit Sandwiches
There is a natural law known as the Law of Shit Sandwiches. This law states that avoiding them will cause them to grow in size and multiply in quantity. You cannot avoid shit sandwiches.
Take Ray, a neighborhood tavern owner whose previous employer was a beer wholesaler. Ray, not his real name, drove a big truck and delivered beer for a living. Ray hated driving a beer truck. He hated eating shit sandwiches served by his bosses, he hated eating shit sandwiches served by his customers, and he especially hated eating shit sandwiches served by the twenty-something salespeople who created the beer orders that he had to deliver.
Ray’s aversion to shit sandwiches was so great that he decided to open his own bar. A place where he could be his own boss, work the hours he wanted to work, and never again have to eat a shit sandwich from anyone. He was going to live the American Dream. Moreover, he was going to be making more money than ever and have the freedom to travel the globe.
That was more than fifteen years ago, and Ray still owns his tavern. He enjoys a small group of regulars that love coming to Ray’s Place. They love the camaraderie, the conversation, and they especially love the cantankerous Ray. His American Dream, however, has been put on hold; “temporarily,” he says. The last time I spoke to him, he had just fired his night bartender for stealing. (He was dating her on the side, so it was a bittersweet parting.) This meant Ray was working double shifts while he looked for a replacement. He lamented that he had more free time to enjoy life when he drove a beer truck.
Ray will admit he is less happy today than on the beer route, because he now has to eat way more shit sandwiches than ever before.
Ray eats shit sandwiches served by his customers (he used to kick out the complainers before he realized that all of his regulars were complainers), he eats shit sandwiches served by his landlord (he never generated enough cash flow to purchase the physical building in which his bar is located), and he even eats shit sandwiches from the very beer delivery guys that now run his old route. Shit sandwiches, you should know by now, are generally served from all angles.
Ray was, by all accounts, better off delivering beer than he is as a bar owner. He had paid vacations, tenure, great health insurance, and he was home early almost every day. The issues he had to deal with were not unreasonable or even that plentiful – Ray could just never get over having to eat shit sandwiches.
As Ray has learned too late, you cannot avoid eating shit sandwiches if your goal is to be anything but homeless. They will just be waiting for you… growing.