88. Every Day Is Monday

88. Every Day Is Monday

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength

Every Day Is Monday

Find a job you like and you add five days to every week.

~H. Jackson Brown

Every day is Monday, eight days a week. That’s my motto. As I climbed the ladder to start my day, I was thinking there was not enough time in the day, week, even the month to do all the work that comes my way.

It was the same routine every day. Wake up early, call the boss, get an address, work ten, twelve, sometimes fourteen hours, go home exhausted, fall asleep, get up and do it again. After years of working “eight days a week,” I made my phone call one morning to hear, “I’m sorry Bill. I’ve got nothing going on today. Things seem to be slowing down.”

Eight days a week soon became six, then five and three. Before I knew it, the routine call became, “Sorry Bill, I’ve got nothing for you to do. It’s gotten to where I don’t have anything to do. I’ll call you when some work comes in.” After waiting every day for the next week, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I picked up the phone and called my boss. “Sorry, Bill. I’ve got nothing.”

One day off was great, two days was even pretty nice, but now it had been almost three weeks. I had called every roofer I knew and got the same response. “Sorry Bill, we don’t have anything going on.”

Panic started to set in. I paced around the house, noticing the stack of bills growing with each day’s mail delivery. For the first time in my life I had no idea how I would live. I went out to the back yard. Perfect roofing weather, I muttered to myself.

My eyes stung with tears until I couldn’t hold them back. As they spilled down my face, I had a complete emotional meltdown. For the first time, I felt like I needed some divine intervention. I looked at the sunlight glistening through the trees and in a weak voice said, “Jesus, I need some help. I don’t know what to do.”

At that moment I heard a knock at the front door. I pulled myself together, wiping my face on my shirtsleeve as I went to the door where I found an old friend.

“Hey, how’s it going?”

I responded with a weak smile. “I’m okay.”

“I want a rematch on that last game of pool we played. Let’s go shoot a few rounds.”

“I don’t know,” I hedged. “Money’s a little tight.”

“Forget about it. I’ve got a pocket full of quarters.”

Reluctantly I agreed. Walking towards the pool hall, I was still distracted by my current predicament. As we walked in I heard somebody call my name. I scanned the room until I saw a familiar face, a carpenter I had worked with years earlier was standing in the corner with his arm raised.

“Hey Bill,” he said as I walked over. “I got a job for you.” Excitement laced with anxiety raced through my body. “I’ve already talked to the homeowner and told him you’re the best. The job is yours,” he said and handed me a card with the contact information. “Just give him a call.”

A wave of relief washed over me.

I met with the homeowner the next day and started working right away. This was a huge help, but it didn’t get me out of my trouble. As I finished, I was thinking if I could just land three or four more jobs like this one . . . when I heard the homeowner call me from the ground.

“Hey Bill, my neighbor Tom across the street wants to talk to you about his roof.”

I went across the street when I finished cleaning up and put my tools in my truck. I spoke to Tom and agreed to start his roof as soon as I could get the materials delivered. Over the next few days I felt a little better. I was close but not quite out of the hole yet. Pondering how to jump that last hurdle, my thoughts were interrupted by a man walking by.

“Hey, Roofer,” he called. “My name’s Joe. I live down the street in that white house. Will you stop by when you’re done?”

“Absolutely!” I said.

Later that afternoon I shook hands with Joe and we agreed I would start his roof next. As I walked to my truck doing my best to control my joy, wanting to scream out my excitement, Joe called out, “By the way, my neighbors on both sides will be watching you.”

“Great!” I said with a genuine smile.

I roofed five houses on that block, one right after the other. When my next bank statement arrived all I could do was sit and stare at it, thinking that I could actually be my own boss.

A few weeks later I again called my old boss. “Sorry Bill,” he said, “I don’t have anything for you.”

“That’s okay,” I said. “I actually was calling to see if you wanted to do some work for me.”

That was during the worst recession since the Great Depression. I started my own business and have been working steadily ever since. The business has grown every year and continues to do so.

Every day is Monday, eight days a week. That’s my motto.

~Bill Young

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