Friday, July 20, 2012

You Can't Beat The Price

To my son Tommy,

    I recently received the privilege of getting a company vehicle to drag my butt back and forth between home and work.  It is an old pick up, got over 200k miles on it, got some rust underneath, too big for me and for the street we live on, got mismatched doors, got some big plow hitch on the front, get maybe 15 miles per gallon, AC doesn't work, and is very loud when you hit the accelerator or even just idling. 

   As I was coming home last night, I was driving down Aldershot and saw your Uncle Chris, your cousin Ryan, your Pop-pop and your Bwam-ma.  It was the first time they had seen me in the company truck and we all got a good laugh on how loud it was.  But as I was leaving I heard Pop-pop say "Yeah but you can't beat the price!".

    He is totally correct.  The company pays for the gas for my roughly 70 mile (approx 35 miles each way) a day commute now.  That is huge when money is tight like it is with our family.  It is even a bigger deal with the fluctuations in gas pricing due to wars, terrorism, politics, greed, weather, and all the many factors that can increase the average guys burden at the pump.  I suppose I could have just asked for a gas card and kept driving the old 95 Merc Tracer Wagon...but there is wear and tear, and oil changes, and upkeep and all that is being paid by the company as well.

   But the idea of "you can't beat the price" stuck in my head.  It has taken me many years to realize nothing is free.  Even this "free" truck to commute comes with expenses. Perhaps that will limit my chance for a raise.  I am also more dependent on the company.  The fact that it is a big pick up makes it so I might have to do some loading/delivery things as well for the company.  And who knows what happens this winter when they need their snow plow truck running again.

    So nothing is free my son.  There is an expense to everything.  And somethings in the world are worth the extra bucks too.  Just because you can get something cheaper doesn't mean it is the best option.  For example, some of your most unhealthy foods are your cheapest foods.  Fast food dollar menus, you can't beat the price.  Of course you are not factoring in the cost of your future health problems if all you eat are cheeseburgers.  Then that dollar menu item has to be averaged out with that $20,000 heart by pass surgery.

    I got home and as I parked this behemoth by pulling it up on the curb slightly so it doesn't get side swiped and people can get by our narrow street, I saw out of the corner of my eye a little blonde fellow eagerly peering out the window yelling to his Mommy that Daddy was home.  As I unlocked the door I was greeted by a "Good to see you Daddy" and a great big hug.  That hug has a price too.  Every dime I spent in my life; every item I bought in my life, from diapers and toys to the very first drink I bought your Mom to try to get her to pay attention to me; every minute I worked in my life and tried to do my job the best I can so I can get money and health insurance and all the basic necessities paid for; every moment I spent worrying about you and loving you and being with you;  all this can be factored in on the cost of that hug.  And the next hug will have cost even more as another 24 hours will have past with all new expenses.   But you know what buddy?  You can't beat the price!

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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