Tragedy Brings Introspection -- DeWese
Then came September 11, 2001, and my column seems unimportant. I have to be in a mood to write these things and the day after the tragedy I was in the same angry, despondent and dark mood as the rest of the American citizens. I doubt that, by the time you read this, you'll be in a mood that is receptive to the inane banality often found in my column.
That horrible day has reminded me that lifetimes are too short. Many lives in Washington, New York and Pennsylvania were ended well before the victims had a chance to do all the loving, giving, working and achieving for which they were entitled. This has made me resolve, at age 59, to try even harder to be the best that I can be in doing what I do.
I have too much responsibility to my family, my clients, my country, my fellow citizens and myself to do otherwise. Being the best I can be will be hard because fundamentally I am a flawed human who, on occasion, is given to laziness and sloppiness. Thank goodness I've lost the weight and have more energy; now I have more stamina and I'm not so sleepy. That will help with the laziness. Sloppiness will take some work.
I feel guilty that it took a tragedy of unprecedented magnitude to get me to do some self-examination and resolve to do better. Maybe some of you print salespeople have reacted similarly.
Speaking of dates and of self-improvement—I went to a huge flea market on Labor Day. At one booth I found three tall stacks of printing trade journals from the 1940s and 1950s. I bought all of them. In fact, there were 85 of these antique magazines. I found an article in the March 1952 issue of Printing Magazine titled "What Makes a Star Salesman?" The author was not identified. I thought you might like to see that not much has changed in nearly 50 years. Here are some excerpts: