Writer’s Workshop: The Business of Business is Business

Image by Marcin from Pixabay

In my Saturday post, I talked about my early career and my life as a production supervisor at a food manufacturing company, and thinking about Charles, who was the president of the company and who really built the business after I left. (Not that my working there and leaving had anything to do with the company’s growth.) I mentioned that, having seen the company’s growth, I was sorry that I had left, but you can see things more clearly looking back on them.

The majority of my career was spent at a software company, and the majority of that time was spent as an instructor for several of the company’s products. In those years, I worked with a lot of clients, including federal, state, and local governments, hospitals, grocery chains, retailers, food processors, banks, insurance companies, public utilities, airlines, school boards, universities, heavy manufacturing, and the list goes on. The closer I worked with a company, the more I learned about the company and what they were using our software for. That was the interesting part of the job, learning what the companies did and what types of clients used their services, and how they stayed in business. Sometimes I was called on to help them during a merger, other times during bankruptcy, and still other times during reorganization. That’s where it gets really interesting, because I was called on not just to know how the software worked but something about the business end of it. A friend of mine, who was a CPA, once said that I knew a hell of a lot more accounting than I let on. In my case, it was survival, and I certainly got my money’s worth out of the three accounting courses that I took back in the ’70’s.

I’ve been retired since 2014, not entirely voluntarily. There are times I’ll wake up in the middle of the night with a problem on my mind that I remember solving, and I’ll try to remember what I did then and try to see if I could take a different approach to solving it today. I usually fall asleep before I arrive at an answer…

13 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: The Business of Business is Business

    1. Thanks! By the way, I found a bunch of my prompt books, which I’ll comb through and send you a bunch of suggestions for new prompts. This past week, I had already done several of them and found the last time you asked for prompts…

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  1. That sounds like a great career, John. In my early days, I was the guy who had to talk to the MIS department (the name then) to order and design reports etc. I found it a lot of fun.

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    1. It was interesting seeing how different clients in different industries used the software. No two hospitals did things the same way, for example. I’d tell them how one hospital did something, and they were all, “no, we can’t do it that way.” So I’d figure out how to make it work the way they wanted. It was fun at times, aggravating at others, depending on who I was working with.

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    1. It’s something we all do. The things that stand out in our minds are the challenges we’ve run into and whether or not we were able to resolve them, and how we’d resolve them now, knowing what we know years later. I do that a lot (too much, really…)

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  2. You had a very difficult but interesting job. I am.unsure how you did your job because I have no clue about software but it fascinates me that you worked on companies I all walks of their life whether they were starting out or failing …Sadly. very interesting

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    1. A lot of my job had nothing to do with the software and everything to do with human relations. Sometimes I was there as a referee as clients argued with each other. There were the people who had nothing to do with selecting the software and were upset that it got dumped in their laps, and they would use the software as a scapegoat….

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  3. Hi John – that sounds a fascinating work history … I’d love to spend time chatting and listening to you … so pleased you’ve posted a bit (tiny bit!) about your backstory. Cheers Hilary

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