Monday, October 31, 2005

The Bitters

Eli 4.2 had a Halloween party at his pre-school this morning.

I saw all the classic archetypes while I was there: Ritalin kid, crying kid, runny nose kid. Most of them, though, seemed really well-adjusted and composed to be so young, which was nice to see.

Even at four, costumes seem to fall into a few broad categories. The little girls (ages 3-6) were either princesses (mostly) or witches. The little boys were superheroes.

Eli? Buzz Lightyear. With Superman pajamas underneath. A superhero underneath a superhero.

Something happened while I was at the school that I wanted to tell you about. This school has enough parking for teachers and 15-20 additional spots for parents dropping off and picking up their children, but there are 70+ kids in the school. That means when they have one of these little party events, there's nowhere to park.

Next door to the school is a photographer who is apparently the Boo Radley of parking. He's very angry about parents parking in his totally empty lot (about six spaces) during special school events. I even saw him on the steps lecturing someone as I was leaving, gesturing with his hands in an angry manner.

It's a great example of how bitterness affects the ability to succeed. This guy is a portrait photographer, if the pictures in his window are any indication. He has a huge untapped market right next door to his business. Instead of arguing with people, he should have opened up his parking lot to the school in exchange for permission to put flyers on the windshields of the cars in both his parking lot and the school lot. Maybe he could have even gotten the teachers to make a short announcement about his willingness to open up the parking lot during special school events, and how he was offering a small discount to families with students attending the school.

In other words, he could have made some money, and it could have turned into more money. It was a perfect business opportunity. Instead, Mr. Bitterman is famous at the school for being an angry jerk. Good job.

I went across the street from the school to a florist and told them that if they'd let me park there for thirty minutes, then I'd buy some flowers when I came back. Which they did, and I did. They made a sale. Gloria got some flowers. I got a parking space.

I told them I'd see them in December for the holiday party.

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