Stories From A Motorcycle Road Trip

He had been married, as he said, “forever,” and together with his wife had raised three children into adulthood, all of whom are now college graduates without the burden of school loans. Besides being free of debt, they all make more money than he does. For him and his wife, the reward is seven grandchildren, with the eighth due in a few months. 

Although his job, selling paint, may not seem that exciting, for him it was rewarding enough to live the American Dream. He sells automotive paint to body shops. He explained that his business is recession proof. The more cars on the road, the more accidents, the more need for repairs. And because the repairs are paid for by insurance companies, the state of the economy, good or bad, does little to impact demand. The only problem is the lack of painters. It takes a great amount of skill to professionally apply automotive coatings today. The paints are mostly metallic flake, plus an application of a clear coat. It takes the ability of a chemist and an artist to properly prepare and apply paints. Just about every shop he calls on are in need of painters. An added bonus is that they make more than many college graduates do in this country.

A Widow on Disability - $50 is a Big Incentive

At one of our stops, I noticed that people were entering and exiting one of the meeting rooms of the hotel. My curiosity was peaked, and I moseyed over to ask a woman what was going on. Come to find out, a University was conducting a research study, and the reward for sitting down in front of a computer screen answering 250 true or false questions was a prepaid $50.00 credit card. 

Being the skeptic I am, I asked her if the credit card was real. Her immediate response was yes! She said she had taken the survey the day before and had already spent the money. She was there waiting on three of her four adult children whom she had gathered and brought in to get their $50.00. 

She had a little time, so we talked for a bit. She said she had worked in housekeeping at the hotel after her husband died, until something happened which qualified her for Social Security Disability. She and her husband had raised four children, and she has a “whole bunch” of grandkids. Three of her four children were having rough times, so the $50 would come in handy. The fourth owns a small business with her husband. As with most parents, she was proud of each and every one of her kids, struggling or not. 

I inquired about the rough time the kids are having. She said it was hard to find a good paying job, and they were having to work jobs that only paid close to minimum wage. She had hopes that they could get a job with the new Proctor & Gamble factory being built. The boys were hoping to get a job there with higher pay and benefits. 

This brought up another question. I wondered if the boys had health insurance now. She did not really know. She did let me know that the grandkids do get state insurance and all three were getting help with food stamps. I let her know that I am happy there is a safety net to help people like her boys who are trying hard to raise their kids. And that I hope they get those jobs at Proctor & Gamble.

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Disclosure: Anderson Griggs & Company, Inc., doing business as Anderson Griggs Investments, is a registered investment adviser.  Anderson Griggs only conducts business in states and ...

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