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WITandWISDOM(tm) - May 20, 2003
"Speak when you are angry--and you will make the best speech you'll ever regret." - Laurence J. Peter
Source: Marty's Joke of the Day, http://www.geocities.com/martysjotd
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
Taskmasters don't come much tougher than Bob Thompson. For 40 years, from April to December, he would push his road and highway workers hard, six days a week, to finish the job before the first frost. Their loyalty and sweat helped make Thompson a very rich man.
Last July, Thompson returned the favor: he sold his company, Michigan's largest asphalt and paving business, and gave his 550 current and retired employees a $128-million chunk of his gains. Even workers' surviving spouses got checks. Ninety employees became instant millionaires.
Thompson started Thompson-McCully Co. with $3,500 that his wife, Ellen, had earned substitute-teaching. It was rough going, and for the first five years, Thompson didn't draw a salary. "You realize that the people around you have gone through all the pain and suffering with you," says Thompson, 67. "I wanted to pay them back."
Pete Mott, 69, who worked for Thompson for 33 years before retiring in 1992, is one of the millionaires. "It takes a while to sink in," says the former plant supervisor. He hasn't decided what he'll do with the windfall, but says of the boss who bestowed it, "He wouldn't ask you to do anything he wouldn't do himself. Even if he had his suit on, he'd jump right in if you needed a hand."
When the checks were handed out, Thompson stayed away. "I didn't want to be there," he says. "It gets too emotional."
Why did he share the wealth with his workers? "It was the right thing to do," he says.
By Christina Cheakalos and Kelly Williams in People Weekly
Source: Reader's Digest, Copyright (c) March 2000, http://www.readersdigest.com/
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
San Bernardino, California (Los Angeles Times):
Relying on the assumption that people love freebies and can't read foreign languages, San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies arrested 10 wanted people on Thursday by luring them to Big Bear to receive a free pair of hiking boots made by "Stockdum Scelestus" _ meant to be a mix of German and Latin meaning "utterly stupid criminal."
The sting, arranged by Sgt. Brooke Wagner and staged by eight other deputies, began with postcards mailed to 160 people wanted on felony or multiple-infraction warrants.
"If this postcard has been sent to you, you have been chosen to participate in this free giveaway. All you need to do is come to the Big Bear Elks Lodge," the postcard read.
Wagner wore street clothes for the sting. To get it started, he tucked an empty shoe box under his arm and shouted, "Thanks for the boots," to no one in particular as he walked past a line of people entering the lodge where empty boxes of Red Wing and Rockport boots were stacked.
Wagner said he heard someone react with excitement: "Hey! This is real!"
Those summoned to the lodge were asked to present the postcard and identification to a receptionist.
After the identification was confirmed and suspects provided the deputy with their shoe size, they were instructed to walk downstairs to a room, where they were arrested.
"The looks on their faces were priceless," Wagner said.
Those arrested had warrants for offenses such as felony forgery, drug violations and drunk driving.
Source: White Board News, http://www.joeha.com/whiteboard/
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
Using a new painting program on my computer, I managed to come up with a very credible still life of fruit. I made a color printout and sent it to my daughter, a graphic designer. She called when it arrived.
"Isn't it good?" I asked.
She chuckled, and in a tone that echoed mine from years ago, replied, "Mom, it's beautiful. We put it on the refrigerator."
Source: Pulpit Supply, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
How Much Does it Cost to Climb Everest?
By Neetu Singh, Chennai, India
A standard guiding fee will set you back about $65,000. Sounds steep, until you consider the costs factored into the price - such as climbing Sherpas (seven per six-person party, at $5,000 a head), yaks ($5,000), and oxygen ($23,000). On top of the fee, airfare to Kathmandu is about $1,500 (from the U.S.), gear another $8,000.
Source National Geographic Adventure, May 2003, http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure