Amos the Engineer
Walking through Walmart is an interesting way to meet people. As I approach the Walmart Vision Center, there is an older man in a lab coat, looking down at his paperwork. He sits alone, in the back of the vision center, at a desk behind a computer.
It's a cool rainy Sunday evening, about 7pm, not many people in the store tonight. I walk in, and head straight for the Men's glasses wall. I already know what I'm looking for, generally. I want glasses with built in removable sunglass, that clip on through magnets. I've had a paid for years, and I want a new pair. Surprisingly, these are hard to find this year. Most places do not carry them, and didn't know about them. No surprisingly, Walmart has two rows of them from two different companies. Hurrah!
The gentlemen stands up and approaches. The first thing I notice, besides his white lab coat, is how tall he is. He's well over 6' tall, I have to bend my head backward to look up at him. He's definitely older, not sure how old (70's?). His name tag says Amos.
He proceeds to tell me about the Walmart way of doing glasses, the warranties, the time frames, the costs. Then he starts to explain the individual components and features of the two brands. And this is when my world changed for an hour. He was fascinating. It could be the that the input and learner sides of my personality were kicking into high gear, but I was engrossed.
He handed me a pair of glasses with a particularly interesting feature. The Hinge is built in like a socket, and can move 360*. The EasyClip's are my favorite.
Amos proceeded with his own level of enjoyment and fascination, to explain the hinge system and how it works, the materials they were made out of, the process through which they make the special lenses.
We settled on a pair for him to write up, and sat down at the desk. I was enjoying his passion for the topic. I probed and asked questions. In 1964, Amos was one of the chief engineers that helped develop the Raised Pavement Markers we use in the US today. Of course the patents went to the people funding the research. He went on to start his own engineering company, helped develop the standards for Auto Manufacturers lighting equipment (think headlights and tail lights).
After he retired, he didn't want to sit on his butt all day, so he came to work part time for Walmart, using his passion for engineering to discuss eye glasses.
This got me thinking... everyone has a story
Some of the best lessons I've learned in life were from people I met in the course of my day (work, shopping, etc). What do to, not to do; what works and doesn't; etc...
A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. BUT, a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.
I don't know that I learned any mistakes from Amos, but I learned a lot about glasses, which ones will work best for me. I learned that there is a lot more to the person you pass by than first meets the eye.
Your Turn: What's your story?
Tell the LIFE community about a story you encountered this week, and what you learned from it.
Storyteller, Creative, INFJ, Intellection, Ideation, Input, Learner, Achiever
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