An episode of Undercover Boss highlights the auto repair company, Maaco. In the usual form of Undercover Boss epsiodes, The President of Maaco visited several retail outlets to study, undercover, the people and operations of the business to learn what the employees “on the ground” or “in the trenches” are really thinking.
In the three retail outlets visited by the company President, there were employees who explained how they became employees of the company and the journeys they in life took to get to where they are. Each of the key employees had compelling stories that were fundamentally based in fatherhood.
In the first retail center, an employee explained that he had spent time in jail and was now trying to stay focused and turn his life around. He specifically notes that the first half of his life had been a selfish existence, based on giving into his own desires and impulses. But he is now dedicating the second half of his life to his kids, who have been deprived of a father due to his time in jail and in other negligent pursuits. This man recognized that he now had obligations to people other than himself. He was now a father- and his own desires have to come second to that job.
In the next retail center, a man in his 60’s, a former military man, was moving cars around the lot all day in the heat of Summer and the freezing cold of Winter. He told the company President his story, which began in a youth with five siblings and an absent father. He explained that he held eight part-time jobs while in high school to help his mother support his family. He implied that his iron work ethic was likely tied to these humble and difficult beginnings.
In the third retail center, the President met a man whose story started in a home with a stepfather he disliked, which turned him into the streets. This ultimately lead to crime and prison time. After the President gave the man a chunk of money for a college fund and a vacation for his children, the man said, “It’s nice to see that someone cares. At one point in my life, I thought nobody cared”.
The moral of this story is that each of these men’s stories, pasts and futures, revolved around the idea of fatherhood and how it played and plays into their lives. Fatherhood strongly influenced the pasts and the futures of these men. One man became more focused and disciplined in his life without a father, where there would be no food for the family if he did not work; one man went off the beaten path and found trouble and prison; and one man is using his job as a father to keep his life on track. This is not uncommon. If you study many men and women, you can trace their experiences and values to the kind of father from which they benefited or suffered- or (for men) to the kind of father they themselves decided to be.
Unfortunately, there’s no Maaco for kids where they pay a fee and their damage gets repaired. But you can be the fix. Reach out today to a youth you know who lacks a father in his or her life. You may change the course of that life.