A Few, Heartfelt Words about the Value of Work and Thanksgiving

Before I worked for money I had chores. My parents believed assigning chores was an essential part of raising children, so we all had our assignments.

In June Glaser’s house you didn’t get by because you made your bed and picked up your clothes. You pulled weeds, did the dishes, burned trash (remember when you could still do that?) and an assortment of other household tasks that I now understand would have been easier for my parents to do themselves. They wanted us to know the value of a job well done, though I doubt most of the chores were done very well at all. I’m thankful I did chores.

My first job (chores for money – a real promotion) was for my Uncle Maris and Aunt Joan. I was eleven years old and my job was to walk down a field of soybeans with a hoe and remove any weeds. The job sounds straightforward, but the truth was I didn’t know a soybean from a milkweed. Uncle Maris had to keep a sharp eye on me. An eleven year old was as apt to decrease yields as to improve them. Fortunately for me they were benevolent employers. My pay was $2.00/hour (at which I was seriously overpaid). I can never thank Uncle Maris and Aunt Joan enough.

At the age of seventeen I left behind the world of hourly wages for good and became a waiter at a Perkins restaurant in Urbandale. Every waiter/waitress is a business unto themselves within the restaurant they work, and once again, I was in over my head. I can remember coming home and telling my father I was the sorriest waiter in town, literally. I would spend an entire shift telling my tables “I’m sorry I forgot that item, I’m sorry I dropped that on your lap,” etc. etc. The night shift manager was Dixie Brown and she took pity on me. Dixie would spend hours watching me, correcting my efforts and building something useful out of a truly worthless teenage waiter. I worked for Dixie for seven years and I still think she knew more about customer service than anyone I ever met on Wall Street. I am grateful I got to be one of Dixie’s crew.

Today, some would describe me as self-employed. While I am the founder of Iowa Wealth Management, I don’t see it that way. I have clients and they have hopes and dreams, wants and needs. Happily, I work for every one of them, they are my employers. I have the good fortune of playing a role in their lives and while that role carries a fair amount of responsibility for all of us at Iowa Wealth Management, it also provides our careers with meaning. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, this is the best job I’ve ever had. In fact it’s the best career I could have ever hoped for.

Having clients is a privilege. Everyone at Iowa Wealth Management knows this to be true and not just at this time of year. Among our many blessings we are thankful for our clients, and the trust they have placed in us.