MRO Magazine

What’s love got to do with it? Valentines Day and the Paper Mill advisor

Feb. 10, 2003 -- Valentines Day is coming up very soon -- Friday, in fact. I have finished most of my Valentine sho...


Industry

February 10, 2003
By MRO Magazine
MRO Magazine

Feb. 10, 2003 — Valentines Day is coming up very soon — Friday, in fact. I have finished most of my Valentine shopping so I am feeling pretty good. I always buy stuff for Valentines Day, although I didn’t always think this way. I owe it to my friend Bob.

Many years ago I worked in a paper mill and Bob was one of the older guys who worked on the paper machines. The guys on the paper machines were not the most genteel lot. They were working guys, salt of the earth types. Let’s just say that, for them, a course on the fine points of etiquette would not be a refresher.

Anyway, many years ago, I was talking to Bob on Valentines Day. I happened to mention that I hadn’t bought anything for my wife yet and might just skip Valentines that particular year. I remember the look of complete and utter dismay on his face as he asked, “What are you, nuts?”

With paper mill guys you can never be sure if they are pulling your leg. But now feeling a little nervous, I replied “Well its not like we were just married …,” but before I could continue I was interrupted by a story about what he was getting for his sweetheart — flowers, chocolates and a card.

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He sternly warned me not to go home without getting something. I told him that maybe he was right and I would have to re-think it a bit. As he walked away, he stopped, turned around, and said “Trust me. Do the Valentines thing. Think of it as insurance, if you must. But go out and get a card and a gift or two or three. You won’t regret it.”

My friend had been down that road before. Although he would often enjoy pulling a practical joke, I could tell this was not one of those times. This was serious stuff. Valentines was not something to be trifled with. So that evening before I went home I bought some flowers and chocolates and a card — your basic Valentine staples.

Over the years, I can say I have learned enough to admit honestly that I don’t really know much about women. But I have not forgotten that bit of advice from my work buddy Bob years ago. It was good advice.

Now, I know there are a few young guys out there — they could be working in paper mills or anywhere in industry — thinking “What does he know?” I simply reply with the wisdom passed on from one who has been there. “Do the Valentines thing. Think of it as insurance, if you must, but go out and get a card and a gift or two or three.”

Trust me, it’s good advice.

Jim Wywrot is a consultant specializing in fans and other rotating equipment — when he’s not turning his thoughts to humorous stories. He’s also one of the Fan Guys from the cartoon column in Machinery & Equipment MRO. He can be reached at jwr@rogers.com.