Trading Lunches

Growing up, the hottest commodity on the ESLI (Elementary School Lunch Index) were Fruit Gummy Candy (Fruit by the Foot, Fruit Roll Up, Gushers (premium)), Go-Gurt, Kudos and String Cheese. If you walked into the lunch room ready to deal with one of these items you could do pretty well for yourself. If it was close to the end of your parent’s pay period and your lunch had granola bars or fruit in there, you were desperate to start making some moves. If you were sitting still when the lunch trading floor opened, you were already behind. Pokemon cards were lost. Doritos were spilled. Kids got in trouble.

That was fun to write.

Since most (all) of the people that I know and work with don’t work on THE Street, this kind of thing is no longer routine, but it taught a lot of us the value of commodities at a real early age. Most don’t think about it but we are still making lunch trades every day. We the employers have time and labor to trade our employers for money.

The reason I bring all of this up is because I have been trying to figure out how to put knowledge about how to transform things with data into the hands of other people and sometimes if you just make things look awesome they will come to you, and you might learn something in the process.

My wife and I bought a house and have done a total gut and renovation. Which is stressful.

I would say that I am pretty resourceful. I somehow have a guy for everything. Taxes, car repair, home renovation, athletic training, graphic design, etc. You never want to take advantage of those relationships so you always want to make sure you are giving something back. Everything has a going rate. If you help me move in an afternoon you get pizza and a case of beer. Anyway, my wife picked out this awesome tile and we got some bids and it is STUPID expensive to lay tile. So I talked to one of my house guys about what it would take for me to do it and he was like, well let me come over and look at it and we can chat.

Saturday he came to my house and took a look and started squaring up one of the rooms to see how it would work. It took about two hours but he laid the first tile. I was watching art in motion. During this time he started asking me about what I do at Knight and said “Do you do Power BI?”and I was like “YES?!?” To which he asked if I would teach him. So we talked about that for a little while and I am going to get some really sound help installing tile while spreading the good word that is Business Intelligence and maybe some SQL stuff.


This whole thing is dope and it helped me begin to see some things that I have been trying to practice bear/bare (sometimes English is stupid) fruit.

  1. It’s one thing to write about how excited I am about what I am doing. It’s another thing to live it. If I am able to show my excitement to a guy who doesn’t know what he is getting into in a way that makes him want to get into it, that is cool.
  2. How do we build this army? In my last post I talked about taking bets on people. I think that in the future, I am going to write a whole post about how I prefer to implement this, but essentially I think it branches into a concept that is as simple as “loving other people”. I say it’s simple, but some people have a harder time picking it up than others. He is going to take care of me and my house and I am going to teach the heck out of some SQL and Power BI. There is some nurturing going on there. (Without getting soap-boxy, I believe that we can solve some problems in almost any work place with this.)
  3. Not only am I going to get some severely discounted renovations done, but when we are done, this guy is going to have the crazy ability to transform his career and his life. (He doesn’t lay tile professionally, it’s just something he knows how to do. I don’t have anything negative to say about people who are able to use their hands to support a lifestyle, I often find myself jealous in fact.)
  4. I never thought I would be talking about Go-Gurt on this blog.

I am excited!

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