Positively the Most Positive Person I Know

It’s easy in any working world to become calloused and beat down. Balancing work with home life is very tricky and the stress becomes immeasurable sometimes. I’ve often forgot that a job is a job is a job. Then I met Vernon.

Vernon worked as a construction superintendent at the South Carolina electronics plant. In my job as a project engineer, I worked closely with Vernon and his crew to execute the capital improvements that were my responsibility. Vernon has to be the most positive man I’ve ever met.

I never, and I mean never, heard a negative word come out of his mouth. His job required him to supervise a complex group of craftsmen, electricians, carpenters, and millwrights, in addition to keeping his customer, our plant, happy. The plant’s chief engineer, a stickler for details and cost control, wasn’t the easiest guy to get along with, but Vernon never seemed to mind.

I found out after having worked alongside him for a few years, that he was from Alabama and one of his sons had played football for the Crimson Tide. Tragically, his son was killed in a car accident, I believe. Yet, Vernon kept on going. He was proud of the Tide. I understood why.

He was always looking to cheer everyone up and never gave the impression that he ever had a bad day.

“What’s wrong there?” he’d say, noting I had a frown on my face. “Someone lick the red off your candy cane?”


Sure it was corny, but coming from Vernon, I didn’t cringe. He made me smile every time and I soon was in a better mood.

I tried to use a little of Vernon’s magic later on my teenagers. My advice? Don’t ever try using that on a teenager. It backfired like crazy on mine!


About stemzandroses

I'm an engineer and writer with a built-in need to share my nearly 40 years of experience working in a male-dominated field with the rest of the world.
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