Last modified August 7th, 2009

Richard Giesey Stories


OK. First of all, I have a very special place in my heart for Richard Giesey. At the time I worked at SSI, he was some sort of silent benefactor of mine, some sort of defender. He seemed wiser and older than I was, and there were more than a few scrapes where his wisdom and restraint helped me immeasurably. He was regional manager over me in South Florida for a while, then a store manager (not sure what order it happened, but he ran South Miami 093 for a while while I ran North Miami 074 and Fort Lauderdale 078.) And once he went away to corporate, I had a special and great friend who watched out for me from afar.

I don't know if HE knows how I feel about him, but there it is.

There was some sort of phone prank incident that he did to me once from 093, and I don't exactly remember what it was, but I was incredibly pissed and took it really REALLY hard. He realized this, and I think it changed our relationship and perhaps it is what caused him to take me under his wing a bit. You'll have to ask him.

Story 1: Brand new TV!!!

OK This story is totally my fault and I have felt stupid for 22 YEARS about what happened. As a matter of fact, it scarred me so indelibly that it formed all of my future behavior relating to doing business, to this very day. So it's not a slam to Richard - it is a total admission of my youthful stupidity and how I got him wrapped up in it.

The place was North Miami 074, circa 1987. We were busy and the phones were ringing, and this guy who happened to be colored came to the front door in a sort of shady way. (I don't call him out by his race to be racist here - it is important to the story so you can conjure an image of the kind of "hustler type" of guy he looked like. No insult meant here. If you know me at all, you know I grew up very cosmopolitan, never ever racist, and I cherish my many friends of all colors.) This guy strolls up with shifty eyes and starts telling me he has a super deal for me.

He has a TV in a brand new box. He opens the box and shows me the TV and he tells me he has about 10 of them on a truck right there. Now this whole thing is going down on the front patio of the old Kinney's style store - right outside the front doors. Customers are walking in and out, we are busy and crazy, which just added to the problem.

He tells me he only has ten and he asks me to go in and ask the crew if anybody else wants to get in on the deal. So of course I walk in and tell everybody, and Giesey asks me something along the lines of "did you see the TV's? Are they new? Do you think the guy is for real?" and such. Of course I say yes, and he whips out his briefcase and writes the store a check to get $100 for himself so he can get in on the deal.

I trot back out front and hand the guy $200 and he says something like, "Ok follow me" and then in some 19 year old induced whirl of stupidity, I get handed down two heavy TV boxes and he kind of overwhelms me on the tarmac and drives off into oblivion. I struggle with the two boxes and drag them into the store, SO PROUD of myself for my huge business acumen and superior dealmaking skills.

I am sure you have all figured out the punch line on this story. By the time I had dragged the two boxes in, the two cinderblocks had made their way out of the bottom of the boxes. I had been had. Been had so HUGELY and completely, I felt like the biggest moron on the planet earth. I actually don't remember if they were cinder blocks or something else that was heavy. Richard, do you remember?

As I said before, Richard was wise beyond his years. He knew what I had just experienced and how epic and humiliating the failure was that I had just experienced. He said very little, and we never spoke of it again. Man was I ever a dumbass. I don't know if he ever told ANYBODY about it. It never came up and nobody ever said a word about it to this day, so maybe this story would have gone to the grave with him and me if I did not blab it right here.

I guess the good news is that I have never lost another dime due to charlatans, crooks or scumbags being able to run a scam on me. I am so hyper-sensitive to being taken for a fool that it has never happened again. So, I guess that was worth $200. Too bad Richard had to pay $100 of it. Richard, I'm sorry man! I owe you a steak dinner and a bottle of wine.