The Banker in a Bar


Last week, my truck was having issues, so I put it in the shop in Lubbock, TX. My company got me a hotel (with a bar) where I spent my first night talking to strangers.

I moseyed up to the bar and asked the older gentleman if anyone was sitting in the empty chair. He said no, so I hopped right up and ordered a double-tall Jack and Coke (my go-to drink when I’m pissed off).

A lady came up to the opposite side, looked at the star emblem on his shirt and asked if he was a cop.

“No, did you do something in order to need a cop?” he joked.

She threw back her head and laughed, “You don’t want to know all the things I’ve done to get in trouble with the cops!”

IMG_4205Note: This was a third-rate hotel and the patrons of the bar were less than desirable.  In fact, I wouldn’t have doubted if most the women were prostitutes and half the men were there for drugs. But who am I to judge?

I butted my nose into their conversation – it’s something I’m good at when I have something to say. “Oh, it does look like a badge,” I told him.

He laughed and asked me what I was drinking. I told him what I was doing at the hotel. Come to find out he was a vice president of a prominent local bank in the area. He told me that he comes here often to have a couple drinks and leaves before the nightlife becomes the wildlife. I’m sure he came to this bar because no one was going to judge him of his position, much less know who he was as his clients were mostly big ranchers and farmers. I don’t blame him as that’s the kind of place I used to hang out to hide from parents of my students when I taught.

Somehow we got on the topic of finances after me telling him my story of being a trucker and everything I did up to that point. I told him how I was saving up to buy a house in the country somewhere in central Texas. His nugget of wisdom was to read “The Richest Man in Babylon” –a book I had heard of, but never paid any attention to seeing as how I’m an atheist and it sounded a little too biblical to me.

“It changed my life,” said the man who had once been a lobbyist at the capitol. “I’d give you a copy of it but I don’t have any on me.”

He kept many copies in his office and only offered one to people he thought were financially-minded and would benefit from the book. I told him I’d check it out. The principle being that you save and invest, something I am very interested in doing now that I’m getting back on my feet.

I went to the book store yesterday, but they didn’t have it in stock. I’ll have to order it online I suppose. But I did purchase “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. Several of the financial and business podcasts I listen to highly recommend it. I’ll give a review when I’m done. Until then, if you have read either of these books and care to share your thoughts in the comments below, please do!

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