©2019 by Mark Lipton

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  • Mark Lipton

Now THAT'S Job Security!

My fiancé Guy and I are a good couple; we love spending time together.

For reasons known only to our biology and experiences she is the shellac primer to my knotty-pine: The only thing with even a chance of success!!


A fine catch for a man who wrote “tolerance” under the question: “What characteristics are most important for you to find in a partner?” on my Match.com profile.


Still though, despite the similar interests, great conversation and connection, we enjoy a little space every now-and-again. I shared with you recently that Guy spent a night in DC with her sister, leaving me alone at home.


I enjoyed the time alone.


Shhh….don’t tell Guy I said that! I don’t think she reads everything I write so I may get away with it. Anyway, even great couples need some time apart every now-and-again.


Except it seems for James and Mike.


Mike is the paint guru inside the Benjamin Moore corporate headquarters. That’s not his official title, though it could be! Talk about job security: the anointed paint-guru at a renowned paint company!

Last week I was sitting in Mike’s office learning why Benjamin Moore needs 300+ eggshells when James walked in and told me I was in his seat.


I thought it was just a case of the old-timers punking the rookie! Paint people can get wild you know!


Turns out that Mike and James share an office and I was literally sitting in James’ seat!


They spend the better part of everyday together in their office: making paint better. Unless they’re in charge of making it worse which I suppose is possible. But either way, they spend 8-10 hours of work per day sharing a 10x10 cell….uh…..office!


Which is why I was so surprised when I walked into the cafeteria and there were James and Mike: having lunch together!


I got lucky I guess and don’t have to share my office but if I do end up sharing one one-day, here’s a note to my would-be office-mate: I’ll be eating alone!


There’s only so much of myself I can stand; and even less of you!

Last week I attended the Benjamin Moore National Sales conference in Washington, DC. This was my first “official” event, though I didn’t have an official role in the meeting. As a matter of fact, my invite must have gotten lost in the mail because I had to ask if I could go!! I’ll have to check with HR to make sure they have my address correct.


The four-day event was in Washington, DC. Busses for all left from the Montvale office but at 56, I like to be in charge of my own bathroom breaks, so I drove! Thankfully, I’m a consultant and not an employee so the requirement to take the bus happily didn’t apply to me!


It’s a small victory; but I’d rather have the healthcare!


Anyway, who wants to be stuck on a bus when a fight over “which is the best primer to use on galvanized metal?” breaks out? Certainly not me. Unless of course I’ve got Mike the paint guru sitting next to me!


I’ve been going to Benjamin Moore events for most of my adult life and in my experience, they’re generally pretty nice. I was excited to see who gets fed better: dealers or employees?


I’ve got to give this round to the employees!


Of-course there’s more to these shows than just the meals (though I’ll admit to prioritizing the meals pretty high). I can’t eat for four days straight so there needed to be something else going on to carry my interests.


And there was!


The group of 500+ reps and their managers were broken up into teams named after Washington neighborhoods (shout out to my Foggy Bottom teammates). Then, in packs we traveled together from ballroom to ballroom getting updated on new initiatives and any new tools available to reps to help them grow their territory. We even made sales calls together in DC!


My only real task was to get to know as many people as I could. In a company this size I will not get a chance to meet most of my co-workers. Many though, either directly or through their dealer will be affected in some way by my current work and so this was an outstanding opportunity to meet them and speak to them about the work I’m doing.


And of-course, tell a few stories.


Like the time I made my Benjamin Moore rep cry! In a room full of Benjamin Moore employees, that one never gets old.