A Winning Formula

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After I left full-time ministry, but before I became a teacher, I spent three years in sales with Frito Lay, Inc. I was a Route Sales Rep, which is a front-line position selling salty snacks to grocery and convenience stores.

One day, my boss was helping me set up a huge display of potato chips at a grocery store. It was five in the morning, and I had eleven more accounts to visit that day, so I was in a bit of a rush. Pulling a large cart stacked high with boxes of potato chips, I turned a corner too sharply and clipped a huge display of pancake syrup at the end of an aisle. Several glass bottles crashed to the floor, creating a growing pool of sticky brown goo.

I know big boys aren’t supposed to cry, but looking at the mess I’d just made, I started to lose it. To my surprise, my supervisor didn’t berate me. Instead, he came over, put his hands on my shoulders, and said, “Are you ok?”

That’s how it really went down. No joke!

“These things happen,” he said calmly, “I once dropped a pallet of milk off a loading dock!” He then showed me a neat trick: pouring corn meal on icky messes makes them more manageable. After applying a few boxes to the chestnut colored goop, I was able to scrape up the whole mess and finish stocking my display.

My boss knew just how to help me recover from a set back. Instead of coming unglued, he came alongside, giving me the tools to cope with a challenging situation.

Years later, I analyzed what he did, and figured out his winning formula:

How to Come Alongside Someone in Need

  • Ask – “Are you OK?” Recognize that all is not well.
  • Acknowledge – “These things happen sometimes. I once did something similar.” Identify with the situation.
  • Assist – “Let me show you a trick for cleaning this up.” Offer to help.

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

Triple-A: it’s a winning formula for helping others.






44 responses to “A Winning Formula”

  1. Gary Fultz Avatar

    I had a boss like that. A great formula David. I still help out the company a bit tho retired.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Yes, I agree Linda. He set a superb example—one I try to follow as a teacher with my students. Blessings.


  3. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you, Manette Kay!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Linda Avatar

    What a wise boss you had, and a good example. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  5. musingsofmanettekay Avatar

    Nothing wrong with your title. I own it was my swift and incorrect presumption from past experiences… but I knew to continue reading with discernment. You are a good helper/teacher through your blog. Peace and blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you for your honesty, Manette Kay. I’m grateful you kept reading! Maybe I chose the wrong word in my title. My intention was to share a plan, or strategy, not a guarantee. Real life is too complicated and unpredictable to control with formulas and equations. For instance, some who make mistakes don’t want help, sympathy or encouragement. However, I’m a natural helper, so I like to think people will welcome assistance. God Bless, and thanks again for your thoughts. I enjoy your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. musingsofmanettekay Avatar

    David, I confess I first cringed at the word formula. Too often believers try to boil down some aspect of the Christian life into steps or a formula that often results in putting omnipotent God in a box. But I love this post and your formula. You identified easy helpful tools that permit the love of Christ to flow through us. Wow, what a difference if each of us put this tip into practice as God directs divine appointments into our daily lives. Thanks for sharing your story/lesson learned.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thanks, Jeffrey. I hadn’t thought about it that way, but ripples always follow the current downstream. This is why the good ripples should always out number the bad. Thank you, Jeffrey. Have a blessed Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jeffrey H. King Avatar

    Loved this, David! It reminded me of a time when I was an asst. mgr. at fast food place. One of the workers screwed something up. She was clearly scared that she would be chewed out. I assured her I wouldn’t. “You’re not going to yell at me?” “No. Would you learn this lesson better if I did?” “No.” “Then I guess we’re done here.” The smile on her face said it all. I can only hope it was a moment she remembered and paid it forward.

    So, to your point; your boss not only helped you but everyone “downstream” from that event. You pass this lesson on, and we can only wonder how far those ripples will go!!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thanks, Deborah!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. DeborahMarie Avatar

    Great formula! I will remember to use this in the classroom!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you, Alan. God Bless you too, brother.


  13. Alan Kearns Avatar

    That is cool story where just being available in someones time of trouble is all it takes. Sometimes just seeing a need and being willing to get involved is all the witness that is needed. Excellent analysis of the “winning formula” David. God bless you brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. scribelady Avatar

    Wow, that certainly was a grace-filled day! And it all started with your boss choosing to empathize with you. God was working in that grocery store that day!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Viv Avatar

    Those are the best. Blessings!☺

    Liked by 1 person

  16. davidsdailydose Avatar

    And the grocery store manager absorbed the loss—he wouldn’t let me pay for the ruined syrup! Of course I made sure (with blessings from my boss) to provide him a couple of extra boxes of chips at no cost. It was certainly a grace-filled day. Thank you for reading and commenting. Blessings.


  17. scribelady Avatar

    After years of working as cashier in different grocery stores, and watching the reps come in with carts stacked high, I can easily picture the whole situation! Not pretty! I cringed a little before reading your boss’ reaction. I am so glad he came alongside you, and instead of chewing you out, asked how you were, empathized, and helped out. I’m sure you had a much better day afterwards, than had he gotten angry with you. Bless the bosses who understand!
    Thanks for the formula!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. davidsdailydose Avatar

    It’s neat to hear another real world application of the guidance I experienced in my story. Thanks for sharing, Matcha. God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Matcha Avatar

    This is relevant to something that happened yesterday. We use walkies in my job to communicate about patients. One of my staff members called over the walkie and sounded distressed. I came to find her and she was on the floor she had tripped. I did ask if she was okay, told her this happens sometimes and then let her know the next steps, including coming to me so I can assess her. I wasn’t able to do everything I wanted due to time constraints and a flurry of meetings all day. Your post reminded me to check up on her. I had not been able to finish what I wanted to do to help her yesterday, but I can make up for it today. We really do owe each other assistance in times of need.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Me too, Chris! A great boss is always an asset.


  21. Chris Miller Avatar

    Great formula! I’m thankful for the Godly managers who have been in my life.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Ladysag77 Avatar

    Your blog is one I look forward to reading my friend. We are both understanding that it’s always a choice to be loving and kind. Enjoy your weekend too, blessings always🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  23. davidsdailydose Avatar

    I appreciate your thoughts, Beth. It certainly is easy to come unglued sometimes, but way better to come alongside. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Beth Alisan Avatar

    Excellent formula David! Good at all times but especially when working with children. Thank you for sharing! Your words “Instead of coming unglued, he came alongside, giving me the tools to cope with a challenging situation,” made me think of how often Jesus does this in our lives as it says in Hebrews 4:15. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you, Viv. It’s the kind of positive memory one never forgets. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Viv Avatar

    How encouraging David!

    Liked by 3 people

  27. davidsdailydose Avatar

    You’re welcome, Sally. I was fortunate to have a kind boss. We often learn best from those who are kind. I try my best to do this as a teacher. I’m sure you were a kind teacher too. 😀. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Sally Avatar

    Thanks, David for sharing this.
    I will definitely remember to use this kind, and winning formula. 🤗🌷

    Liked by 2 people

  29. davidsdailydose Avatar

    You’re welcome. I appreciate your reading and commenting. I enjoy your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Island Traveler Avatar

    Thank you for today’s wonderful inspiration and motivation. 🙏

    Liked by 2 people

  31. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you for faithfully reading and commenting on my blog. Reading your thoughts reminds me that it’s usually as easy to do something good as to do bad It’s a personal choice. Have a blessed weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Ladysag77 Avatar

    What an inspiring story of human kindness and what happens when we remember our humanity. Such a beautiful experience that could of definitely had another outcome. It’s our connection with others that adds the color and zest to life. Recognizing ourselves in each other, our hearts all beat the same. We do all need a little help sometimes. Blessings to you David and thank you for starting my Saturday with loving kindness with a side of hope for humanity 😊🙏❤

    Liked by 2 people

  33. davidsdailydose Avatar

    I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks, Betty. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you! God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Don't Lose Hope Avatar

    This is a great formula. So simple and so powerful. Thank you. I will definitely use it in the future!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thanks, Vince. You are a great “come along side” person yourself!


  37. Vince Cambron Avatar
    Vince Cambron

    Excellent. Correct in every way.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you, Manu. I appreciate your reading and commenting. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Perth Girl Avatar

    Ask, acknowledge and assist- I really like this and will keep it in mind.
    Thanks David.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Betty Avatar

    David, I love this formula. My first reaction to something like this would be to offer to help, but I really like asking, “Are you ok?” first. We all want someone to care about us, especially at a moment of crisis – big or small. By asking this first, we take care of the most important need first. I’ll remember this going forward. Thanks for another uplifting post.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you! God Bless.


  42. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Yes, Gary was a great boss, and also a committed Christian. I learned a lot about sales, life AND faith from him.
    Thanks for sharing the scripture. It certainly fits!
    Have a restful weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Chris Hendrix Avatar

    Good bosses like that are hard to come by. He emulated the way we believers need to treat each other. I couldn’t help but think of Galatians 6:1 as well in this scenario.

    “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”
    None of us are above messing up. Instead of piling on others, we need to restore gently using your Triple A method.

    Liked by 3 people

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