Based in Washington, Ross is a general manager of a food safety company. His musings explore life, work and every moment in between.

In the end, we all get ice cream.

My daughter hears what she wants to hear. For example, on Sunday morning she asked, “Dad, can we have pancakes?”

My response, “maybe.” She turned and yelled, “Mom! We get pancakes!” 

Saturday night, “Dad, can we have ice cream?” My response, “Only if you’re a good girl and eat all of your dinner.”

She turned and yelled, “Mom, we get ice cream AND sprinkles!” And I can’t help but think she gets this optimism from me. 

We’re all in sales. Every day we are all pushing our opinions, our way of life and our goods and services to each other. If you give me an inch, I think I have a chance. When I hear “maybe,” I think I have the opportunity to change your mind. “Maybe” gives me the opportunity to demonstrate the evidence necessary to change your mind to yes. “Maybe” gives me the opportunity to ask you what it would take for you to say “yes.” “Maybe” is yes, just without the commitment.

And so is “if you’re good.” I can fake that for a period of time. Don’t eat the marshmallow until I get home? Deal. It is also rare when I say no. Instead, I say “not yet.” If someone asks me “have you ever jumped out of a plane?” I say, “not yet.” I have no intention of jumping out of a plane, not now or ever, but people change, things change, and you never know when you’re going to have engine trouble and a parachute handy. Who knows what will happen?

But I digress. I hear what I want to hear too. I listen to others to make my next move, I ask them questions, but I rarely hear “no.” Instead, I hear a new way of approaching the problem. 

And in the end, we all get ice cream.

Preparing for Winter.