Crap In Crap Out

Crap In Equals Crap Out

In what I consider my first career I was a manager with Kinko’s for over 10 years.  I managed stores primarily in the Midwest, Missouri and Kansas, and also did a two and a half year stint in Las Vegas before moving to Kansas City 13 years ago and re-careering.  Back then there was a lot of great things about working for Kinko’s.  I made a lot of great friends there, it was a work hard/play hard type of company, if you were good at running a store the money was good, there was always plenty to do and it was fast paced which I loved.  Let me describe a few situations for you that while not uncommon, was not much fun during my time with Kinko’s.

It’s 4 days before Christmas and a lady comes in to the store to place her calendar order.  Back in those days color calendars with family photo’s were incredibly popular.  So the lady would spill out her shoe box worth of photo’s and have a kinda sorta idea of what she wanted the picture collages to look like.  Let’s not forget the picture quality was not good many times and she would not explain herself very well how she wanted the picture collages to look like.  Fast forward to 3 days later when she comes in to pick up her calendars on Christmas Eve and the calendars look very different from what she had in her mind.  Mostly because of her crappy pictures and her inability to clearly describe what she wanted.  Many tears ensure.  Or this:

The store I managed in Vegas was a super high volume one that typically saw 800-900 customers a day.  Folks from out of town in Vegas for conventions were notorious for leaving their presentations to the last minute.  Many times they would come into the store literally 12 – 15 hours before their conference started and need 500 full color presentations bound that would be 20-30 pages each.  But wait, it gets better.  They would many times have 50% of the information they needed and would frantically be trying to call someone back in Iowa to supply the rest of the information, graphics, etc.  All the while precious minutes and hours would be ticking away.  Needless to say many voices were raised in situations like these.  Which led to one wise co-worker I worked with saying 2 things that have forever stuck with me:

Your procrastination does not equal my emergency 

and of course – – – – – 

Crap In Equals Crap Out

Nuggets of wisdom that still hold true today.

This saying Holds True In Many Situations

Let’s take a look at how this really holds true in so many situations.  As I was thinking about this I had a flood of ideas come to my mind.  Suffice to say I think you could really translate it to just about any area of your life but let’s limit it to some of the biggies shall we.


A not uncommon occurrence in marriage is one, or both, partners taking the marriage for granted.  In other words, phoning it in after a while.  Sometimes it’s one person, sometimes its both.  Some of the things that can happen are:

Never ensuring quality time together whether it’s an actual date night out once a month or even doing weekly chores together followed by a night of Netflix.

Not caring much about the other persons life.  This takes many forms like never asking about someones day, not really caring enough to ask about someone’s hobby, being uninterested and unavailable when your spouse is telling you something, etc.

Putting all the focus on the kids.  This one is REALLY common.  This is gonna happen in the early years of a kid but when all of the marriage’s time and energy is focused on the kids 100% of the time for really long periods bad things happen between the 2 people that started this marriage.

Bad communication.  When a couple don’t allow themselves to speak openly and freely about wants and needs it’s almost closer to limited information in so limited results out.

What it boils down to is putting in some ongoing effort to make the marriage a place both people want to be.  You put crap effort in, you’re gonna get crap back out.

Your Health

If you consistently shovel bad food into your pie hole the results are gonna eventually show up on your physical health.  When we are younger we can get away with this to some degree for a while due to our youth.  But even then it eventually catches up to you.  Keep pumping in the bad fuel it’s gonna translate to bad energy and bad health in general.  Since we started some Kinko’s story I’ll tell you about one of my managers.  He used to have a big bag of chips for lunch on a regular basis.  That’s it, just a big bag of chips.  How he was able to do this I have no idea, it’s not like he was a spring chicken then either.  You also have to put in some regular ongoing effort to keep your body in running shape.  The more you neglect it, the more it’s gonna show and perform.  Make the effort.

Your Job

I see two kinds of people at my current gig and it’s fairly representative of my overall working experience.  There are the folks who do just enough to keep their job.  They use up exactly as many sick days as they are allowed somehow.  They work exactly the amount of hours they need to work.  They are good at complaining about how things are done and every little change that happens.  They are good at setting the bar for the minimal job requirements.

Then I also work with a handful of folks who are the opposite.  They seek out additional responsibility.  They ensure they deliver an “A” product the majority of the time.  They go out of their way to find new ways to do things.  They are innovative and creative in their roles.  They willingly help others and are generally involved with major projects and initiatives. They are great team players and want good things for others.  They are doers and instead of complaining about things they find solutions to problems.  They put the effort in and get a better product out.

Your Relationships with everyone

This is similar to the marriage but it spreads out to all relationship in your life.  I constantly preach to my two daughters that relationships are the most important thing that you should give time to.  When you have an option of spending time with someone you care about and something else, choose spending the time with the person.  It’s good for your soul.  It’s good for them.  Putting the time and energy into creating good relationships with the important people in your life will typically yield good results for you and for them.  It builds strong relationships and a good support system for you.  Plus it helps you see things in various perspectives – your spouses, your parents, your friends, your siblings, etc.  You got to put in the effort and energy to get the warm fuzzies back out.  So do it.

Your Home

I put this one in here because I have a boatload of home improvement projects on my mind.  I’m not advocating spending all your free time completing do it yourself projects at home.  I’m all for hiring someone to do anything above and beyond painting a room because that’s about as far as my Mr. Fix It skills go.  But what I am referring to is putting in the effort to your home spread to create a warm environment that you enjoy being in. A place where when you open up the door after a long day it makes you glad to be home.  When you see the good looking yard when you drive up it makes you smile.

Create a space that you enjoy spending time in and like having people over to share the space with.  One of my favorite type of days goes as follows. It’s anytime of year the weather is decent – spring, summer, fall.  It’s a Saturday.  I bust my ass getting stuff done which includes something around the house to make it homier and happier or brighter or cleaner or something.  Let’s say power washing my deck and mowing.  The come early evening, say around 5, and the cooler gets filled and some friends come over.  I fire up the grill and hoist a few with friends and we relax as evening comes on with a good meal I’ve grilled.

All in the space I enjoy being because I’ve put in the time and effort to create a nice warm space.  Come on by.

Wrap It All Up – Care enough To put the effort in

Bottom line is with anything in life the better “stuff” you put into it, the better stuff you’re gonna get out of it.  If you put in quality effort and caring into something, it will yield good results for you.  So put the good stuff in.

All my best,

Mat A.

Mat A.


Please follow and like us:


  1. Great Article! I believe in energy too and think that the way we conduct ourselves in everyday situations manifests itself in our actual lives. If we treat things we’re suppose to appreciate like crap, it turns to crap. When we treat people like crap, it comes back to us. We get exactly what we put out.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, I appreciate your thoughts.  I agree – in some ways it’s like karma if you believe in that sort of thing.  It is like just about everything in life, what we put into it is what we get out.  Thanks again!

  2. Hello, I would like to comment on the statement crap in crap out. You are so right about what you have a said. It is all about how we program our minds or like the saying goes garbage in garbage out so let’s fill our minds with that which will help us by enhancing our lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *