I used to be a joiner. I joined stuff. In high school, I was in everything. Student council, football, National Honor Society, Key Club, Future Business Leaders Of America, etc. Early in my career, that trend continued. The local AAF club. Big Brothers Big Sisters. Church stuff, etc.
When I started Nucleus, I slowed down on being as involved in outside stuff. My excuse was I needed to concentrate on the business and our clients. When my wife and I had kids, I probably used that as an excuse to scale back too other than helping coach the boys’ sports teams.
However, then I bought my first ever pick-up truck…a Toyota Tundra I named Tory, possibly but never 100 percent proven to be inspired by Tory Nichols of Cobra Kai fame. Being Tory’s proud owner, I then decided to join something…a Facebook group for Arizona Tundra owners.
Side note 1: Some guys at about this life stage get a red convertible so I guess the good news is I dodged that impulse.
Side note 2: In the small blue collar Arizona town I call home, none of the guys got a first car. They got a first truck. So in a way I am extremely late to the party.
Granted, there are no meetings or committees or any of that sort of thing with the Arizona Tundra Facebook Group but still, here I was becoming a joiner again.
find that I enjoy reading info from and sharing info with the other Tundra group members. I wouldn’t say I post a ton per se but in comparison to how much I post on my regular Facebook (rarely), it is a lot more.
Around Memorial Day weekend, I saw a post in the Tundra group that really got me creased. I usually don’t let the acrimony that fundamentally thrives in social media get to me but this time I was rankled. Here’s what happened. A Tundra group member posted a video he shot from the boat ramp at Lake Pleasant, a popular lake in the Phoenix area. For non-boaters, the boat ramp is where people put their boats into the water and then where the boats are loaded back onto trailers to get them out of the water. For non-Phoenicians, yes we have lakes here!
This video featured some people on a pontoon boat really struggling to get their boat loaded onto the trailer. It appeared they were done boating for the day and they were trying to line up the boat onto the trailer that their friend had backed down the ramp into the water with his truck. It was a windy day and that didn’t help. Attempt after attempt they tried to get this boat onto the trailer. They even tossed a rope to their friend who was wading into the water to try and guide the boat onto the skids. Still no luck.
If you have ever been to a boat launch ramp at a busy lake on a holiday weekend, this is no fun. There can be other boats in the water circling near the docks to try and get their turn to get off the water. There can be other vehicles with trailers waiting at the top of the ramp to launch their boat into the water. If you have any situational awareness, you know others are waiting on you and you’re taking one of the finite number of ramp spots. It’s stressful. It’s busy. It’s crowded. It’s inevitably hot.
The videographer from the Tundra group shot all of this from the top of the ramp and added a running commentary on the plight of this pontoon and their friend with the truck and the trailer. He took verbal jabs at their skill level. He scoffed. He made fun. Machismo in full throttle, he let the camera and his mouth both run. He even gave the video a funny title on what not to do at the boat ramp. That’s what got me. Speaking of what not to do, there was one thing he himself did not do—offer any help whatsoever.
Half of the people in the marketing industry have banal terms like “storyteller” in their LinkedIn profiles. And I get that we all have powerful cameras in our hands all the time. But we also have hands, also all the time. So I wonder what would have happened if the Tundra group member and aspiring amateur filmmaker would have put the phone down, jogged down to the dock and hollered some advice or encouragement to the boat operator. Or better yet, if he would have waded into the water to help these novice boaters guide the pontoon onto the trailer. If you’re into storytelling, the people in the boat and their friend on the ramp would have had a neat story to post…about the time a total stranger at Lake Pleasant went out of his way to lend them a hand on a windy day when they clearly needed it.
By the way, the truck that is backed into the water with the guy struggling to reel in his friends on the pontoon in the video? It’s also Toyota Tundra! Maybe not the group camaraderie and sense of unity that Tory and I thought might exist when I decided to venture out and once again become a joiner.
The bottom line: Sometimes content creation is nice. And sometimes just being nice is, well, nice.