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Willie, But Unable to Find Work

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. –Chinese Proverb

Sunrise to sunset, clattering their cups and holding signs, homeless people line the streets of downtown Indianapolis. People passing by quicken their pace, attempting to evade the discomfort or fear they feel when they see panhandlers.   A few compassionate people will make small donations of money or meals when they walk by. The more cynical observers just wonder, “Why can’t they just get a job?”

 But, Lee Willie Nelson (72) of Indianapolis is a working man. He boards the bus each morning and travels downtown, to the Indiana Business Journal’s building, where he has cleaned the parking lot for most of the last seven years. Every day, Nelson arrives early and completes his work, then visits the IBJ’s front desk to collect his check, which serves as the day’s lunch money. It’s a tedious job, but it’s work. That’s all Nelson really wants.

 After spending his lunch money on some shrimp fried rice—his favorite meal—at China King, a tiny inner city Chinese restaurant, Nelson moves on to his next daily endeavor. “I panhandle,” explains an embarrassed Nelson. “It keeps me going, but I don’t like it. I like to be working.”

Every day after work, Nelson visit several locations downtown, panhandling and begging for money. He’s even been sent to jail a few times for it, thanks to the city’s strict attitude toward the practice, which prohibits panhandlers from soliciting at a variety of places: bus stops, sidewalk cafes, on public transportation vehicles or within twenty feet of an automatic teller machine or an entrance to a bank. But, a stricter ordinance is in the works.  City officials hope that its passing will attract more business and tourism to Indianapolis.

Before finally deciding to settle down here, Nelson led the life of a drifter, constantly searching for a steady source of income. After leaving his post at a drilling machine in his hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas, Nelson traveled all over the country. From Little Rock to Chicago, Las Vegas to St. Louis, Milwaukee to Indianapolis, he’s seen a lot. Everything except consistent employment, that is.

Of course, Nelson’s situation is an anomaly. Although he desperately wants to be employed and work a full-time job, he doesn’t have a social security card or any other valid source of identification. It’s virtually impossible for someone like Nelson to be hired for even the most basic entry-level job, because, technically, Lee Willie Nelson doesn’t exist. And, being unemployed, he doesn’t possess the necessary funds to acquire a new ID.

Regardless, Nelson is overflowing with life and charisma, having more energy and enthusiasm than one would ever expect from someone his age, let alone someone his age that’s living in the conditions that he endures everyday. He constantly rattles off rhymes and original aphorisms. “Be happy and be snappy,” he repeats, and despite his history of misfortune, he’s both. In fact, Nelson even considers himself blessed.  He is, just not with monetary wealth.

Thanks to Mickey Maurer’s commentary in the Indiana Business Journal, Nelson now has a job, even if it only pays for the day’s lunch, and, beyond that, thanks to the help provided by the employees at Quintegra Resourcing, Nelson receives groceries every month and has a roof over his head.

“Willie is a true friend that we respect so much,” explained Mark Clevenger, President of Quintegra Resoourcing, “Willie has taught us way more than we’ve ever done for him.  Let’s be honest, we all struggle with different things in life. I have my struggles. Willie was homeless and needed some help.” That being said, Clevenger isn’t naïve. He doesn’t expect everyone to feel the same.

“I understand people’s reservations with giving money or helping [panhandlers]. People always reference the old saying, ‘Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for life.’ That’s great but who is going to take the time to teach him?  I don’t think judging and then doing nothing is the answer either.”

Though Quintegra Resourcing recently moved to a new location in Fishers, relinquishing their close proximity to Nelson, the Quintegra family, checks up on him monthly, often taking him to the local Marsh to go grocery shopping.

From spending time with his Quintegra friends, to flirting with the Marsh employee behind the deli counter, Nelson enjoys and is thankful for every little detail. Every exchange of words. Every can of peaches he can fit into the grocery cart. Every laugh. Every jar of pickled eggs he can find. No kind gesture goes unnoticed. As Nelson frequently repeats, “It’s nice to be nice, and it’s so convenient when someone else knows you’re nice.”

Over the last several years, the employees at Quintegra have learned just how nice Nelson really is, and they’ve even helped him fill out numerous job applications. All to no avail.  There is no market for a 72-year-old man with no identification.

But, Lee Willie Nelson is a working man. Despite his inability to land a real, steady job, Willie arrives at the IBJ’s building early each morning to complete the small job that he’s thankful he does have, and you’d better believe he does it with a big smile on his face. He’s blessed, and, to Nelson, the relationships he’s developed with his friends at Quintegra are “worth more than a million bucks.”

Article Written by Tyler Wagner, a senior at Covenant Christian High School who had the privilege to interview and spend the day with Willie Nelson.  Tyler plans on attending college to study journalism.

 Article sponsored by Quintegra Resourcing http://www.quintegra.biz who considers themselves very blessed to have a great friendship with their “Main Man Silly Willie”.

 Since 1997 Quintegra has provided seamless recruitment solutions to many major companies across almost every industry both domestically and internationally.

 More importantly, Quintegra believes successes in life are meant to be shared and sharing brings joy. Our desire and commitment is to generously share our prosperity with organizations and individuals who are dedicated to compassionately serving humankind.

Do you need help finding qualified candidates at an affordable cost?

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Quintegra’s candidate sourcing service provides qualified, interview ready talent pools for small to mid-size companies at an affordable price.

Over the years we have found that our smaller clients have a difficult time identifying a pool of qualified candidates to choose from.

Most of our clients are constrained by:

  • Competing priorities
  • A lack of resources and technology
  • Tight budgets which won’t allow them to pay high agency fees
  • Advertisements that generate a flood of unqualified resumes that results in many hours of wasted time and money

Quintegra knows exactly what this is like:

Since 1997 we’ve been providing reliable, cost-effective recruitment solutions to many small and mid-sized companies nationwide

Our sourcing solution combines 3 main ingredients – People, Process & Technology

  • We assign an experienced team to source and screen candidates to ensure both quality and fit for the position
  • We work with our clients to clearly define the position requirements from a technical and cultural perspective
  • We utilize a multitude of sourcing methods to reach both passive and active candidates
  • Our goal is to provide clients with 5 to 7 qualified candidates to interview and make a hiring decision

Not only do we handle all of the details:

  • We deliver a qualified pool of candidates in 14 days or less
  • At a very affordable all inclusive cost of $1,595
  • And there is no risk…we back our service with a money-back guarantee.

To get more information feel free to watch our service video http://youtu.be/ClE8N2IUsVgor contact Mark Clevenger at 317-523-4124 or send an email mclevenger@quintegra.biz

 

200 S. Meridian Street, Suite 420 | Indianapolis, IN 46225 | http://www.quintegra.biz

Retail Opens its Door to “Outsiders”. New Perspectives Sought.

Monday, January 16th, 2012

A new survey of 135 CEOs and presidents within the retail industry revealed that 74% of the respondents say they will search for leadership positions from outside the industry in the next 5 years primarily because they “want leaders with a new perspective.” The survey also found that 73% of the respondents revealed they do not have a formal CEO succession plan in place.

The top three greatest challenges facing the retail industry in developing future leaders, according to the respondents, are “understanding new ways to connect with and market to consumers (62%)” followed by developing cross-functional capabilities (58%) and “keeping on top of a quickly changing competitive landscape” (57%). Ranked lower in importance was “adapting to the ever increasing speed at which business decision are made (39%), recruiting (33%) and retention (30%). The survey asked respondents to choose all that apply.

Of the 74% who say they will search for leadership positions outside of the industry, the biggest reason, say 69%, is they want leaders with a new perspective and 52% say they want leaders who are better prepared for new ways business is conducted. Only 43% of the respondents believe the talent pool in retail is limited.

Biggest Challenges

The biggest challenge facing the retail industry in developing future leaders was identified as understanding new ways to connect with and market to consumers by 62% of the respondents. The leaders identified other important challenges as “developing cross-functional capabilities” for talent, and keeping on top of a quickly changing competitive landscape. Ranking lower in terms of priorities were training (45%), recruiting and retention (33 and 31%, respectively), and compensation which received only 17% of the vote.

The Right Stuff

The leadership skills the respondents say most contributed to their own success were strategic as opposed to managerial or tactical skills and experience: Having a “strong vision for the company” garnered 80% of the vote, followed by “understanding the consumer” (79%), and “fostering talent and team building” (72%). Tactical skills and experience ranked toward the bottom of the list of important attributes for rising to the top.

Marketing was the primary area of expertise (51%) which the CEOs and presidents had prior to becoming a top executive, followed by sales (44%) and merchandising (42%). A third of the respondents’ backgrounds were in product design and developments while only 26% came from operations and 23% from finance.

When asked if they would choose retail if they could start their careers over, almost three-quarters (73%) said yes.

Retail Leaders Plan for the Future

The respondents say the single highest priority for their company’s growth or success over the next five years is “talent acquisition and development,” which garnered 16% of their vote followed by e-commerce which was tied with product development(at 14%) and international growth and branding (tied at 13%). Marketing in a new media landscape ranked lower (10%), as did mergers & acquisitions (8%), new retail store locations (7%), and licensing (1%).

Asked to identify one discipline that would be the most effective pipeline for the next generation of leaders in retail, the leaders chose merchandising (26%), followed by marketing (21%) and product design/development (13%). Less popular were digital/technology which tied with international business (11%), operations (6%) sales (6%) and finance (2%).

To maintain top talent in the next 5 years, the respondents say the most effective retention tools they will use are career development/advancement programs (66%) followed by bonuses (65%). A total of 47% say salary increases while only 39% chose stock options and restricted stock (26%).

Attracting the Best and Brightest

A whopping 90% of the CEOs and presidents say the retail industry is not attracting the best and brightest from college campuses. The main reason they believe they are not attracting the best entry-level talent is that “sexy careers are elsewhere (financial, media, digital),” according to 57%, followed by compensation (55%), and poor communication about the industry at the college level (44%). Long hours in retail ranked lower (43%) as did lack of formal training programs (38%).

The online survey was conducted by Women’s Wear Daily and executive recruiter Herbert Mines Associates. There were 135 respondents, who hold the title of CEO, President, Partner/Owner or Board Member. The profile of the respondents is: 62% male, a median age of 52 with an average tenure of 10 years at their current company.

Source: PR Newswire, November 1, 2010