Okay, I know that envy is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, and I don’t allow myself the luxury of self indulgence of this kind; so, I don’t really envy Hardy Wallace. I just wanted to get your attention; and if you’re here because of the title, it worked.

I’m  living vicariously through Hardy’s life indulgences right now, because he’s where I was when I arrive in California, and began my wine career in 1993.

There are huge differences, though.

I, too, like Hardy – just before he moved here – had become unemployed. By virtue of my move, I was self employed. He was unemployed in Atlanta. I did not, however – at that time – have a technological background. Nay, I was at ground zero… So ground zero, in fact, that I took a job with a franchise cleaning company… literally on the ground, picking up after anyone that had a call-in cleaning for that day.

I tried to initially find a job within the wine industry, but was laughed out of some great offices. On paper, I was a perfect candidate, but I knew nothing about wine and that was the real clunker. I landed a Sunday gig at Belvedere in their tasting room, continuing my search. But I was held back by not being in the business ever before, not having anyone in my family being born into it, I didn’t marry into it, and I hadn’t studied it… I loved white zinfandel back then as one of my primary passion.

So, after a while, I kept interviewing, but shifted where I was looking, holding onto my one day at Belvedere. I refused to find a job that would use my real PR talents outside of the wine business, because I couldn’t honestly lie in a job interview about my intentions… Except with the cleaning company. They knew that I was a PR pro looking for a new working situation. They kept me as long as I wanted to be there, because I was an unusually hard worker and very thorough.

Mr. Hardy Wallace did NOT have to bow to the altar of humility the way that I had to… And, I’m glad he didn’t. I like him a lot, and wouldn’t wish what I did on some of the snippy people who laughed me out of their offices; although, I’d love to write a screen play, or a Saturday Night Live skit  about that one…. Ms. Human Resources, my butt…

My angst about Hardy’s gig is that I couldn’t have started at the top the way he did. I had to start at the bottom, right where the universe wanted me to be, I would say. I have learned a lot, granted, but can’t help but wonder if that first year hadn’t been cleaning so many toilet bowls, including Mickey Hart’s, where I might be today? Honestly, as I write this, I’m realizing I’d probably still be in the same place. [Funny sub story to the Mickey Hart cleaning gigs… I was asked if I was a Grateful Dead fan. I reminded my boss that I had just come off about 10 years of photographing rockers. I was far from a fan of anything having to do with rock, because I had just lived it. This was why I was trusted to clean his house… So, I was chosen. When he walked through the kitchen, I just kept scrubbing the floor; but, I remember looking up to say, “Hello” just as I did for anyone else’s cleaning gig. I remembering him being friendly, and I went back to work.]

Okay, worked that out…

Hardy’s journey is now going to be what mine was… branching out in so many areas, that we’ll be able to kick back (about annually) and laugh at the prior year’s doings. He’s just that kind of guy.

I’m now watching a new generation of PR people, who are approaching the playing field with a whole new set of electronic and social media toys, and I can live their joy through reading what they’re doing… as a sort of den mother. It’s very cool.

So, what inspired this blog was Jim Morris contacting me through Facebook.

Jo, wanted to share our newest video with you…Hardy Wallace, our new houseguest at Michel Schlumberger did it… a humorous little view of what we are doing. [Jim Morris is playing the leading role, BTW.]

Do You Know the Way to Michel-Schlumberger (Wine Estate)?

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