It was shaping up to be another average day at work. I was up front by the chutes full of all the many flavors of Jake's Mint Chew. I listened to my music as I filled orders which is pretty much my daily routine. The front garage style door to the warehouse was open since it was a beautiful, breezy but cool, spring day in Newburyport, MA. My view beyond the chutes was some pallets and then the marsh area and blue sky with scattered clouds. We're lucky enough to get the fresh, ocean air from the open waters nearby.
In through the open door came, slowly, an old, fragile man with a pained look on his face. His eyes were sad and his body language full of fatigue. His hair was balding, with what remained thin and gray. He was short and stocky and shuffled his feet towards me.
“Hello?” he said, meekly.
“Hi,” I said a bit warily since we really don't get too many people coming by our facility. We manufacture here, but we don't have a storefront so it's odd for any customers to come by. “What can I do for you?”
The old, frail, man slowly came closer to me as he looked me in the eye.
“Is this Jake's Mint Chew?” he asked shyly.
“Yes sir!” I responded.
“I hope you don't mind me just stopping by. I saw your address on your website and I live nearby.”
“Don't worry about it,” I said as I continued filling an order, “production leaves early so it's no big deal. How can I help you?”
The sad man looked up at me, “Do you sell CBD products?”
“We sure do. What were you looking for? We have the CBD pouches...I use these..” and I opened up my nearby tin of CBD Straight Mint pouches...which I love...and showed him what they looked like. I went on...”So we have 10 flavors of CBD pouches, we have the CBD gummies, and the CBD Cream..”
He cut in quickly, excited to hear the last one...
Yes! I'm looking for the CBD Joint Cream. I have horrible neuropathy in my feet and am on methadone to combat the pain.
I don't know a heck of a lot, but my wife is a nurse at Mass General in Boston and I knew that methadone was no joke.
“Jesus,” I said, stopping my work momentarily. I looked at his sad eyes, “I'm sorry to hear that. I'm not sure if CBD is going to trump methadone, though.”
“I'm willing to try anything,” he said. “I've heard a lot about CBD and what it can do.
“Listen,” I told him honestly, “I use the gummies and pouches. I was a mover when I was younger and have plenty of aches and pains. Plus, I have an anxiety issue. But, CBD can work for some people and not for others. I don't want you to get your hopes up for anything miraculous.”
“I'm willing to try anything,” he repeated, with his sad eyes staring through me.
“Okay, listen..here's the CBD cream..” I opened up the top of one of the CBD cream jars and let him smell it. He smiled.
“That smells great!” I'll take that.
From there, he decided to try the Cherry CBD gummies and I threw in some free CBD Straight Mint pouches. He was very happy and I wished him well. It was sad, though. I didn't know this man but I got the sense that he was a good man who was suffering. I went home that night and told my wife about it.
“Adam,” she said, “if he's on methadone CBD isn't going to help him.”
I knew she was probably right. She used CBD oil and it helped her sleep but she wasn't on methadone for God's sakes.
“I know,” I said to her, “but I didn't have the heart to shut him down on it.”
A week went by and the old, fragile, slow walking man shuffled back in our front door. He actually called first to see if it was okay and I said, “Of course! Come by later this afternoon when production is gone.”
“It worked!” he exclaimed. He was all smiles. “It really worked! Nothing else has, but this did!”
"Are you sure?” I asked. “I'm not sure CBD can top methadone.”
“No!” He exclaimed, almost insulted. “The CBD definitely worked!”
I have to admit. I wasn't sure if I believed him but it didn't matter what I thought. He believed it. And he was so happy about it. He ordered more of everything but I felt for him so much that I started throwing extra CBD stuff in his backpack for him.
“You sure?” he asked.
“Yes, please. Please take it. I'm really happy you like it. I was actually thinking about you the other day.”
“Thank you so much,” he said. “This saved my life. You saved my life.”
“Come on,” I smiled. “That's not true but I'm really glad you like it.”
“It is true!” he exclaimed. I think I insulted him again.
I don't know why I cared so much about this stranger. I just felt for him. Getting old sucks. I'm in my mid-fifties and that kind of thing scares me. Not being able to do the things you want because you're in pain is a terrible thing.
The next day, a funny thing happened. I get a call from another guy who wants to come by and get the CBD cream. It's unusual to get a call like this.
“How did you hear about us?” I asked. I didn't want people to just start showing up at the facility even if it was business.
“Well, I've been the Uber driver for the guy that came by your place yesterday. I told him my ankles were bothering me and he starting raving about your CBD cream. He tried to give me his!”
“Oh my God,” I said. “He's such a nice guy. He told me he was on methadone for the neuropathy in his feet and I felt bad that he was thinking this would be a replacement.”
“No...no. Don't feel bad. He loves it! How could you feel bad about that?!”
“I just don't want him to get his hopes up. It works for some people and not for others. That's the feedback I get. They either love it or they don't.”
“Well, I'm coming by to get some. So, I'll see you soon.”
And I did see him soon. And I told my wife, and a good friend of mine, about this man. I asked my friend over a beer, “Why do you think this is affecting me so much?”
He smiled. “Adam, this guy gave your job meaning. That's pretty important.”
It's definitely true. We helped each other out for what it's worth. And I think it's worth a hell of a lot for both of us.