For Thomas Wheeler, life is good. He is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Massachusetts Mutual Insurance, one the nation’s top mutual insurers. In fact, Mass Mutual is considered by many as the Cadillac of quality insurance companies. Naturally, Wheeler enjoys a life of wealth. During his rise to the proverbial top, he has been happily married.
During a road trip with his wife, he stopped off at a small gas station to tank up. This particular station was one of the few remaining where the attendant pumps the gas for the client. While the attendant filled up the car, Wheeler walked about the gas station to get some motion to his body. Upon his return, he witnessed his wife engaged in a very enthusiastic conversation with the gas station attendant.
Upon driving off, he asked his wife is she was knew the man. It turns out that she not only knew him, but they attended high school together. In fact, she had dated the man for a whole year during that time. This certainly explains the enthusiastic conversation the two shared.
Nevertheless, Mr. Wheeler could not ignore the disparity between his standing as a CEO and his wife’ former flame. He pointed out to her that she had scored a major coup in marrying him. He went on to explain that had she married her old flame, she’d be living a totally different life being supported on a gas station attendant’s wage. She merely retorted that her husband had it all backwards. Had she married her old flame, he would be the CEO, and it would be her husband that was pumping gas.