By Mark Ambrogi
At age 15, Jim Serger began a six-year stretch working at a small convenience store next to Bob Cappel’s butcher shop in Cincinnati.
Serger, now a Carmel resident, watched how Cappel treated people, going out of his way to help customers, coming in on Christmas and Easter if necessary to help customers.
“I think all the time — why do I enjoy shaking hands and why do I enjoy talking to people? Why do I enjoy knowing the background of people? Why do I encourage people?” Serger said. “Why is Jim Serger willing to come to work early and stay a little later? It all goes back to how we’re influenced as teenagers.”
Serger, 45, credits Cappel for that positive influence. Serger’s 136-page book called “Next in Line Please” was released Feb. 5. The book’s tagline is What a Butcher Can Teach Us About Positive Influence.
Serger works as operations manager for Indianapolis International Airport.
“The book is about positive influencing and young men and young women need that more today than ever before,” Serger said. “They need reassurance that they are doing well. If they’re not doing well, they need encouragement.
“Life is not easy but if you have people that are encouraging, you can do well,” he said.
Serger said role models shouldn’t just be NBA or NFL players, but next-door neighbors or a fifth-grade teacher.
“We have to push kids, give them attaboys, and not be afraid to tell them when they mess up,” Serger said. “When they mature and get older, the cycle continues.”
Serger said Cappel always showed he was interested in him.
“He’s a very neat man,” Serger said. “When I told him about writing the book, he said, ‘Why me? Why does anyone want to know about me?’ I said, ‘Bob, I don’t know Bo Jackson or Ken Griffey Jr. You’re the one who impacted my life.’”
Serger’s second book, “2000 Miles on Wisdom,” was about customer service, citing Carmel’s Nebo Ridge Bicycles as a shining example. For more, visit jimserger.com.