Jason’s Proximity to Greatness – The Rock

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The Rock, The People’s Champion, The Great One or whatever you want to call him is arguably one of the most famous people in the world. It’s still crazy to remember back to quoting his catchphrases and enjoying him as a wrestler to where he is today. Learning his story of being a struggling college football player who is has a short pro career turns to wrestling )his families business where he had his initial struggles before becoming the #1 guy in WWE to getting a few acting parts here and there to all of a sudden being everywhere! As of writing this he has 15 million twitter followers. It’s always special to meet people you idolized and it’s even better when they are actually a nice person. So wanted to share about the time I go to meet The Rock.

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I worked in retail in Beverly Hills, California. For those who don’t know Beverly Hills is home to Rodeo Drive which is full of some of the poshest stores in the world and I worked right on Wilshire and Rodeo so right in the thick of everything. Luckily I didn’t work in a store where I had to be fake or something that I’m not as I was working for Nike. So for me to get to talk sports and sneakers to people all day was right up my alley. The building we were in also shared valet parking with a big talent agency so it wasn’t uncommon for people to pop in. I started working at the store in the summer of 2008 and at the time I split my time between working at CBS Monday-Thursday and then would be at Nike Friday-Sunday and was 1 year in to my Los Angeles journey.

It was a Saturday and we were prepared for another busy day. Saturdays usually meant shoe launches and lots of tourists. Usually more famous folks would tend to stay away, but sometimes they would take the risk and come through. I was working in the mens training department so there was not a ton of shoes. It was mostly about Nike Pro Apparel and it could be a quieter part of the store as it was tucked in a corner on our second floor. One of my coworkers came back from their break and was talking about how The Rock was downstairs. About 15-20 minutes later he’s coming through my section.

Greeting is standard in retail (well it might not be anymore, but it should be) so I of course start with the simple “Hi how are you doing today” he responds with the “doing well thanks”. I followed with the old “well let me know if you need anything”. Dude is definitely the 6 ft 5 260 pounds he is billed at. After years of watching him on my TV when I was wrestling fan it’s crazy to think you are standing right there with him. Finally he picks a shirt of the rack and goes “how many of these do you have in a 2XL?”. I scanned the shirt and we had 7 in stock and let him know, he immediately responded “I’ll take them”. The stockroom was in the basement and they would send things up to the sales floor. I let him know it would be like 5-10 minutes to get everything sent up, he let me know’d he’ll keep walking around and to let him know when they came up.

Finally after waiting the 5 minutes all of the shirts got sent up. So I grab them and go to track him down in the store. I let him know that they were all there and that I’d leave them down at the register for him. I then launched in to the spiel “My name is Jason, let me know if you need anything else” the man then holds him hand and says “Thanks, I’m Dwayne”. As somebody who has always been a fan, it’s awesome to know he wasn’t up his own ass and actually treated me like I was a person! It was quick, but it’s a moment that reaffirms fandom and makes you happy for their success. Sadly he did sign with Under Armour so he didn’t come around the store after that, but it was still cool getting to meet one of my childhood heroes.

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