Friday, March 21, 2008

Through gritted teeth

When you can't sleep, that is often when you think most clearly.

Up at 3:15. Too much on my mind. I look over, and my wife is awake too. Kid is kicking the crap out of her. We start to talk, to really break down and consider the awesome job offer I got the day before. The pay is decent, the company car and fuel card is amazing, and the company itself is strong. But it's second shift: 3:30 to 1:30. Would we ever get to see each other? Would she be able to get to sleep without me next to her? Would I even get to spend much time with my son after he's born? It isn't like we're in a dire situation. It's just an unpleasant one. If I were unemployed there would be no question, but I'm not, and I'd rather I be unhappy where I am than she be unhappy with where I'm going. Eventually her eyes become heavy, and I lay there for a little while longer. Yeah. I should probably tell them no.

I get up at 4:30, a little earlier than usual but not much. I have a meeting first thing this morning. As I shower I ponder exactly what I'm going to say during the meeting with the two owners. I can feel in my gut that it won't be a good one. I shave, get dressed, grab my lunch, open the blinds, kiss my wife on the forehead, and walk out. A couple miles down the interstate the car starts riding funny. I pull over at a gas station and find a bulge on my front passenger tire. I'm half relieved and half pissed. That pothole I hit last night caused more damage than I thought. I'm one block away from the closest tire shop and 50 miles from the office, so I call my manager and tell him that I will be late but can call into the meeting so I can still participate.

I sit at the restaurant across the street from the tire shop and slowly eat my breakfast. Thinking. Quietly. When it's meeting time I call into the office, and he says, "Actually we're already meeting. Let me call you back." I keep my phone by my side and wait for the ring. In the backgroud I can overhear one of the third-shift waiters around the corner sarcastically talking with a cook about his job. I try to focus on my apple slices and grapes, but since I'm the only person eating there, I can't help but hear it all. He's my age, and he's just as frustrated with his job. Eventually he calms down and simply says, "Sometimes summer jobs just last forever." I jump up, pay for the meal, and dash across the street now that the tire shop is open. It takes them over an hour to fix the tire, and I still don't hear anything from my manager. When I try to call the other manager there is no answer.

Once my car is through, I restart the drive, beep the dispatcher to let her know I should be there around 9:00, and find that the meeting had just ended. Meetings don't usually run that long. I keep driving, though, and use one of the goofball morning radio shows for distraction. By the time I make it to the office it's actually closer to 9:30 and at my desk there is a stack of new things and an inbox of new messages to go through, the top of which reads that yesterday we lost a $4000 account due to a minor oversight by two of my people. I sit down, stare over at my desk phone for a few seconds, let out a sigh, and get to work.

Track 9: "Montana" by The Main Drag from "Yours as Fast as Mine"
[iTunes] [website]

I found these guys accidentially from a MySpace search but was glad I did. This is a great song that gets better with each listen. Great album too.


  1. Whit said...

    I was in an unpleasant place for a long time. I finally found myself climbing the fence to greener grass. It browns in my shadow.

  2. don't call me MA'AM said...

    Yikes. That's a lot to mull over.

    I'm looking for a new "direction," myself... but I really hate the whole process.

  3. Le Meems said...

    How funny, I just got home from vacation and have to think about a response of my own to a new job offer. The money won't be great the first 6 months and then it will be killer.


    So what have you decided to do?

    It's all so hard, this game of life. Unless you let go, make it easy and see the bright spots that consist of wonderful moments of plain old love and light life moments.


    But I feel you on the wife not being able to sleep without you. It's hard, that way at night night time.

  4. Red said...

    Yay! How long have you been here? And you're having a baby? Ahhhh! Congrats. Don't mind me, I'm slow on the uptake over here...

  5. Anonymous said...

    Starting over is always hard but make sure it is the right change for you. Sometimes the grass is not always greener.