Day 9 – I think O. may have called in sick for his tooth because I haven’t heard from anyone and it’s 10 a.m. Or maybe I shouldn’t have texted him that picture I took of him all proud in the back of his empty truck at 7:35 the night before? Oh well. Maybe this new driver will have his shit together on the very first day.
One o’clock rolls around and I get a call back. Will we be stopping for lunch? I ask, thinking I should probably eat before I leave anyway since breakfast was at 7 a.m. What? Yeah. Lunch? He responds as if I have just asked him to rub my back before I’ll accept any packages. I should have eaten more than half a peanut butter sandwich. This would be my most challenging day. The dude was foul from the start. Had me meet him in a residential area and then wait outside the gate with no code to get me in. Barely shook hands before telling me his was two hours behind and took off before I even had both feet in front of me in the jump seat, much less a belt on. I almost got back into my car after the first neighborhood where he proceeded to not just throw packages like O. had done but speed pitch them into the corners of the truck with a hearty, GODDAMMIT! when he could not find a particular address or worse found one that he had already passed. That happened several times within the first hour. But, I figured you know, everyone has a bad day and even O. had a few bad days there at the start. Let’s give this guy a chance.
Bad idea. About half way into my shift I want out. He is not anything like O. Who, despite his disorganization on the first day, welcomed my help in the back of the truck and even thanked me for putting packages in order as I looked for the one that had gone missing. He cusses incessantly and when he’s not driving at least double the speed limit, he is slamming on the brakes so hard I fear for my internal organs. The jump seat was plenty comfortable for my posture before, now it’s a torture device. Instead of going to the rear to find the next box when we stop, he is texting and talking on the phone. He texts while we drive 70 mph down the not a lane, half way in a half way off the dirt in the median to the place where he unloaded half of his truck and coincidentally where all the missing packages have gone. I text my friends and family when I get dropped off. Glad to be alive.
At some point during this day, I think to myself there is no way this is worth $8.50/hour. And then I think, what is? I mean, here I am outside in the sunshine getting exercise on a day when I would otherwise be stuck in front of a computer pounding away at a publication. Granted, I would be getting paid four times as much but I have no work right now so in reality I would be surfing for dollars or shopping for that new bike and not actually any making money at all.
I’ve always been a hard worker, just out to earn a decent living. My first job was on the weekends at an insanely busy donut shop. I was 15. Granted, at the moment I’m sitting here snacking on some Chex Bold Mix, downing a couple Shock Tops to ease the pain on the second level of my sister’s kick ass house in a desirable zip code but what do you think SHE did to get here? Any guesses? Anyone? Bueller?
She WORKS. She works for the same reason I always worked. Because we knew we had to.
She didn’t get here by protesting and she didn’t sell out her dreams to work for the man 9 – 5 Monday through Friday in some dead-end paper pushing soul crushing job where she would never see her kids either. She got here by deciding what she wanted and going after it and all she ever dreamed of doing was being the best mom ever. She not only pursues her happiness, she accomplishes it over and over. Day by day her dreams come true and are decimated by a car payment, revived by her spirit to carry on and do it all over again the next day only to be stripped by a single trip to the grocery store to feed three hungry growing boys. Her hands are nearly crippled from grasping and reaching and grasping and reaching in a surprisingly similar occupation to the one I’m only toe-deep into and griping incessantly about.
But, that’s another story.
Or is it?