Karma Takes A Holiday
(A Story With Liberal Use of Creative License)
Sometimes things happen for a reason. That's what people say, and, yeah, I'm sure they're probably right. But when it initially happens, you freak out and panic, if you're anything like me. Sometimes too much shit happens so quickly that you wonder what's going on, and if karma needs a swift kick in the nards. I know other people have it worse of than I do, and I don't mean to belittle their suffering or bad luck. I just want to look back at what karma decided it was time for a few months ago with regards to me. What did karma decide to do? It decided to take a vacation. Hopefully it was somewhere nice. I would have liked to have been there sipping a Corona sitting on a beach. But I wasn't, more's the pity.
I'd been working the same horrible job for years, and finally decided it was time to shake my silly ass and get a move on with a career that would actually make me money to support my family. Being the breadwinner is something I'd struggled at for years, and now I figured it was time. Maybe driving a truck would be the way to go. Sure it's difficult, odd hours and lots of time behind the wheel, but it's something that could be done.
Taking lessons was definitely a learning experience, for within 15 minutes of driving a tractor without a trailer (I think they call that a "bobtail," which is obviously some goofy slang) I had accidentally pressed the brakes too hard and spun the truck out. This made my instructor's heart skip a beat, and I just sat at the wheel thinking "Ok, that's a learning experience. I hope I didn't hit a mailbox or something. Or somebody." This was just the beginning, but I did get better, good enough, I thought, to ace my road test.
The Road Test
My road test. We arrive at the test location, some backwoods backwards zig-zag town near Fragville Junction, NY. The instructor shows up, and I start my test. Pre-trip stuff: static brake check, in-cab inspection, outside inspection, spring brake check. As I'm doing the outside inspection, the instructor answers a phone call on his cell and tells me to "keep doing the inspection, I can hear you." When I'm checking the landing gear, this guy walks away without me knowing. I move down to the air lines and I stop and look around. The guy was standing in front of the cab, about 30 feet away. It was obvious he could not hear a thing I was saying, but I continue.
Starting up the road test, the first right turn is a ridiculous angle with a telephone pole sticking out of the curb, which I miss. The next right turn I bump the curb. He takes me down a road and asks me what the sign said we just drove past. I said "it was a funeral home." He says "No, it said no trucks allowed on this street." I ask "Why did you take me on this road?" Response: "We're allowed to take road tests on this road." But.. if the sign said no trucks, what the hell is this guy doing to me? I do my parallel parking and straight reverse perfectly, so perfect he tells me to stop in the middle of both, he doesn't need to see any more. He tells me at the end to practice my right turns and re-schedule for another test because I failed. Bummer, sure, but time to regroup and get things going again.
Next day I walk into my job, and the new manager, who has no idea what's going on in her restaurant, says that it's not working out and it was time for me to go. Ok, thanks. After 6 years it's not working out, and she's only been there for maybe 4 months and hasn't figured anything out about what's going on with her job, let alone anybody else's job. My wife told me that I was part of the problem because my personality didn't allow for a good working environment.
Basically I hated my job and didn't hide it. Each year we had major management shake-up: six general managers in 6 years, untold amounts of assistants and kitchen managers and substitute managers and key holders. Lack of teamwork where much of the burden was dropped on one or two people on a daily basis (me being one of them.) Being on the spectrum, however, straightening and organizing shit at work and doing the jobs nobody else would do was something I enjoyed. It didn't translate at home, though.
The organization I showed at work couldn't translate to cleaning and keeping things ship-shape at home. I don't know why it didn't. But that's a different story, and I was unemployed and no way to pay for Christmas gifts. Things will get better, chin up! After I leave work, drive around for an hour wondering how I'm going to pay bills and make Christmas not suck. Eventually I make it home in one piece, no reindeer run over and no jolly fat man beat up with a tire iron.
Turn the new year, and I head out to get some ice cream. Mood food! As I walk out to the car, I slip on some ice. Wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't slipped into a pothole, and brake my ankle in three spots. I would have preferred to have landed in the shrubs on the side of the pathway and ended up with some scrapes and maybe a torn shirt. The break in the ankle was so bad the doctor said I almost broke my leg as well. Fun stuff to be sure. The doctor says surgery is needed, and it's done. Recovery time? 6 to 8 weeks. 6 to 8 weeks of sitting on a couch, unable to do many things for the first month of that time. Definitely a struggle. Just taking a piss or a shower was a challenge! Even more challenging, toddlers do not understand broken ankles and why daddy is sitting on the couch with a gigantic cast on his leg.
Someday he'll understand that it's not his fault, things like that aren't meant to be commonplace. It made me think a lot about people who are stuck in bed for long periods of time or for the rest of their life. Mine, fortunately, was temporary. Trying to get myself to understand and accept that was a huge challenge. It's amazing what you take for granted. The simplest things like walking, or putting shoes on, or cleaning your foot so it doesn't smell.
After awhile I was able to use my computer again, get some gaming going, and heading back outside on crutches to go places like the doctor or the psychiatrist or some shit like that. Now I'm almost fully recovered 2 1/2 months later, and I'm itching to get shit going again. This website, my life, my family, my career. I don't feel like being a leech or a disappointment, I want to be normal guy with job that brings home money.
Sorry if this is a corny story or if it's just a big complaint. All I ask is that for my sake, karma has come back from its extended leave of absence from my life. I've got my karma savings bond, and I'm cashing it in.
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