I spent some time with the family in Queens. It is always good to see the daughter and daughter in law and granddaughter. I arrived after a long day interviewing and processing. The old dinner that I went to for twenty plus years was sold and all the workers are gone. Yet even after renovations I sit in the same seat seamlessly watching the TV and eating better food. The new staff recognizes me instantly and knows my quirks. The owner knows my daughter wants a dessert or waffles. I stroll across the street to the barber for a haircut and a shave. I am so relaxed I fall asleep as my hair is cut. Then I stroll to the candy store and find my families favorites and a trusty diet Mountain Dew.
I take the bus home and meet former peers from another job. The Obama recession has hit those of us who work with their hands the hardest. It pains me to see one of the men that worked for me in such sad shape.
I treat him to West Indian Style Chinese food and a beer. He tells me of the desperation looking everywhere for work. He gets 29 hours at one job and is still looking for a second one. He recalls moments we faced impossible odds at work and asked why I left. He told me the story that was told was it was over a woman and that was partially correct. At that point I was needed at home. It was also time to do something else. The industry was in trouble and I didn't want to be a relic clinging to an industry in its death throws.
I arrive at home to see my family. The two small dogs are all over me. The daughter is all excited and everyone awaits as I unpack the bags. There is something for everyone as eyes light up as things I found along the way find their intended owners. It is odd that my beloved granddaughter grabs the soda and says Doooooooooooooo. I enjoy the moment but at tired.
I go to sleep and the dogs sleep at my feet. I don't sleep the whole night and head to the Halal truck with little Rex at 1AM. The man at the truck knows the order and I bring roast lamb for the dogs and ponder the next day.
There is changes and the workplace is evolving. I point out to my peers that the new boss is not as cute and cuddly as the previous one. She is okay and has some admirable qualities. I point out how I have been through stupid, cruel, incompetent and one insane boss and survived them all. All things come to pass and so will this boss and the next before the music is over. The new boss wants me to think of a more managerial role. Unfortunately, the scars of PTSD from long ago have not healed and will likely never heal. It is difficult working closely with those who bullied you. The sad part is that over time it has become apparent that those in the crowd were less skilled than the target. A person in power selected a target and tried her best, but in the end numbers don't lie, nor do the outsiders who viewed the spectacle from afar. Those in the crowd
were not skilled as the person they harassed. I started to notice it when I was assigned the task of repairing errors. Normally, we laugh it off and learn. However, when people walk around like they own the joint and abuse others it is something different.
I think of how the family has sustained me through bad times. I think of how the dreams of the person across the desk sometimes required some extra effort. Many things sustained me in the bad times but my family, community and the public kept me going when a smarter man would have given up.
Lost on many, the ends don't justify the means. I never had to learn that lesson. I also knew how to treat the support staff and be a brother to my peers. Bullies are not cool. When you bully at the behest of someone in power you are a toady. I despise toadies and flunkies.