|Peace? Deuces? Yes.|
As I mentioned the other day, I've been through a lot in the past little under a year. In fact, y'all might have noticed I completely disappeared for a while due to...technical difficulties (aka being too poor for the internet). However, things are a little different now...not only is my years-long streak of not living with my parents still unbroken, but I'm now at a point in life where I'm equipped to at least give doing what I love--this--full time a legitimate shot.
What exactly happened between here and here that has umf and the guy wearing the titular fitted pointed in a totally new direction? Well, the truth is that this is one of the rare occasions that I can't tell you.
Seriously. I've always wanted to say this, and it actually applies here: I'm not at liberty to say.
What I am at liberty to do though, is to give you the now-official sequence of events that, by all record, must have happened for me to end up at this juncture in this manner. You might be expecting some hot, bitter whine extracted from my sour grapes of wrath or something, but that's not what this is for at all. I shall refrain from making any false, negative, or uncomplimentary statements about my former employer. No, all I want to do is bring closure to the situation...and like anything else in my life, that involves writing about it.
Of course, this post will contain nothing but what is now the truth, but the truth is a somewhat nebulous thing...like they said in "1984", if a man claims to have flown and has a witness who sticks to the story, there's no real way to disprove it. That's what happened. With that typed, I present to you the facts that, to the best of my knowledge, are the official record of events between us in the past 10 months or so.
It was early 2012...around February. Just a few months ago, I found out that I was soon to be partially responsible for raising one of the planet's most dangerous animals from birth, like it or not. (Around then, defintely "not"...now, it depends on what time of day it is, I guess.) I can't say I was happy about it, but with the baby due any day, I realized that that was kinda too fucking bad. Most people in my position may have applied for some kind of parental leave so they could take care of their infant child while the child's mother had to go back to work within a week because her job sucks.
Of course, being the contrarian I am, I couldn't just do what made the most immediate sense. Instead I did something different. I did absolutely nothing. I made no request whatsoever for any time away from work. I brought no papers from the hospital to prove I needed any time off, and if I would have, they certainly would not have treated me as if I forged both the documents and the baby they concerned.
Hell, I enjoyed my job so much that I couldn't even fathom taking more than maybe a week or two away from the place for something as insignificant as a firstborn son. Of course, my attitude on the matter made me a model worker, valued and skilled in my duties. I'm sure even now they'd be happy to recommend me as an employee. (Call them and ask...bet you $5 they just can't deny it.)
Anyway, I took the first two months of March off for--hmm...what's it say about that?--oh, no apparent reason, I guess. After spending some incidental time with the baby, I found myself feeling so enriched by the experience of constantly tending to a humanoid larva creature at all hours of the day that I didn't figure I needed to be paid for the rest of the month.
My former employer, with whom I share a bond so special it borders on the psychic, must have picked up on this feeling of mine and agreed, because sure enough there was no pay on the designated day. Of course, I thought nothing of this. Who needs a paycheck, anyway? That's not why I was in the clerk game...I was doing it because my passion was in the field of file-slaving. I'll tell you what, I most assuredly did not call my job repeatedly and let them know my position on the matter in the most profane manner possible.
For the next 5 days, I experienced a powerful and steadily escalating feeling of euphoria as I looked at my prospects for the future. Here I was, a severely underpaid--and lately unpaid--technically unskilled college dropout with bad credit and a 1 month old kid. Truly, the world was mine for the taking.
With this in mind, after careful consideration, I randomly decided to resign from my job of my own free will for "personal reasons" effective March 20. The reasons were so personal even I have no fucking idea what they are to this day. My heart was heavy with the knowledge that I had to finally say goodbye to the place I called home for the past 4ish years, but logic dictated that I voluntarily forego my main source of income, and so I did just that.
You pretty much know the story of my magical summer. It's an experience so profound and close to my heart that retelling it here would only cheapen it.
Unfortunately, I couldn't truly enjoy my utopia of poverty with my old job on my mind. I can say I thought of my old workplace every day. I savored the saccharin-sweet memories of my employ there. My life was simply not complete without them contributing to it in some way...and even though a friend of mine (mutual acquaintance) told me I was on their mind too, I couldn't help but wonder when they would show it. I felt truly unloved...but then, it was my fault in the first place for having personal reasons. You can't spell "unrequited" without "quit", and that's exactly what the record shows that I did.
I soon found that I was wrong to ever doubt them. After a while, our mutual acquaintance called me with a message: that they still cared. If our acquaintance was to be believed, my ex-employers were quite upset over the way that things went down between us and wanted to make things right, provided that none of their actions could be construed as an admission of wrongdoing. It made perfect sense to me...they hadn't done anything wrong, it was my fault for having a life outside of work. I believe it's against company policy and common courtesy.
I was then informed that they were so grateful for my years of service that they wanted me to be happy, even if it wasn't with them. I felt like the subject of an R&B song. My shock was only intensified at the next revelation...somehow they found out I wrote and saw my potential. So much so, in fact, that they wanted to be able to say they were the ones who gave me my start by investing in me. I marveled at the magnanimity of the gesture, and then I remembered it was just the latest in a long line of blessings and kindnesses shown me by my wonderful ex-employers.
As the song says, it's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday...but now that I have finally reached the end of this particular saga, closure is a truly bettersweet feeling. On one hand, I certainly will miss waking up at 7am to drag my ass halfway across the city to spend 8 hours doing something that takes 2 while being paid what a Foot Locker employee who has earned a few extra stripes makes, but on the other, it was just nice to see that things are finally settled to the mutual satisfaction of both parties. As I turn the page on the last chapter of my life, I can't help but to look back on how it ended and smile. After all, they will hold a special place in my mind and heart for the rest of my life...effective January 2013.