I’m getting ever so close to being 50 years old. My life isn’t by any means glamorous or financially stable. It never has been and probably never will be. I’d likely be a lot better off financially if I would’ve avoided all the horrible relationships I’ve been in over the years. I’m a working stiff and have rarely been without work. Many times, such as currently; I’ve worked two jobs to do what I have to do to get by. The other night at my second job, the new Assistant Manager teased me about how I simply sit and drive to make money. And that he works twice as hard and as much as I do.
At 20, I went from simple delivery driver to store manager in a month by proving that, “I can run this store better than you. And I’ve only worked here 2 weeks.”. I should’ve been fired for being so bold. Instead I was given and opportunity and was rewarded for my effort. That lasted a little over a year before I was given a better opportunity.
I was given my own Little Caesars to run in East Jordan. I mucked that opportunity up, but I bounced back.
I spent two years working in a machine shop. But coming home covered in Cast Iron dust wasn’t my thing.
I served my country in the US Navy for 4 years. I got the opportunity to go around the world and see so many places. Countries I have visited: St. Martin, Spain, Greece, France, Italy, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Pompeii as well as Jerusalem and Bethlehem in Israel.
Most of the time I was a “pencil pusher”. Dealing with the ships budget and filing requisition forms. Super boring for the most part. Though I will say this, and have been dying to say it for several months. All this crap people talk about the military paying too much for things is a bunch of bologna. I watched the money come and go and all the receipts. Never once did I see a $200 hammer. I think the most we ever paid was $20 and it was a damn big hammer. Though one of our biggest costs was toilet paper for 3000+ crew members who were fed low grade and outdated food. We’d save costs on buying dry food that was past the “best if used by” date.
During my time in the Navy I volunteered for a few exciting and dangerous jobs:
I now know how to fight a fire. At sea or at home. I think it’s something everyone should learn as sometimes the Fire Department can arrive too late. I’ve never had to fight a big fire at sea, but let’s face it. IF you fight a big fire at sea, you had better win. Otherwise the alternative is death. You won’t be energetic enough to swim for very long if your ship goes down in flames because you lost a long hard battle.
Shoring was to temporarily repair breaches in the hull or piping if the ship takes damage. It’s not fun and is full of very stressful happenings when things start to flood.
Basic Medial Triage
I never got to use my medical triage training. Though I have seen a few dead bodies over the years. Sadly I’ve forgotten most of my training from lack of use.
This was a team that let loose or helped tie the ship to the docks. I’ve been on this team the whole time I was assigned to the USS Enterprise. Everywhere we went, rain, cold or shine I was there. If you don’t do it right you can lose a limb or even die.
Naval Training Video showing the dangers of Mooring
I was volunteered for Ship to Ship Replenishment detail twice. If you want an adrenaline rush, try being a lineman on one of these during heavy seas. You DO NOT want to be this guy if the supplies end up in the ocean.
Warning: Video is boring and does not show heavy sea swells like we dealt with.
Other achievements included a letter of Commendation from President Clinton for his visit aboard our ship. I was responsible for his floor while he dinned in our officers mess. Apparently he could see his reflection and was impressed. ?
Making pay and rank increase without having to test for it by doing a job that is normally reserved for a First Class Petty Officer as an E-3 Airman. Acing inspection in our department without any help.
The Navy is also where I began learning about computers. This led to my job at Gateway as a Tech Support Specialist. For 2 years I made serious bank and benefits. Sadly it came to an end with all major computer companies outsourcing tech support to India and such.
After that I owned by own business for two years. CR Computers+ I built custom computers and did in-home computer repair and upgrades. I still keep a list of free software to this day and offer help to friends and such. I still have one Computer Case Badge I keep around for nostalgia’s sake.
From there I got a job at a small ISP where I still work today. It celebrated 13 years with them last September. Personally I don’t know anyone who has put in 13 years in one job. I’m sure there are plenty who have and have done more. I just don’t know any. So I feel it’s a decent achievement to have so much time in one job.
Over the years I have spent time working in Pizza. Sometimes a manager, most of the time a driver. Let’s face it, that’s where the easy money is and I’ve proved it time and again. Little Caesars (x2), Domino’s (x2), Papa Johns (x3), Chanello’s, BC Pizza and Mancino’s. I’ve put in more time at Pizza places than my current general manager and the assistant manager combined. I simply don’t want the stress of being a manager of a fast food chain any more.
There were also little crappy jobs I didn’t keep long in there as well. Being a clothing store pick-up boy wasn’t for me. Nor was being a dishwasher. Or a gas station clerk. Anything 3rd shift got me fired. I just am not a night owl.
So yes, perhaps this person does work more than I do and works harder. He’s still quite young and has yet to do a quarter of what I have done in my life. I’ve done more by the time I was his age than he’s done ever. I’ve paid my dues. I’ve served my time and my country. It’s time I get to sit back and take it easier. Looking back, I am proud of what I’ve done.