August 17, 2021 – Small World

Considering all of the ads I’ve posted in recent days, it’s not surprising that I’d run into someone I know. I’ve got ads (on Craigslist, Facebook, and the local paper) for couches and dining sets, inflatable river tubes and party lights, elliptical trainers and workout benches, chairs and end tables, and several items that I have no doubt will sell (that fall under the category of ‘shop stuff’). With the exception of yesterday, the pace of the sales remains at a ‘slow trickle’ but at least stuff is selling. I said my goodbyes to three furniture items yesterday, a mid-century dresser, a curved-glass front curio cabinet, and a chess table. They used to be pristine; however, during our last move, the people who moved us were careless when packing and transporting our goods, leaving everything in rather a sad state. Essentially, everything they touched either ended up with some significant damage or just flat-out disappeared. The mid-century dresser was left with two ‘battle scars’ (two large gouges on the front), the wood on the back of the curio cabinet was smashed in, and one corner of the chess table was also smashed (causing the wood to splinter). For these reasons, I took a hit on all three pieces when I sold them (in light of the damage).

The most interesting part of this process has been all of the people I’ve met (and continue to meet). When the first couple showed up (for the mid-century dresser), we struck up a conversation about the ‘big move’. They were curious where we were moving to and when I told them, they indicated they’d just been through there. Eventually, the conversation fell onto the topic of where everyone was from, and when the guy told me where he grew up, I absolutely couldn’t believe it! The minute he named the city, I exclaimed, “Me, too!!” He brought up the video arcade and the mall (which I often frequented) which were torn down and replaced with a massive Costco and several ‘big box’ stores. I used to live right across the street from the mall and it brought back so many memories. He even mentioned my old school and the brand new stadium that had been built shortly before a decision was made to close my school. Apparently, the lower-than-average student population in the district didn’t warrant having three different high schools in operation, so my school went on the ‘chopping block’. I am grateful it officially closed the year after I graduated because when it did, all of the underclassmen were forced to start anew elsewhere.

My love affair with pinball was born during that time in my life. Until my mom and stepdad banned/forbade me and my two older brothers from going to the arcade (due to the ‘unsavory’ characters), I spent much of my free time there. Whenever I walked through the front doors, it was as if I had been transported to a whole new world. Unlike now, I welcomed all of the sights and sounds synonymous with a video arcade. There were so many different ‘beeps and boops’ and ‘bings and dings’, there was even the unmistakable and thunderous ‘crack’ which sounded whenever someone (playing pinball) won a game. I still get a rush when I hear that sound, even though it makes my ears ring for about two minutes afterward. I have to admit, I haven’t spent a lot of time in video arcades in recent months. My brother Clover and I always made a point to go to one whenever I’d come to visit, but ever since my kidney transplant, I hesitate to go because, let’s face it, those arcades are basically giant bacteria-filled petri dishes. Have you ever been to one before? If you ever have, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. One word I wouldn’t use to describe a place like that is ‘sterile’. It’s anything but!

Fun? Yes! Sterile? Absolutely, unequivocally NO! It’s essentially the opposite of a hospital, which I’ve also made a point not to frequent (if I can help it). Apart from lab draws and mandatory visits, I steer clear of that place! Although, I might have to break down and go tomorrow because my thumb is still infected and hurts like a son-of-a-gun. I had hoped it would clear up on its own but all it’s done is get more swollen and turn purple, so I might have to seek ‘expert help’ to take care of it before things get out of hand. I definitely don’t want to get sepsis. I went through that once and once was enough! Anyway, before I go down another ‘rabbit hole, I’d better get back to the subject at hand. My intent was to talk about what a ‘small world’ we live in before I got distracted and started discussing pinball. And what a small world it is! Truly, it’s remarkable. “Why?” you ask. I have to tell you, this is one of those cases where ‘truth is stranger than fiction’. To preface what I have to say next, I I feel it’s necessary to bring up a very unpleasant experience I had shortly after moving here. I’ve discussed it before (in previous posts), but if you’re unfamiliar with those posts, you’re going to be totally lost as you continue to read.

The long and short of it is that I worked as a contract worker for a national energy company just shy of a year. When I was interviewed for the position, I was interviewed by a man and a woman. The interview went incredibly well and I was offered the job that very day. When I started working, I discovered that my actual supervisor was on assignment elsewhere, but would be returning in a week or two. Before he returned, I felt pretty good about the whole experience. I got along with everyone and the while the work itself was pretty mundane, it was doable. All of that ended abruptly when my supervisor walked through the door. I never could figure out what the deal was, but it was clear he didn’t like me. Every joke I made landed with a ‘thud’ and each time we’d interact, he treated me with a coldness that I wasn’t accustomed to. It’s important with a supervisor to know they ‘have your back’ and make no mistake, he didn’t have mine. When my renewable annual contract came due, rather than being told directly by him, a representative with the company I was hired through called and informed me of my last day. He (my supervisor) had never let on that anything was amiss and I was completely taken by surprise.

Needless to say, after being treated with the same casual disregard when I confronted my supervisor to discuss the matter at hand, even though I could have continued to work for another two weeks (through the end of my contract), I decided to leave that day. The experience was humiliating and I left in tears. Even though the work itself was dry and I felt like a square peg in a round hole (by the time it was all said and done), it sucks to be ‘let go’. The amount of rejection I felt was considerable and I don’t think I got out of bed for three days once I got home and broke the news to my husband. It hurt like hell and it took a long time to get over it. In fact, I still don’t think I’m completely over it. All that aside, despite how crappy my supervisor treated me, there was one person who was always kind and supportive. His name was Ron and he was also the guy (I mentioned earlier) on the interview team. On that fateful day when I got the ‘call’, as I approached my car (tears streaming down my face) feeling incredibly dejected, he’s the one person who came racing out of the building to check on me. He showed me kindness all of the way from the beginning to the end of my experience there.

Lo and behold (fast forward to today), guess who showed up to purchase my husband’s 80-gallon air compressor?! It is so strange because when I spoke with him earlier on the phone, I had no idea that he was the same ‘Ron’. But there was no mistaking it was him when I entered the garage (after my husband asked me to handle ‘the money’). “I know you!” I said (with astonishment) when it dawned on me who he was. Because I had lost weight, grown out my hair, and was wearing a mask, it took him a second or two to make the connection. Initially, he looked a bit puzzled, but after I mentioned the company we both worked for, you could tell by the expression on his face that he had put two and two together and figured out who I was. When that happened, his eyes lit up and it wasn’t long before we started walking down ‘memory lane’. As painful as it was to relive the past, I was glad I got the opportunity because he enlightened me about some things which had caused me considerable distress. The most significant, of course, was the cold, dismissive manner in which my supervisor had treated me.

According to Ron, my supervisor wasn’t terribly pleased when (upon returning from his temporary assignment) he found out I had been given the coveted position that he had intended for somebody else (another female). He made no effort to disguise his feelings either. I still remember the time when he walked passed me and loudly called back to another guy in the office (who he’d just been speaking with), “The next time there’s an interview, I want to be there!” That incident occurred not long after I’d been hired and I knew he was referring to me. I don’t know how best to describe our relationship other than he ‘tolerated’ me. As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather not be in a relationship with someone if that’s how they feel about me. I don’t want to be ‘tolerated’, I’d rather be loved or liked, appreciated or valued, (or) respected or admired. But ‘tolerated’?! No thanks! I was ‘tolerated’ by both of my mother-in-laws for years and it just made me feel like a piece of garbage. Eventually, I gave up on having a relationship with either one because the only thing that resulted was a lot of heartbreak. It seemed like no matter what I did, I came out on the losing end.

Oh my gosh, I just went down another rabbit hole! Still, I think I got my point across even though there were some detours in the process. It does make me wonder if I’m going to run in to any more people from my past before we hand over our housekeys and garage door remotes, climb into our vehicles, and make the long trek east. We’ve got just under a month before we close on our house, and considering how small our town is, there’s a very good possibility. At least, Ron was someone I didn’t mind ‘running’ in to. It would have been a different story if my old supervisor had shown up. Ron is the type of person you don’t run in to much these days, he’s a certifiable, true-blue, authentic ‘nice guy’. He’s so nice, in fact, he actually offered to help us move. Hang on, let me clarify, he didn’t just offer, he insisted. We’ll see. Knowing my husband as well as I do, he’ll refuse the help, but it’s comforting to know it’s there if we need it. Alright, I’d better go. Even though I’m wired (because I took a nap and didn’t wake up until six this evening), I’m going to try and get some rest. I need to ‘charge my battery’ if I’m going to make any headway packing up this house! Little progress was made today so I need to get a move on because there’s little time to waste.

Have a wonderful day…and I hope you stop by again soon!

2 thoughts on “August 17, 2021 – Small World

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