Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last Friday’s music prompt challenge. The song this week is: “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter.
“Bay Day” – Daniel Powter
Thomas needed a job. It wasn’t okay to do nothing anymore. His Masters Degree was finished and he had incurred a debt of student loans over the past eight-years. He had recently received his MA in History and he was choosy concerning where he would work — that had been six-months ago.
Thomas had figured he had six-months worth of savings to live on before he had to payback his loans. He knew there wasn’t much luck for him finding a job in academics. His marks weren’t high enough for him to teach or pursue a PHd.
He also felt he required a change, something different in life. Thomas had had his head stuck in history for the past eight-years; he had forgotten so much about the modern world around him. For this reason he spent six-months sleeping as long as he liked, drinking, picking-up girls, restablishing old friendships, and meeting new people; he took life easy after working so hard on his studies– perhaps too easy.
Thomas was facing his first payment on his mountainous student debt and he wasn’t sure how much longer he could pay rent from savings, afford food, or have WiFi. He didn’t want to end up working for Starbucks or some place like that. He wanted a real job; a career which incorporated history.
Yet, Thomas had one terrible interview after another. One older woman interviewing him commented: “You don’t seem to care about anything Thomas. Not your appearance and not your career goals. You say you love history but you have no passion or drive in life. Try applying for other positions in our company when you find your moxie.”
Many employers didn’t want a scruffy looking guy in ill-fitting dress clothes such as Thomas, who didn’t know what he wanted out of life. Either that or they said he could start in a low-paying administration job. No guy with an MA wanted to be a receptionist or work in the mail room.
Now Thomas wished he had taken a job as some guy’s receptionist. He had been too proud and if he didn’t nail his next interview, he wouldn’t be eating soon.
He had spent some money ensuring he was groomed perfectly, hair cut trendy and face shaved clean. His brother’s old suit he had tailored and he bought a fashionabl coloured tie. His black shoes were old but still in and polished, glinting in the sunlight.
The past six-months had been one long badday. Thomas was tired of being hungover and of girls who only wanted him to buy drinks and never wanted any type of connection the morning after. He loved his friends but he knew he had to stop being so proud. Any job which would pay the bills right now was fine.
When Thomas arrived at his interview he tripped over the door as the receptionist led him into the interviewer’s office. There was a burning pain on his forehead where he had rug burn.
The middle-aged guy sitting at his opulent desk chuckled as Thomas sat down across from him.”It’s alright. I’ve tripped plenty of times walking over that doorway. I guess we really should get that ledge fixed,” the man said.”I’m Greg, I’m the owner of this company,” the man said gripping Thomas’ hand and shaking it.
“Oh, its fine. I’m just clumsy. Sorry,” Thomas said nervously and stretched out his fingers after Greg’s mammoth hand shake.
Greg smiled and asked Thomas: “So who are your favourite sports teams? Did you play any sports in university? You look as if you did?”
Thomas had practiced several interview questions and situations with his sister so he was prepared: “I’m a Seahawks fan and love the Seattle Mariners of course. I didn’t play football or baseball but I did golf on the university team. Did decently too.”
Greg grinned at Thomas. He’d won Greg over with simple sports talk and the fact Thomas was great at golfing. The owner continued peppering Thomas with more questions which were typically relayed to work habits. The interview questions were standard and easy enough for Thomas to answer.
“When can you start?” Greg asked after a half-an-hour had passed.”We could use someone to start from the bottom up. Learn the administrative ropes and move into a Junior Account Manager position and beyond. We need a guy who’s willing to stay and learn about the company and grow with us. Are you our guy Thomas?”
Thomas grinned trying to contain his enthusiasm and excitement. Finally, a job he was interested in and a business owner who thought like him.
“I’m most definitely your man Greg. I love history, especiallysportshistory and working for a network that broadcasts hockey and football games and also, looks back on bygone moments in sport’s history is exciting to me. I’m happy to start whenever you need.”
They negotiated a starting salary and Thomas would begin work in two-weeks. He was so relieved to have a job, even though he would begin on reception. Doing a job centred around sports, interested Thomas. It was the end of his bad luck and days spent worrying.
He was so happy, Thomas didn’t notice the car pulling out in front of him in the parking lot. He broke his arm on impact in the crash but luckily, being in a parking lot, the accident was no fault for either driver. Thomas though injured, had the most contented smile on his face. Life was turning around.
It’s difficult for me to believe I graduated from university nine-years ago. That it will be a decade in 2017 blows my mind. These are my Dad and my Mom with me in the photograph, and I have to say I would have never made it to graduation, or in the years post graduation without my parents.
It was a funny thing, when I first became ill and had to go in hospital in 2009, I wasn’t thinking straight, but the only thing which got me through the long days in the hospital was that my parents were going to come visit me at 5:30 pm. The entire three-weeks I was in the hospital, they came every night and stayed until visiting hours were over at 8:00 pm.
My Dad would come first and he would read to me and play cribbage with me. I have always loved how my Dad’s voice sounded when he read a book outloud. I remember him reading devotions to my brothers and I when we were small kids. The boo my Dad read to me was called A Thousand Splendid Suns. It was an excellent book but at the sametime it terrified me because in my mind, my own situation related to one of the woman characters. All through the first week at the hospital I was still delusional, but my parents never let me down.
I think I would have cried had my parents not come to the hospital one day, even when my thinking became clear and organized in the second week after I started taking a medication which almost immediately stopped my delusions. I learned later, how tiring it was for my parents to work all day and visit me in hospital each night. On weekends I had a pass to come home, and it must have been a relief to them to relax a bit. When I was able to be in my own bed I felt safe again. In the hospital before I was on the correct medication to stop my delusions, I believed I was in a sort of Hell and that you couldn’t have parents in Hell, so eventually I was going to lose my parents.
Then the medications started working. My delusions went away. I wasn’t scared to be at the hospital anymore. But I still counted down the hours until my parents came. While I healed initially at home, I became much closer with my family. My Godparents, my Great-Grandma Reeder, My Grandma Eifert, and even my brothers, I realized I’d been neglecting. I hugged my brothers when I first came home and saw them. I don’t recall hugging them before that except when I was a child. I think they were both embarrassed but they both patted my back.
Before my episode, I was wrapped up in work and my social life. I had responsibilities at work which would have continued to grow and turn into not only a full work day but networking events at night during the week and weekends. I would have had ” a career,” but I doubt now I would have loved it.
It would have been fun I think but I’m glad life didn’t go that way. I learned to value my family so much more. My parents have let me stay at home while I have been healing for eight-years and they charge me little rent so I can save money and pay off my debts. My Mom drives me to places often. We do things together and Mom takes me to get a blood test every week and to pick-up some necessities at the local drugstore or the mall. I have gone on vacations with both my parents to Las Vegas and Phoenix. I have gone on a couple of trips with only my Mom and one with by brother N.
I have learned from my experiences in the past, you can depend on your family and that they will love and support you through good and bad times. At some point when I’m a bit more able to be independent, I will move out. I wonder what I will do without my Mom at night and weekends to talk to and make plans with. I wonder who I will talk to about sports with when my Dad and I don’t live in the same house. I wonder, but I know even when I am on my own, I will have the support of my family.
Thanks to Jacqueline from A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales for hosting Echos of My Neighbourhood each Thursday.
I am at the crosswalk on Jasper ave and then . . . there are young businessmen in colourful shirts and patterned ties talking loudly about sports; there are elegant older women in pencil skirts and flowing blouses shopping; homeless men in ragged winter coats and broken shoes begging; toned women in their Lululemons running back to the gym; bicycle messengers in their black mud-spattered garb; student’s in blue jeans and t-shirts hanging onto heavy backpacks waiting for the bus; there are the beauticians and hairstylists in their leather leggings, and funky light pink hair having conversations with clients; and there are people who are running home and quickly walking the dog with their husband or wife in tow.
There are also pretty girls with long black hair, heavy makeup, and leather moto jackets who are waitresses at restaurants of good repore; there are CEO’s and their top men in fine suits with pin stripes from Holt Renfrew who are negotiating deals; their are men with New’s boy hats and skinny jeans walking quickly to a retail job selling clothes; there are men in semi-casual khaki’s and a stripped rugby shirts working at cubicles in healthcare; there are firemen in there navy uniforms laughing loudly eating at the Wok Box; there are security guards in grey shirts and ties with a badge looking through a women’s large shopping bag; there all old-women dressed in their warmest down coat, with silver hair, and creased grey eyes looking to make some purchases at the Winners; there are old men sitting in the food court over coffee regailing each other with tales of their lives and of past jobs and children grown up and busy, of grandchildren who visit; there is a blind man led by a black dog in a jewel blue vest, stopping safely at the crosswalk before the cars go by.
Then there was me. An observer of everything, watching everything around me, knowing what they’re all doing. I was there a few days ago crossing the street in heels. Stepping onto a curb before I am pushed by two large men in suits not paying attention to a 5’1″ women. When the car drove over me I didn’t even feel it. I had hit my head on the concrete curb of the street. I was lying there bleeding and the hords stepped around me. They barely flinched when the truck drove over me, as if I was meant to be road-kill.
But I watch them from a tree a wisp of myself. And I wonder if today someone will care about the lonely and the lost, those too short and whose voices are too small to be heard above the noise.
Prompt: A story of when you were on the outside looking in.
High school can be a difficult time for many people. And these days, girls can be especially mean. I suspect they always were. The difference is that while boys will go punch each other and get into a fight, and things will be fine between them; girls, will go behind each other’s back. They will spread rumours and make not so subtle hints to another girl they don’t like or feel jealous of, they will hold a grudge a long time and leave the girl they’ve hurt, so to speak, on the outside looking in. But some girls can be extremely cruel, I remember one girl telling me she shoved other girls in lockers or garbage cans in Jr. High. I guess we all saw the movie Mean Girls. Some of us took it too literally.
I was never unpopular in high school. I played sports and I received high marks at some courses. I was extremely gifted at art. But grade 10 was one of the toughest years for me. I had been bestfriends with two girls Josie and Tia and we spent every Friday and sometimes Saturday over at Josie’s house watching movies, and hanging out. In grade 10 I excitedly introduced Josie to my friend Amy from elementary school and Josie became friends with Katie; whose brother Josie had a crush on, as well as Aimee.
We all hung out together, a large group at first. But Josie and Katie seemed to get close and I felt myself drifting away from, but not wanting to. I was friends with Amy because we also played basketball on the school’s girl’s team. But I think Amy could even see that Josie and Katie just thought I was someone they didn’t want to be around. She tried to help but it didn’t make a difference.
I made friends with another grade 10 student Melonie, who was fun and I played volleyball with. But Melonie made friends with two grade 12 girls and didn’t want to be my friend either. It was tough being the principals daughter at a small high school. It really hurt me how Josie treated me after being such close friends with her in grade 9. I remember a time in grade 11 where we were walking together for some reason and neither of us could think of a thing to say, that’s how far a part we’d grown.
But by grade 12, all the kids in our class got along; I wasn’t weird because I was the principal’s daughter. I was friends with Josie and Katie. We all worked on the Graduation committee under Amy. My friend Tia experienced the same outside looking in experience I did, although, I think worse because she left the school after grade 10. I didn’t learn until later, how tough it was for her.
But throughout University I hung out with Amy, and Josie and Katie when they came to the same small university a year or so later. We had great fun times at the bar and birthday parties. I made a big group of other friends who were my bestfriends in third year. Since I finished university, Josie has been one of my closest friends. I can tell her everything and at times we don’t see each other for months and then when we do see each other, it’s as if we were never apart. Conversation and jokes run freely. We text a lot too.
High school was all about being on the outside looking in for me in grade 10. But time changed, people change, and you realize sometimes that you are no better then other people. I can recall a few times where I was mean and left out other girls. Once this girl Hanna, I meant in choral camp, came to our school dance. She wanted to hang out but I followed around Josie, Katie, and Amy because I wanted to fit in with them. I would have had much more fun hanging with Hanna who is also an awesome friend to this day, despite how I treated her then.
I also was mean to a girl named Addriena who wanted to fit in with me and the group I was desperately trying to hold onto. I ignored her and was mean. Plus, I’ve never really gotten girls who don’t take care of themselves when they are perfectly able. I was mean to her and she ended up leaving the school too. I saw her again in University, I believe I apologized. She was beautiful then and dressed well and had a boyfriend. I feel awful still that I made her feel as if she on the outside looking in. I got my just desserts I think.
*All names were changed for privacy.
I actually had playing in my head this song featuring Ellie Goulding and made by Taylor Swift’s boyfriend and DJ, Calvin Harris, during this post as theme music.
So happy Canada day everyone! Did you know that you live in one of the most blessed countries in the world? We have so many rights and freedoms that many other countries can only dream of. Now it has been a long time since elementary school history, in which we students covered the history of Canada but there are some very special things I would like to share with you about Canada borrowed from the website ” 43 Interesting Facts About Canada.”
2.“O Canada,” originally named “Chant national,” was written by Adolphe-Basile Routhier (French lyrics) and Calixa Lavallée (music) and first performed in Quebec City in 1880. The song was approved by the Parliament of Canada in 1967 as the unofficial national anthem and adopted officially on July 1, 1980.c
3. It’s population density is 8.6 people per square mile, making Canada the ninth-most sparsely populated nation in the world.
4.According to the 2001 census, 42.6% of Canadians are Roman Catholic, 23.3% are Protestant, and 16% claim to have no religion.c
5. Ice hockey is Canada’s official national game.a The modern game of ice hockey was developed in Canada, based on games that have been played since the tenth century.c The rules were first published in the Montreal Gazette in 1877.a
6.Canada contains 9% of the world’s renewable water supply.m
7.Cryptozoologists claim that Canada is the home of several cryptids, including Sasquatch, a giant sloth-like creature known as the beaver-eater, a cannibalistic wildman named Windigo, and a number of lake monsters, such as Ogopogo in Lake Okanagan, British Columbia.c
8.The West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, was once the world’s largest shopping mall. It now ranks fifth, but it still contains the world’s largest indoor amusement park.m
9.Canadians have made many important inventions, including Kerosene, the electron microscope, the electronic organ, insulin, the IMAX film system, the snowmobile, and the electric cooking range.c
10.Newfoundland was the first part of Canada to be explored by Europeans. Ironically, it was the last area to become a province, in 1949.l