Was all that I ever asked for.
But do you think I could get that?
When I started with this company in September of 2004 all I asked for was 40 hours a week and a livable wage. Not that I expected more, mind you. It is a security company and they're notorious for lousy pay and no benefits. Sure, I could have gone to any large city in the country and made shitloads more money with my education and experience.
But that wasn't in my plan.
Money was not the object and goal. Sure, it has it's place, like being able to live. But it wasn't my main concern so I decided to move to a rural area. I like the country anyway. This wasn't a career choice anyway, so I soldiered on with the low pay because it was just a means to and end which came to fruition last Friday with the offer of the railroad job.
So I did the right thing, not burn any bridges, and gave my two-week's notice Saturday. I thought that would be fine, since I've been an above-average employee. I've never once called in sick, I'm always early, I'm always available for overtime, and contrary to what you might have gathered here, I really don't bitch much about work at work... So I have two weeks left doing my normal patrols here in town. Not a big deal, this job isn't rocket science.
I had even suggested when I gave my notice that I stay on the payroll because the company has several contracts with coal mines in the area where I'm moving to. I have my 40-hour mine surface card and I'm familiar with the mine security procedures, so I can still work on-call when they need me. My boss took this very well (I thought) and even said he knew at some point I'd be leaving for the railroad... Duh! So I thought everything was okey-dokey.
My first mistake. I assumed.
So I get to work last night, walk across the parking lot and the first thing that hits me is "Where the fuck is my truck?" Not one vehicle is in the parking lot. So I key myself into the building and find all my stuff that I usually leave in the truck toss unceremoniously into a corner. My MagLight, clipboard, payroll sheet, a light jacket and the paperback I'm reading just tossed into the corner.
So I assume at this point I'm not fired, he'd have been there to do it if I was, so I give him a call. No answer. I leave a message. He never returned my call. So now I'm stuck, most probably for the remainder of my employment here, to walk my patrols. That's ok in part, I like to walk and it's really only about two miles a trip if I check everything.
But that's still not the fucking point.
He's pulled the truck on other occasions for emergencies, but this seems a little too convenient... So if that's the way he's going to be, ok. About two hours into my shift I walked over to the fire station, went upstairs, took my jacket off, grabbed the remote to the big-screen TV and kicked my feet up. I watched the History Channel for over five hours.
I look at it this way. If he thinks this little of me after the last twenty months of honest work and loyalty, why should I care either? What's he going to do, fire me?
The really ironic thing about this whole episode was that when the president of the railroad offered me the job last Friday he wanted me to start yesterday. But I was adamant about giving my two-weeks notice and working them through.
So much for being the nice guy and doing the right thing.
Nice guys finish last again.
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden