So I had accepted the job at the natural gas company at the entrance level of meter reader. There are two entrance level positions, meter reading and janitor. The meter reading job listing went up, I put in for it, then accepted the job when they offered it to me.

     I was sent to a week of schooling to learn how to read dials on a gas meter. It was so simple, an ape could do it. I also learned about how to deal with customers, dogs, icy conditions, and other things the company could conjure up to make a week of this monotony last.

     They also tested us with a “final exam” on reading meters. It was all on computer. We had to read three hundred, four dial meter reads and pass with a 98.7% accurancy. If you failed, they let you try again the following Monday. If you failed THAT one, you were gone! They let you go.

     Needless to say, when that Friday came for the “final”, I was nervous as hell. I was already supposed to be back at school. If I failed this test, I would ruin my life! I had felt so much pressure to master this test and begin my career at the gas company.

     I failed it! I didn’t get the 98.7% accuracy. I was so bummed. I felt like an idiot. They gave us practice tests all week and I did fine on those, but not the one that counted the most. All that weekend I was thinking about Monday, my last chance or I was gone.

     I arrived to work that Monday morning proplerly dressed with good walking shoes, shorts and a loose-fitting t-shirt, just as I learned in class. Starting time rolled around and my boss told me to go into her office and retake the test. I went in there all relaxed and cool and calm. I was surprised at the mental state I was in.

     I had learned the practice of being cocky in my high school sport playing days. It was a way to put the pressure aside in my head, calm my nerves, and show I had game. As I headed into that office and looked at that computer, I knew I was gonna kick ass. I just knew it!

     It took my about 15 minutes to complete the 300 meter read test. I told my boss I was finished. She downloaded the results and told me my result.

     100%!!! Wow! I knew I had it, but I didn’t know I had it THAT good! WHEW!!! I passed and I was good to go.

     I was then handed keys to my own company pickup truck, maps of my routes, a handheld device with addresses and routes to read, and a pat on the back. My career at the gas company had now officially begun.


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September 2019
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