As I was beginning on the relationship with my sister’s friend, who would later become my daughters’ mom, I was working as a dishwasher at The Olive Garden. I had a good schedule of working different hours every day. So the job wasn’t boring. I liked being there. It was a fun job.

     But like I said before, my dad had different plans. He worked it out with a friend of his to get me into a better, higher paying job, since he wanted me to help pay for my schooling at Ferris State University.

     I had no clue this plan was going on between my dad and his friend. The friend worked at the natural gas company for nearly thirty years. He had some pull there and was able to get me in as a temporary for just that summer, the summer of 1992. My dad TOLD me to quit the restaurant job and if the interview I had went well. It did. I got the temporary job.

     I went the next day to the resaturant job to quit. I told my boss what was up. He tried keeping me there with a raise. He offered to try to match what I was going to be paid at the gas company. When I told the pay i would get, which was ten dollars more an hour, he laughed and said good luck at my new job!

     We shook hands, I turned in my uniform shirts and we wished each other well. That was a real fun place to work. I had some good times making friends the short time I was there, but I was also excited to start the new job.

     Who wouldn’t be excited to land a job at the age of 19 paying nearly fifteen bucks an hour? That was a whole lot of money to a kid at my age. My friends were envious. But I had a game plan. It was to make as much money as I could before I had to return to school in the fall.

     I had a weekend to myself to do whatever I wanted to do. My dad took me shopping for a good pair of work boots for the new job. I remember thinking “what did I get myself into” while we shopped. Work boots! It was like suddenly I was going to work for the rest of my life. That wasn’t the plan though. Little did I know.

     But we found a good reliable pair of boots (my dad had always been big on getting good, quality footwear no matter what they were to be used for) and he payed for them, although I had a little spending money. He just didn’t want me using so much of it at once.

     I hung out the remainder of the time on that weekend. I was nervous about what was to come on Monday morning. New people, a strange job I didn’t even know existed, and the pressure to workalot for the money. I didn’t know how much I had to work, but I was about to find out.

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August 2020


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