So that Monday morning had arrived and my new temporary job was to begin at the natural gas company. I had to fill out all kinds of paperwork in the Human Resources Department before I started to work. I don’t remember exactly what I was filling out, but it was a packet of stuff.

     I remember being nervous about working with my dad’s friend at that place. The little secret we all had was that if anyone asked how we were related, I had to say he was my uncle. As I was signing papers in that office that morning, I realized that our last names didn’t match up. I had gotten nervous. What was I to say?

    The answer hit me kind of too easy, since I really panicked for a minute over this silly situation. He was to be my mom’s brother. I was so relieved over the fact I had solved this ordeal myself. I felt stupid for almost breaking into a sweat over this little lie. I was nervous that if anyone had found out we were not related, I could be fired.

     But I solved it. And I swear that that same day, that MORNING I was asked how we were related! I shit you not! I guess people were trying to get their own kids and other family members in there at the same time. My dad’s friend got lucky, thus making ME lucky to have gotten a job there.

     After filling out the packets, the H.R. lady lead me down to his area. My dad’s friend had a tool room/parts room and a half-ass office in there, equipped with a computer, desk and phone. It was quite the sight at first. Quite comical to me. For a little while after getting there to his room, we shot the shit for a while about my dad, friends and things. Then he moved the conversation to work.

     He informed me that I was going to be working with him around the building on Mondays. The rest of the week I would be cutting grass at the stations in the area that the natural gas was going through. These stations had huge pipes and little sheds covering them surrounded by fields and fences. The fields had grass and my job was to keep these stations cut and looking neat.

     Then he told me he knew that my dad had wanted me to work there for money to help pay for college. He said he will work alot with me if I was willing to stay late past quitting time for overtime. I said I would. I was all for the overtime! 

     The only thing about that was I had to work a five day work week, Monday through Friday, from 7:30 in the morning til 4:00 in the afternoon. I had to work 40 hours before I got any overtime. So if I stayed past 4:00 til whatever time I went to, it would not be overtime til a total of 40 hours in the week was achieved.

     I had gotten into the habit of working so much that at some point on Thursday mornings I reached the 40 hours. Everything after that was overtime, including all day Friday! I loved it! The money was great and I had a real sense of helping out my dad for me going to Ferris State.

     Once he was done laying the ground rules out for me and had the job explained, he lead me out of the room to meet other people working there. Boy, was the working world about to open up for me and let me see it in a way I never saw it before!

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December 2019
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