Wednesday, August 09, 2006


when i was 15 i had my first summer job.

the previous summer, between my freshman and sophomore years in high school, i spent in the basement studying french, in the basement playing sega genesis, and in bedroom reading books. i felt like a nothing, because i didn't have a job. i was too much of a pussy to try caddying, which seemed like an awful deal - wake up at 5:30am to carry some dude's bag and get all these golf rituals correct. i was way too small and clumsy to believe i could do that without suffering substantial humiliation on the daily. that was really the only job i knew about, the only job i could get as a 14 year old and also get a ride to. so fuck it, i was 14. i stuck around the house and whiled the hours away somehow. and french 2 wasn't that big a deal, just more grammar.

so that summer i wasn't making money and i wasn't playing sports. i was festering. i don't know if my parents knew it, but i was probably quite depressed. i had actually depressed a lot that school year, as many 14 year olds are.

so the next summer, i was determined to work. still didn't have a good way to get anywhere, but that was ok - the cleaning lady that made our house smell like lemons every wednesday also had a lawn-cutting service on the side. she could use another mower-operator, so i jumped at it. i sat between her and her 80-year-old uncle in the cab of the covered pickup as we drove from job to job. the first week, it took me a bit to get it together. i was a weak little kid, still - i hadn't played sports again that year, as i'd entered sophomore year with a broken arm. that killed my soccer career.

but after a week, my cleaning lady and new boss called my mom and told her it wasn't working out, that i was too weak. (she was a beast who pumped iron, of course.) so i'd work for her another week and then i'd be home for another summer of festering. i cried like a baby when i heard the news. my parents didn't know what to do. i remember saying "i've got NOTHING going for me right now." which was true. no discernible hobbies, no friends within walking distance, no girls, no job, no sports, no nothing. so i cried some more and then my parents took my puffy face to see "howard's end" at the dollar show. rock.

the next week, ostensibly my last working as a lawnboy, i must have just gotten the hang of everything, finding a rhythm once i ceased caring. or maybe i was consciously trying to prove myself to the cleaning lady. either way, she graciously spared me at the end of the week. i'd end up working for her all that summer and the next, swallowing crypto-racist banter and her uncle's pee smell in the cab of the truck.

every summer after that, i had a fulltime job. in the brief periods i didn't, i'd be depressed. this is why i'm terrified to quit my current job, to branch out and see what the wide world has to offer. freelancing, etc. i'm too worried i'll spiral out of control and ... well, i don't have much confidence right now. but i haven't for a while, excepting brief periods. but now i find myself depressed in my fulltime, longterm job, and i don't know what to do. i'm all alone. i don't have anyone to talk to. no one really wants to hear this crap. i need a therapist, i guess. i tried getting one before, but i can't figure out how to do it. HR is a movign target at this job - the HR rep is here, then quits, then in atlanta, then let go, then operations are shifted and... the point is i can't figure out how to get a therapist. so i stew. probably not the best solution.


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