500 Hours of Community Service

I was cordially invited by email to a gathering by the volunteer agency that took place today to accept a piece of paper of recognition. I knew it was going to be boring but I decided to go anyway because you never know what can come out of it.

There were shitty free sandwiches that came out of it but I kind of expected that. The egg salad sandwiches must have had only half an egg inside each of them. It was more like egg spread. They say you shouldn’t complain about free food but I disagree. I called out my former manager for serving us 2 day old dry buns. If you’re begging then you can’t complain about free food, otherwise you can revolt.

So I received my certificate of appreciation for over 500 hours of volunteer service…my greatest accolade since posting my 500th post on WordPress. I gave my acceptance speech where I thanked my mother, Jesus Christ and all my fans.

An old guy received his certificate for over 1000 hours.

“How long did it take you to get 1000 hours?”

“8 years. It takes a while. It helps that I’m retired,” he replied.

I too am retired but I’m halfway to where he is and it only took me a year and half.

The other guy sitting beside me was a young guy just finishing high school. He was there to accept a scholarship for university.

“So what are you going to study?” I asked.

“Umm.. Science. I don’t know what I want to do.”

To motivate him I said if the next time I saw him he wasn’t on his way to being a doctor, I would burn his house down.

On the bus ride home I was thinking how being a bus driver is an important job. A lot of jobs are important, they just don’t always feel very satisfying. Providing an important service for the community doesn’t feel that great because you’re not very connected to the people you help and sometimes you feel very replaceable. It’s not like the patrons are always that gracious either. When someone’s getting paid to do something, some see it as permission to treat them as a lower entity.

A bus driver is a somewhat sought-after position where I live because it only requires a high school education and the wage is close to $30 an hour. There’s not many jobs like this left. I thought about it at one time(not really) but I decided I would rather pick up and deliver packages instead of people. I can tell every package to “go to hell” if I want to and not have to worry about the repercussions of social media. Packages don’t complain or have any rights.

 

 

 

 

The Last Day at Work

It was the last day of my 2 week resignation notice and I was hoping to get away without many colleagues knowing about my departure. There’s a morning meeting every day when management announce what they think needs to be said and I guess people quitting fits into that category.

“It’s his last day today so wish him good luck.”

You could hear some gasps within the circle of people. A few of them rushed to my vicinity eager to hear what was waiting for me but hoping to hear I wasn’t going on to something better. People can cope with their dreadful existence if they believe no else around them can do better.

“It’s either quit or stay here forever,” I said.

Perhaps no greater words have been spoken before but it wasn’t promising enough to spark widespread envy. Having perceived to have opened myself to life’s fury soothed their souls. To many there that job was a godsend for the unambitious. “Put in your years and you’re golden.” That way of thinking should have expired at least 30 years ago.

Some people probably had the idea that I thought I was too good for the job and would be sorry once I realized how “life really works.” Company nerds can take offence that someone would leave for what they perceive as nothing.

“You just have to accept it,” one said.

“Sometimes acceptance is the same as giving up.” 

 

The words people will say to you depend greatly on the actions that have transpired. When the damage has already been done, thoughts on what you should have done go unspoken. As stupid as they might think you are all that’s left to be said are well wishes.

“Good luck, nice working with you.”

 

 

 

 

Old Guys in the Neighbourhood

There’s this old Chinese guy who is always doing stuff to his motorcycle that I see sometimes when I walk my dog around the neighbourhood. I asked him a couple questions about his motorcycle and then 10 steps later he calls me back to the trunk of his car. He pulls out a pamphlet and starts talking Jesus with me.

“When I was living in Hong Kong I used to smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day, drink a whole bottle of Johnny Walker, gamble, say bad words…..”

I was just waiting for him to finish the sentence with, “and have sex with hookers,” but it didn’t happen. I know he was thinking it though. Sometimes you just get the feeling.

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I told him I would say the above prayer but I haven’t got around to it yet.

Today I was walking back from buying a straw hat when I bumped into the old guy who lives across the street from me. I was walking behind him for a few minutes, he was wearing shorts and kept staring at his right leg. I haven’t decided yet if he’s just wearing one of those blood pressure socks or if it’s a fake leg. It doesn’t look like a real leg but you never know with old people.

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Just about an hour ago I was at the park with my dog. I was chatting with this other old guy and another guy who was about my age. When the younger guy left the old guy said, “I want to give you….”

“A million dollars?”

“No,” he replied.

I know the look. I could tell it was going to be weird. He started going off about the Lemurian Plug which I never heard of. If he laid his cell phone against mine I would get the “frequency” and I wouldn’t have to every worry about brain cancer. With the frequency installed I could also remove all toxins from cheap wine and cigarettes. He went on about holograms and I started bracing myself for the worst. He better not ask me to touch his penis. 

He got me to put my feet together and then pulled my left arm downwards once without his cell phone in my right hand and once with. I know that trick. If you want to make the person go off balance you kind of pull towards the side. “See, I couldn’t knock you off balance with the phone in your hand.”

I wonder if people see me and think, “hey, this guy looks stupid.”

Jumping off a Bridge

Yesterday’s newspaper had an article about the possible suicide prevention strategies for a local bridge where police respond to potential jumpers on average of once a week. This reminded me of an episode from a radio show about people who jumped off bridges and the popular bridges they jump from. This then got me reading about it on the internet.

It’s quite the fascinating topic if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco will statistically give you a 98% success rate of killing yourself. If you’ve done your homework though you should be able to up your chances to 99.9%. Apparently, hitting the water feet first at a certain angle will decrease your chances of dying. The small percentage that survive the impact will often die from hypothermia.

I can see how the bridge method for suicide is desirable. It’s fairly quick and as a bonus you get the thrill of a lifetime just before it’s all over. Suicide by firearm, car exhaust fumes or pills requires one to attain the proper tools. A bridge is accessible 24/7 for free.

One fellow who jumped off of the Golden Gate Bridge immediately regretted it while in free fall. He ended up surviving, garnered some publicity, wrote a best selling book about it and may have found his calling advocating for mental health and bridge suicide prevention. Again the mantra stays true…bigger the risk, bigger the reward.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicides_at_the_Golden_Gate_Bridge

 

 

 

 

Imaginary Unreality

To accept a life that you dislike could mean that you’ve decided that there isn’t anything better for you. There’s peace when there is no one to fight. It may be true that this is as good as it gets but a lack of an imagination can take you to the end of the line prematurely. If you can imagine the reality of an idea then it’s likely to be realistic especially if it’s been done before. To not be at peace with the life you have may indicate that you believe there is something better for you. You don’t ever hate yourself for what you do not think is possible or expected of you.

A life of torment is referred to as an unimaginable hell not because it wasn’t a possibility but because it was a life one hoped would never happen to them. One who dreams for better possibilities than status quo is considered to have a good imagination but it’s not meant to be a compliment.

There’s a life we imagine for ourselves but we often set limits based on our environment and cultural conditioning. It’s like writing science fiction fantasy novels but not allowing the stories to ever leave Earth…you can only go so far.
Daily Prompt: Imaginary

 

Assessing Risk

“I learned how to win a little at a time. But finally I’ve learned this: if you’re too careful, your whole life can become a fuckin’ grind.”

-Rounders(film)

One of the laws of life is “no risk no reward.” Sometimes we hold out hoping for an option that carries no risk and only reward. That doesn’t usually exist except for the ones who run the show and make the rules. The more you feel you have to lose the more risk that is involved. When a situation seems so dire though risk might not even seem like an issue.

I don’t believe risk is the same as sacrifice. With the latter you’re giving up something for something else. With risk you’re giving up something and you might get nothing or worse. In a long enough time line though the difference between risk and sacrifice can become blurred.

Since nothing is 100%, risk is involved all the time. You might think that supposed safe job is risk free but what happens when you’re at the age of 45 and it gets taken away from you all of a sudden or you’re stuck in a cycle of 9-5 misery. Some choices don’t seem risky only because they’re more widely accepted as standard practice. Half the time risk is just the possibility of feeling left out from society. What if you’re at the end of your life and wished you took that potentially life changing risk when you were 25? Can not taking a risk be considered risking your life?

Life rewards those who take risks because most people aren’t willing to take them. The fear of losing overpowers the desire to win. We’re a very risk adverse species when comfortable options are available.

The ones that took a risk and failed will tell you, “just work a job.” The ones that succeeded or who didn’t take a risk will say, “you don’t want to work for somebody for all of your life.” Most people will have a bias.


“I took a risk, I took a risk, you see all the angles, and never have the fucking stones to play one”

-Rounders(film)

 

 

Emaciated Spirit

It’s a weird time we’re living in but then again that has probably been said in every era dating back to when they first discovered rubbing sticks together to create fire. Other than what goes on in my head my life isn’t a whole lot different but there’s a lot less to be excited about for the short and long term. When you feel that you have plateaued and are not overly hopeful of any potential catalysts the spirit within you starves. I’m not saying life is hopeless but the strong reason isn’t always there to fuel the positive beliefs.

Many people live life based on fears and an attachment to beliefs that are necessary for their current reasons to live. If you’re doing something you really don’t want to do then it’s rooted in the belief that you have to. “Have to” takes on different definitions depending on the game. I have beliefs but most of them don’t cater to my happiness.

Most of us get rolled out of the assembly line programmed to want the same thing but what life doesn’t tell many of us is that you never really had a chance. Some succeed, some fail but most just barely fit in. By the time you have any of it figured it out you’re the sum total of your regrets and fond memories that gives a bias to the positives so that you can live with yourself.