Today was an interesting day.
It started with dropping my truck off at to get looked at b/c it wouldn’t start without a jump … the battery that I replaced two months ago was faulty.
Then I started my first day at a ‘real’ job. I’m saying ‘real’ not to invalidate other job positions I’ve held (many of the other jobs I’ve had have been as related to reality as you can get as far as I am concerned: trail blazing, teaching English to immigrants, editing an independent magazine); but rather I am using the word ‘real’ to signify the standard/typical/American Dream feel of this job.
As part of a publishing corporation, I have been bestowed with the trappings of a corporate identity: a dress code (which I promplty ‘violated’ unknowingly and despite my best efforts), a higher pay rate than I have ever had, benefits and a 401k, vacation time, and an HR department to keep track of it for me (so nice of them), and a break room with vending machines.
I’m not sure what else comes with this and am hesitant to create expectations. For example, I don’t want to expect that b/c of the enormity and complexity of the systems used to put together seven or eight publications weekly and one daily paper, that there is much passing of the buck and evading responsibility. On the contrary, the structure and efficiency seems to make everything run smoother, with individuals focused on their own tasks and executing them well, like an assembly line. Still early to tell though …
In case you are wondering, the job is doing prepress work for the PennySaver and Mid-York Weekly, weekly publications that are basically advertising vehicles and free papers in the Mohawk Valley. They are owned by the same company that published the Utica Observer-Dispatch, and in fact they are housed in the same building, three blocks from my house (yay for not having to use my car!).
I am learning a lot right now, and a lot quicker than I expected. I just hope my skills and learning ability will get me by enough to do well. If anything, the steady pay will allow me to work on other projects, such as Two Sources and writing.
Later today, actually about an hour ago, I found out that a friend (C.T.) of ours committed suicide a few days ago. We were sitting in the kitchen and my fiance was on the phone with his friend, who told him …. he said later that when his friend told him what happened, his gut/mind reaction was “Of course, that makes perfect sense,” before his emotional reaction caught up and the words escaped his lips – “Are you fucking kidding me?” … and the tears.
We may never know what was going through C.T.’s head when he did what he did. All we know is that there was a silent conflict going on that no one else knew about .. which eventually led to this drastic action. Unfortunately, the ‘self-pitying fool’ took along the wonderful, loving, and creative human being that we knew C.T. to be.
May his soul rest in peace and may he be reborn in a life better than this one ….