A Screeching Awakening
As of January 19, 2016 @ 5:30 AM: I am setting out to stay at my job and focus at it to my highest reception, attention and implication for one year.
I couldn't sleep very good that morning because I was excited about my new position at a distant, call center where I would be working as a salesman. It was intended to be the second day of training there. It reminded me of college, where during the first month I would show up dressed sharp, armed with my pen and spiral notebook. During the first day of training, one of the veteran workers came in and asked if any of us had seen Glengarry Glen Ross; to my amusement I thought he was talking about an actual sales coaching documentary. So at about 5 A.M. on this day, I watched Alec Baldwin in some of his finer moments! I reviewed my notes from the day before and after some self coaching moments of my own, I wrote what I began this blog with.
At about 6 A.M. I hear my sister and her children getting up and starting their days. I decide to get up and join them. My sister juggles multiple things at once everyday but, in the morning it is pretty hectic for her. Her children are very bubbly but are toddlers, 2 years old and 6 months old. After she's dressed her oldest, I help him put his shoes and jacket on while she's changing her daughter's diaper. My blazer lately hasn't been starting at the first attempt so I go outside and sure enough she won't start!
This isn't happening today so I do what lately has been the fixer: I give the battery a "technical tap," really, I slap it like it's a bongo drum and I pull and crimp the wires connected to it. First time after doing this, she goes but dies. The second time is a charm! So, I go back inside and down the last of my coffee. I take my dog out and by this time my sister has already warmed up her car and is in the process of backpacking her children out to her vehicle to begin her voyage of dropping them off to daycare, followed by her full day at work.
I bring my dog in and say something smart to him like: "HAVE A GREAT DAY! NO SMOKING!" I then go up to the refrigerator, grab my lunch and make it out to my blazer. I have been to my new job twice now, once for the interview and yesterday's first day but I am geographically challenged. Today though, I'm sure that I can get there without the GPS app on my phone. I punch it in anyways and place my phone in my lap.
I pull out of the driveway and have that clumsy: "WHERE'S MY PHONE?! OH NO! WHERE IS MY PHONE?!" I realize that it's in my lap. Correct me if I'm wrong but, for the person reading this no matter where you are.... There's a curve that you drive around in your town that every time you make it around that bend, you cringe! I'm knowingly, approaching that bend when I find my phone, activate the screen, put the phone in the center cup-holder. In that maybe, a second I'm at the beginning of the curve.
I'm just a passenger tire's width into the snow covered shoulder and from my experiences with driving in the snow, out of instinct I don't tap on the brakes. Instead, I've accelerated and have pulled my steering wheel all the way to the left. The curve is on a slope and the slope is covered in snow. So there's a wedge under me and the blazer that won't let us go anywhere but straight at 45 miles per hour. There are just trees in front of me.
"ARE YOU SERIOUS," I exclaim.
I've been in a fender bender before but nothing like this. I've also been in a couple of accidents where I was completely possessed by fear and believed I was going to be mutilated. Now believe me, I thought I was going to be alright until this first boom!
The whole passenger side has crunched inward along with the dashboard. During this collision, the windshield has cracked. I am feeling the beginning of the whiplash, like I haven't stopped yet. It's a weird tingly, fuzzy feeling. I hear the passenger side windows cave in and feel shards of glass drive into my skull.
I tried my everything, I thought while I had this image of a tree impaling me. Just make it fast. I passed out in this moment and I would compare it to jumping in a body of water on a hot summer day, when you've already dipped your toes in the water and know the temperature. There was no anxiety at this point.
I open my eyes, see smoke and just feel pain everywhere. I exclaimed quite a few profanities at god, especially when it seemed that my legs were trapped. My thought was: I'M GOING TO BURN UP IN HERE.
"OKAY, SAM. YOU'VE GOT TO GET OUT OF HERE!"
My previous thoughts of death and dying from flames, especially by quite a few gallons of gasoline since I had fueled up the day before, subsided. I kicked into survival mode and started coaching myself out loud.
My right leg is pinned. I can't get out my door or the passenger door- OKAY, SAM THINK!
I unbuckle my seat belt and turn around to check to see if the passenger door behind me will open. It does. I grab my cell phone which remained in the cup holder. So now, I need to unpin myself. I stretch out with my back positioned in between the driver and front passenger seat while using my arms to get leverage and push off of the driver and passenger seat. I unpin my leg. I turn around to crawl over a 3x4' metal filing cabinet I had salvaged from a previous job where it was going to be thrown out. I was really sputtering about it then, like why did I really need that?! The filing cabinet hitting the back of my head may have been what caused me to lose consciousness during the crash. I crawl out and get my feet on the ground to realize that my right knee really hates me and my back may never forgive me.
I pull out my phone and it's on the emergency dialer screen and I start to ex out of it. BUT-WAIT! THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!!! So, I use it and while talking to the dispatch, I'm back to the vehicle but talk about how there was a fire. They're very worried, I turn around and there is no smoke whatsoever! The radiator obviously blew up in the crash. After 30 minutes and a few very nice people stopping and asking me if I'm alright, the police show up.
I had no reception in this area but was able to post to my facebook page photos of the wreck. I also captioned it with: "Headed to my second day at the new job. I'm very unlucky but more lucky to be alive!" While waiting for the police to come, I had an outrageous amount of support pouring in and voicemails from every member of my immediate family and a few friends. That was incredible, although I didn't want to talk to anyone.
The police officer was very nice to me and offered several times to get EMS for me. As silly as it sounds, I couldn't and still can't afford to go to the hospital or I would have then and now. The police officer and I had a lot of small talk that turned real deep. I'm someone that used to party a lot and even be a very heavy guy. It's something that you wouldn't know by seeing me today. I quit drinking alcohol on July 21, 2015 and since then have lost over 70 pounds of weight. He praised me for that. It moved on to my domestic living where I was officially divorced the week before. By this point, I was fighting tears.
I ended up riding with the wrecker to the lot where the blazer was dropped off and took my father up on his offer to give me a ride. I called almost everyone back. Again, I really didn't feel like enunciating anything to anyone. It took me a few days. My family and friends have been a huge support for me while, my parents naturally submerge themselves into my struggle. So, my father was very kind and wanted to talk thoroughly with me and was grossed out while I pulled most of those shards of glass out of my scalp during the ride to my sister's house. We ended the conversation with me saying that I didn't understand and that life wasn't kind to me.
I will probably never understand why everything has occurred how it has but given the circumstances, I will say now that life has been very generous to me and it was very wrong of me to express that last remark, especially to my father. It's very easy to plunge into that pit of negative thinking and it's even harder to climb out of it when we're really possessed by it! This experience without a doubt was a miracle and I have learned a lot from it! I think the greatest thing that I want people to attain from my story is that if you're reading this right now, you have so much more than a lot of people; to be breathing and living right now, we're blessed!