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How Many Bad Decisions Can One Man Make?
RECORD FOR MOST BAD DECISIONS
There is a man who, I believe, must hold the record for most and/or worst bad decisions in a 25 year period. Do you know anyone who can beat him?
Let’s start from the beginning. This man was born in 1970. As a boy, he had it great. Wonderful parents taught him all he needed to know. His mom taught him how to love and forgive. His dad taught him how to work hard, save money and stay out of debt. As the son of an Army Aviator, he got to live in many different parts of the world and learn from other cultures.
Fast forward to1987. He met a girl who lived in another state and he fell in love. Working at a Wendy’s Hamburgers restaurant he was able to save money and once a month he and his friend would go to visit her and her sister. Life was close to perfect.
In June, 1988, at age 18 he graduated high school and was enrolled in college for computer programming. All looked promising for this young man…but then…disaster!
FIRST BAD DECISION: Quitting College
Laziness is a disease that can rob a man of every dream he has. It was laziness that prompted the first in a long line of bad decisions. After attending the orientation class for his upcoming college course, this intelligent, but lazy man, dropped out. Just quit. How, then, was he supposed to support a wife and family which was what he wanted most?
RECOVERY: The Military
There are songs written about second chances. They do happen. Well, computer programming was still the career choice of our less-than-brilliant man. Since he dropped out of college the next best thing was the military. A 4 year enlistment in the Air Force would yield many opportunities. After 6 weeks of basic training, 6 weeks of tech school and a brief visit to his family and she who then his fiancé, he was on his way to his first assignment: Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Oh. Working in a warehouse, driving forklifts and trucks might not be much like computer programming but he could go to school for computer programming, then to OfficerTraining School to become an officer. Yes, a lieutenant in the Air Force is a great thing to be while starting a family. So in his off time he went to college and got his degree…right? WRONG!
SECOND BAD DECISION: Ohh Alcohol
Instead of going to college, our young man of only mediocre intelligence coasted through his tour of duty doing only what he had to for his job. During this time his engagement was called off, which nearly broke him. He spent some time on a temporary duty assignment in England during the first Gulf War where he was introduced to the “pleasures” of alcohol. Somehow, though, the alcohol did not make him forget his lost love, it only added to his running total of bad decisions. During this time he wrote a song for her. His heart was broken and he felt he would never love again.
THIRD BAD DECISION: Debt
After returning from England he continued to coast through life. His heart was empty and he tried to fill it with “things”. As a young airman, he didn’t make a lot of money so he started using credit cards. His biggest weakness was cars. He would buy a used car with an advance from a credit card. Then a few months later he would get tired of that car and buy another one. Deeper and deeper into debt he went. And deeper and deeper into bondage he went to those devouring credit card. three bad decisions and more to come.
END OF TUNNEL LIGHTS: Unexpected TDY
After several months of settling into an enjoyable job our somewhat dense fellow was unexpectedly approached by his chief who told him to pack his bags for he was going to Oklahoma. This removed him from his rut and his drinking buddies. During the time he spent at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, Ok, he managed to impress his captain enough with his work that she wrote a very complimentary letter for his record. He stayed there until his tour of duty was almost over, then returned to Dayton.
THIRD CHANCE: Nursing School
After leaving the Air Force, our rather uninspiring young dude moved to Alabama. Living in a camper trailer near his parents, he went to nursing school. Graduating and passing his state board exam in 1994 he went to work as a Licensed Practical Nurse. The pay wasn’t that great and he still had all that debt but he had a skill and the chance to advance and pull himself out of his hole.
RN SCHOOL. THE NEXT STEP: Not on your life!
So the logical next step would be to advance to become a Registered Nurse. Better Pay. More opportunities. But our rather stupid guy still didn’t want to put the effort into school even though he had just proven to himself that he could do it by passing LPN school. So what to do? Coast some more.
FOURTH BAD DECISION: Trucking
In 1997, demonstrating his typical lack of intelligence, our friend went to trucking school and started driving truck over the road. He had always been fascinated by the big trucks and now he would be able to drive one and make a lot of money. Ha! Yes, he made a little more money than he did as an LPN but he worked a lot more. 100 hour weeks with no time at home wasn’t quite as romantic as he thought it would be, not to mention that, as a truck driver, he couldn’t go to school. Four bad decisions and still going.
LOVE AGAIN: Marriage
On an internet dating service, our hopeless romantic met the one who is now his wife. As a wedding present, his folks paid off his credit cards and gave him his freedom from debt. Knowing he would need to be home for his wife, he quit trucking and went back into nursing. A not perfect, but good, job at a local hospital afforded him the hometime he wanted, but he didn’t like nursing. He wanted to drive truck some more, so…
FIFTH BAD DECISION: Trucking (again)
He left his nursing job…again, and went back into trucking. Working on and off along with a small home sewing business using sewing skills taught him by his wife, he managed to provide his usual mediocre living. He was home every night but sometimes it was only to take a shower and go again. Not the best life for his young wife. Four bad decisions. Enough? Nope!
FOURTH CHANCE: No, Really! A Fourth chance
Then, out of the blue, a job is offered. The kind of job one retires from. A records clerk for a company that maintained the helicopters for the US Army at Ft.Rucker, Al. Great pay, great benefits, wonderful work environment. And 2 possible directions: School for Programming, or an apprenticeship as an A&P mechanic.
HOW ABOUT A HOME?: Move out of that trailer
Then, with some help from his folks. (ok, a LOT of help from his folks) he bought a home and moved out of the trailer he was living in at the time. It was a nice brick house with a huge, fenced backyard and it bordered some land his dad had given him. Life was good. Finally he could make something of himself and be for his wife the man he was capable of being. So what’s next?
SIXTH BAD DECISION: Quit, Drive, Move, and Go Back Into Debt
Instead of advancing, our Dummy, quit his amazing job, Went into trucking for the third time, and moved to Wisconsin. He thought life would somehow be better but when he got there he discovered he would have to go back into debt to own a house, and work hard just to make enough money to pay the taxes on that house. A far cry from what he was used to. Total: six bad decisions. Dude! Use your brain! (or at least try)
PRESENT: Nothing has changed.
Today, at age 40, our brainless zombie has finally left trucking again and is working as an LPN for the 3rd time. Will he go to school and either get his RN or become a computer programmer? How about both? The opportunities are still there for him. What will he do? He isn’t getting any younger. I guess only time will tell.