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How Many Bad Decisions Can One Man Make?

Updated on February 16, 2011


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!


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.



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.


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.


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.


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    • MrGreywolf38 profile image

      MrGreywolf38 6 years ago

      Thank you for the encouragement Billrrrr.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 6 years ago from Cape Cod

      You touched a nerve here. You are not unique. We have all trod a similar path. In my bio, I say "retired on Cape Cod after working probably 25 jobs in 50 years". Imagine what I could have done if I had gotten into one of those retirement jobs you wrote about. Well I didn't and I got through life okay and so will you.

      Keep on truckin', pun intended. Just take it day by day and you will somehow find the right road

    • MrGreywolf38 profile image

      MrGreywolf38 6 years ago

      Yes trucking IS essential. If the trucks stopped moving our country would also stop. Truck drivers are an unappreciated, abused lot of hard working folds. I would sure like to see conditions improve for them.

    • profile image

      Leon Bentley 6 years ago

      Thanks a lot for this post on Trucking. Trucking jobs are essential, however usually unnoticed in our society. Our country has to to support the trucking industry to keep our country expanding.

    • profile image

      Mommytogs 6 years ago

      I do understand. My husaband had to go through this job decission as well. Glad he chose what he liked to do, because it made such a difference in his everyday. He is a much happier person.

      I will pray for the hard decision you have ahead.

    • MrGreywolf38 profile image

      MrGreywolf38 6 years ago

      Thanks kephrira. Time for a good step.

    • kephrira profile image

      kephrira 6 years ago from Birmingham

      Good luck - I hope the next step is a good one!

    • MrGreywolf38 profile image

      MrGreywolf38 6 years ago

      Thank you Mommytogs. I appreciate the encouragement. I can reach the RN much faster...but I admit I would rather work with computers.

    • MrGreywolf38 profile image

      MrGreywolf38 6 years ago

      Thank you so much Silva Hayes. Yes, sad to say, the man in my hub is me. :) Glad to hear I am not alone.

    • profile image

      Mommytogs 6 years ago

      I think I can understand greatly! I have been doing much of the same thinking lately. BUT - what is good? you (and speaking to myself here as well) just took the first step in realizing that that is not OK anymore. I really think you need to move forward with what God is showing you to be right - AND - what your heart is telling you really want to do (and have known for awhile). Don't let others cloud your judgement or pursuade you. I say go for the computer programing! It's a true passion for you right?

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 6 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      I'm guessing that man was YOU, MrGreywolf38; am I right? If so, just know that you are not alone; I thought you were talking about a relative of mine ... I just read your hub about the MM factor and it's funny and so true. I have decided to be your first follower. Good luck in your future endeavors!

    • MrGreywolf38 profile image

      MrGreywolf38 6 years ago

      Can anyone guess?

    • Smkmdb11 profile image

      Smkmdb11 6 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      So....who is it?