I Finally Got What I Wanted.......Or Did I?
For years I struggled with a mistake I made in 1999. I made the sad mistake of leaving a job I liked, which was installing carpet, to become a police officer. I had a good partner and close friend who was honest and worked hard with me until the day he died. My thinking at the time was simple, I am 30 years old doing a quite difficult and strenuous job, I don't want to be doing this job when I am 40.
I began looking to get on at a police department as a dispatcher to get my foot in the door. I succeeded and 3 years later I was certified and hired on as a full time patrol officer. I had an easier on the body job, but the pay was terrible. A noble job some would say, but I say bull shit! I have morals, I am not a liar and I don't cheat. All of these qualities are not present in law enforcement and quite frankly are very frowned upon. There are a few good guys out there don't get me wrong, but they are few and far between, I promise. This isn't about my loathing of what I decided to get myself into, this is about what I wanted.
Things turn out funny sometimes. After changing police department two times, one for more money and the other because I was about to shoot a guy who was trying to mess around with my unwilling lovely wife and the school officials didn't like it because he was a teacher and the confrontation took place in the school parking lot. They let me resign, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The third and final department I worked at for three years. During those three years I was apparently depressed and didn't know it. How could I be depressed? I was working a job I liked (again) but the pay was so shitty. I enjoyed the people I worked with but something was missing....money. I needed to make more money!
One night while I was patrolling around town listening to the radio. I listen to Michael Savage at night for a few hours. He is intelligent and has, like me, changed careers three times. One night he was elaborating on why he has changed his careers when he said something that made cry. He said, "When you do something you love, you won't make any money. Then you become ashamed of yourself and what you've done." My God he nailed it, I wasn't depressed, I was ashamed of being a damn police officer and ashamed to look my wife and three kids in the face every night when I got home from the job I wanted! That was my revelation for the decade I wasted serving a piece of shit public.
I began looking for a job, I heard railroads and utilities were sound jobs with benefits. I began uploading resumes to every reputable company I could Google search. I put in applications all over the USA. Then it happened, I got an invite from a railroad to a hiring session in Baton Rouge Louisiana, a six hour drive and one Hell of a gamble for a shitty paid policeman. Long story short, I went, they hired me and I put in my resignation to the department. Remember I said I'm not a liar? My resignation was this. I traced an outline of my hand with my middle finger sticking up stating that as of June 4, 2011 I would be resigning. I thought I had what I wanted.
The process of getting hired took two months of going to doctors and taking drug tests, passing background checks, doing this and that. If the law enforcement community checked out folks the way the railroad does the world would be a better place, and that's the last time I will hate on the law enforcement assholes.
My wife had a long time to think about the fact that we were going to have to move to Louisiana. She accepted it after a while, reluctantly. As I got more informed of what I was going to need to do as far as working at the railroad it became clear that I would have to move to New Orleans alone for a few months until I could establish where exactly I would be working. The railroad made no bones about the fact that I could be working anywhere from New Orleans to Houston down to Brownsville Texas on the Mexico border.
I found myself an apartment and took off to my new home. Four weeks went by, going to class for three weeks then working on a train for one week, by then it was the fourth of July weekend, I finally got paid, and paid very well. Caught up my lagging bills, and decided it was time to go see the family. We had been talking the whole month on the computers using video and chat, we had big plans to go out to eat at a fancy restaurant. We didn't do that, we went out for $20 and spent the rest of the night together.
Things turn out funny sometimes. I found out that night I didn't get what I wanted, I have always had what I wanted. She is my best friend, she has stayed with me when I made stupid decisions. She makes me laugh, she is as pretty as she was the day I met her in 1991. She has asked me for 20 years why I love her, but I have never been able to answer, just a nod and tell her, "I don't know, I just do." I have an answer now, I love her because she loves me and that's what I wanted. Happy 15th Anniversary, I Love You!