A couple of weeks back I foolishly wrote that I would have no problem finding a good paying job to replace the one that I had recently lost. Well apparently this "finding a new job business" is a little bit harder than I had imagined. In fact, A LOT harder.
Unless I am willing to either work for almost free or start looking outside of town, it has been damn near impossible to find a decent job which I would remotely enjoy or even be suitable for.
And the only thing worse for me then being unemployed with absolutely nothing to do is finding out that my parents both know that I am unemployed and have absolutely nothing to do. Now my mother is calling me on a daily, if not hourly basis & giving me little "tasks" to do just so I remain busy.
"There will be no idleness in this family" is what she stated, however she appears to forget about the very existence of my lazy brother-in-law Doug, who is the poster child for loafing and do-nothingness.
Mom has had me running all over town this past week dropping off items to her elderly friends, picking up groceries for some shut-ins and even taking her around town to do the odd task, as she is involved with a number of ladies groups and church activities.
Dad, on the other hand, is having a field day as he know longer has to either lend out his car to her or drive her around as he usually does, since as he says "The boy can do that for you since he is not working".
Finally earlier this week as I was waiting out in the backyard to take Mom and a few of her elderly friends out to shopping, my father sauntered over to me and said laughingly "So, you're driving around all the old crows this afternoon for a day of shopping, eh"?
As I sadly nodded my head yes, he looked around & slyly asked if I would be interested in a small "arrangement" as he put it.
"Would you be willing to help me and a couple friends over the next few days if I can get you out of doing all these ridiculous and degrading errands your mother is having you do or are you enjoying your time with all of those harpies"?
I immediately jumped at the opportunity telling him that I would agree to anything he had in mind. Before he could continue however, Mom emerged from the house ready to go.
"I'll be in touch", Dad stated in his best secret agent style voice, as he silently slinked off as Mom approached.
I was very curious what type of tasks my father had in mind for me but I first had to get through yet another long day of chauffeuring Mom and her pals around from one shopping center to another. Anything would be better than this, I thought as I just closed my eyes and suffered in silence.
I didn't have to wait too long for Dad to let me know what I was needed for. The following morning my phone began ringing around 6 AM. As I rarely get out of bed before 8 lately, I obviously could not answer the ringing phone.
Finally as the annoying ring tone continued blasting again at 6:15, I staggered over to the phone to answer.
"Son, meet me downstairs behind your apartment right away" was all I was greeted with.
Still groggy from being awoken from a very comfortable & restful sleep, I stumbled downstairs to the back of my apartment only to see my father standing with Mr. Harris and Pat beside a large truck full of lumber.
For those not familiar with them, Mr. Harris is my apartment building manager and Pat, well he is his common-law wife, for lack of a better term. Ever since Pat arrived in town a couple of weeks back, Mr. Harris has stopped drinking and has probably been the best building manager ever. Between them both they have already painted the entire lobby and repaired almost everything around. It was quite a transformation.
"Ok boy", my Dad yelled out at me, "Get over here and start helping us unload this truck, we are building a garage"!
My Dad went on to explain that apparently after weeks of complaints and months of problems, the three of them were going to build a garage to hold my apartment buildings large garbage containers as well as empty bottles. This was meant to keep these under lock and key so the druggies and vagrants that wander around the area do not stop here to look for bottles and other valuables, leaving the place in a mess and scaring all the elderly tenants.
Evidently my father got involved in this project for a number of reasons. First he is retired with very little to do. Second he knows how to "sniff out a deal" to get the best price on anything including building materials. Third and most importantly, he wants to make my life a living Hell until I find gainful employment.
At 6:15 in the morning he is succeeding greatly at that objective.
As I swore under my breath, I began to assist in unloading the truck with all its supplies. After a half hour we were completed and I was just about to wish the three gentleman a "Good Day" and return to my bed when my father yelled out, "Where the Hell do you think you're going"?
"Back to bed", I responded defiantly. "Remember, I work with computers and don't know anything about building so I would obviously just get in the way"
"Of course you don't", my Dad retorted. "I wouldn't even dream of asking you to help build this structure for fear the damn thing would collapse on someone within an hour. No, you have to do Harris and Pat's work today since they are out here working with me. That means mopping all the apartment common areas, vacuuming all the floors and then cutting the lawns."
I just stood there with my jaw hanging open. Was my father so senile to think I was actually going to perform all those menial tasks. He must be nuts.
"No way, Dad", I responded standing my ground. "I'm going back to bed and then maybe around noon I will think about getting up & heading out to the pub to meet up with some friends"
"I see", my father said insidiously smiling. "Remember we have a deal, boy. But if you've changed your mind, I guess I will have to call your mother and let her know I won't be needing you the rest of the week. I am sure she will be quite excited for you to assist her as I believe it's either "Bathe the elderly day" or "Read the Bible to a inmate day". I am sure she will know, please just hand me the cell phone & I'll find out for you".
My Dad had me. His cunning blackmail had worked. There was no way I was going to continue to help Mom, I had done enough. This was the best of two very bad choices. I was beaten.
Defeated, I just stood there staring and finally reluctantly asked "OK, where is the mop and bucket so I can begin".
Twelve hours later, every muscle in my body ached, but I had finished the stupid gruelling tasks that Dad had doled out to me.
As I slowly shuffled to the back of the apartment dragging a few bags of grass for the garbage behind me, I saw the new garage. It was huge. They had done an excellent job. The only thing missing was that the structure was still unpainted and did not have any shingles.
"Tomorrow Pat and me will finish the roof while you paint", my Dad said to me as I collapsed in a heap beside the garbage.
I was too exhausted to respond, all I could think of is "I got to get a job before my parents work me to death"!