Monday, June 23, 2014

The Man that Could part one






"I'm telling you kid, you're not like these other idiots here. You need to get outta here are you kidding me? Go out and take a loan or do something and get your car and then leave, but don't let yourself slave away for this shit piece of money. YOU can do better than this. "

My coworker said before his screen popped up, and he turned away to his calls.I nod, taking in his words before I return to my calls. I don't really consider this to be slave work. $11 an hour just to read from a script to shareholders is one of the easiest jobs I ever had. I just wish I had a way to get management to allow us to have reading material on the floor. The staff has complained about the noise level with people having side conversations but what did they expect people to do when they have nothing else to do? It's very rare to even get a person to stay on the phone for over a minute. I must've had 20 people hang up on me already because they were convinced I was trying to sell them something. Oh well, they can't complain in the future if their mutual funds aren't handled the way they wanted. They gave that up the moment they refused to cooperate. In the meantime I guess ill just daydream...being out on the field......trying to discover the facts. It comes to me every now and then. The thought of being back in the P.I gig. Then the depression of being let go creeps in and I wonder if I was ever good enough to begin with. Maybe that's why I accepted my mentor's advice to earn my claim's adjuster's so I can make good money while I do something related to investigating. Maybe....... Oh the calls stopped. I look up to see my supervisor ask my full row to head into the conference room. Looking at the time I grab the lunch I had delivered to the office and take it with me into the conference room where a representative of the mutual investment company greets us the moment we enter.... whoopsie!!. We fill the conference room table. I keep my lunch on the floor within arms reach. Looking around the table I recognize most of the faces. I see a woman in a bright red suit. She appears to be brimming with energy along with other different faces. They must be the morning crew. The representative spent the next few minutes thanking us for our hard work and then proceeded to tell us why their company was amazing. I noticed the red suited female spoke a lot, often complimenting our representative. I hope this is her regular personality because it did seem a lot like brown nosing. The representative ended our meeting with a video of the company.....I try not to fall asleep given that we were all required to watch this video during orientation. At the end of the movie I see the red suit lady clapping........."Thank you so much for that wonderful presentation" Instead of looking at her, I scan the room to examine the faces of everyone else. If looks can kill.............


I remain silent as the people in my row mourn and speculate the reason for their good friend being fired. In my opinion there doesn't have to be a reason. We even signed a contract that stated so. This job was only meant to be good for a month and a few weeks. We originally started as a 1 to 9 shift and then was transferred to 3 to 11 with everyone else. The same day that happens, everyone hours begin to get cut. This campaign is pretty much over already. I may have said it aloud once but I think people are starting to realize it now.  That doesn't soften the blow though. I know many people were hoping this would last a little longer so it feels as if the rug is being pulled from under them and I can tell that some do not have jobs lined up. I feel bad for them. Shit I feel bad for myself. I need to find something as well so I can get my career going. On a bright side, I'm currently a candidate for a huge P.I firm i've had my eye on for the past couple of months.  I find myself daydreaming at work working for the company and moving on with life. Sigh...... that would be great. I carry on with my calls and receive my evaluation scores that are still in the 100% range.  I get off work and decide to reward myself with cheesecake from Juniors. I get home and receive an email from my temp agency telling me to not go to work on monday because I was pulled off the case. Oh wells, I rather have that than work 6 days a week and still not work full time hours.


I struggle to keep my vision as I jog 5 miles through a heavy thunderstorm.  I may have lost my job but I still have to keep my health into account. The spartan race is only a month and few weeks away. The pain was there but I couldn't stop. Had to suck it up. Be tough. I get home and shower and check my emails to see an email from the company I was interested in........no wait, A job offer? I examine the email and see a job offer with several paperwork I had to submit and tasks to complete before heading down to North Carolina for training..........Wow I got it? I could feel relief all through my body, and then fear. I need a car.  In addition to that, i'm extremely broke. Haven't been behind a wheel consistently since I got my driver's license. LP helped me with the process and I managed to get my first car and a flight to North Carolina with his help. While he helped me deal with the external factors, I tried to help myself deal with the internal issues. My fears and doubts. The flashbacks of me giving my all at my first P.I firm and having it fall apart in front of me. The lack of gratitude, and uncertainty of even being welcomed there only bolstered that fear but I can't let that experience affect how I approach this company. There was a fundamental difference between this one and the last. I had a funny vibe in the beginning from that firm during my first encounter and a very good vibe from this one. Despite new beginnings I have to be brave. A fact I keep reminding myself as I board the plane for the 2nd time, and alone for the  first time to head down to North Carolina for training.


A few hours later I reach North Carolina and take in the sunny warm weather. It was pretty breezy in NYC but very warm here. All the trees look fully bloomed, and training has begun.  I reach my hotel and see the television on. My roommate is already here. I enter the door and greet him. Little did I know he would become one of my many new friends I was about to make, and little did I know, that I was gonna awaken something within me that's been dormant for far too long............

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Born to live

One night in the late 90's........
Sleeping is one of the most difficult aspects for a child. I shut my eyes again as I attempt to drift into slumber. No dice. I stare up at the wooden blocks. I really hate bunkbeds but the room was not large enough for double twin beds. At least I have the bottom bunk. I'm afraid of heights after all. For some reason the top bunk shifts to my left hitting the wall... That's not supposed to happen. I remain in the center. I usually sleep on the edge towards my right but this time I stayed in the center. My sister whispers to her friend from above to help her shift the bed back into the center. Nothing new, she's done it several times in the past few weeks. They try but the bed falls back on my left and into the wall. My sister whispers "1...2...3..." They try again. I instinctively roll over into the left against the wall as the top bunk veers off and crashes into the mirror on the other side of the room. My mom and her bf at the time burst into the room. She asks if we're ok and we all nod, but my eyes didn't waver on the top bunk. The heavy wood that crashed onto where my body previously rested.




Born to live
Sigh........... Another steep slope I to descend from. It would be cake if it wasn't covered in snow, ice and mud. No sweat though. I look over at LP who appears hesitant. I begin to descend when he calls out to me to be careful. This was about the 6th time he's said something like that and I told him to relax to which he replied "it's easy for you" . I remain silent and continued heading down. At this point there's no time to be afraid . We didn't anticipate the snow, and ice. The weather forecast declared a weather of 60, which it was, but it's colder upstate and they get more snow than we do in the city. Should've seen this coming. So unlike everyone else who had hiking boots, with sticks to support their steps, we only have running sneakers and no extra support. We had to be careful but I already expressed my concerns prior to us reaching the mountain trail when I first saw the snow during the drive. As I said, there's no reason to be afraid now.  I reach the bottom and look up seeing the next trail mark was by a tree further up ahead. I look back at LP, who's still scaling down and use the opportunity to check my phone. Damn 3 hours. How could that be? The trail we took was only 5.5 miles and if a general 10 min jog would be a mile, then walking would be 20 min and 6 miles of that would be just about 2 hours. Something's wrong.....

We continue hiking for a few more minutes while I find a way to address this issue. I told him we've been out here for a lot longer than I anticipated. Perhaps he thought I was aggravated because he emphasized there was no way we could complete the trail in over 3 miles. I beg to differ but I didn't respond. He's the one with the map so he knows what he's doing.  I let my mind fall back on everything. I checked out the NYPD crimestoppers website. Found a case with a man last seen robbing a deli in the bronx. They wanted to locate him. I considered trying for fun when I realized that bordered on vigilante behavior which would probably jeopardize my career goals if they felt I was interfering with an official investigation. I reluctantly ended my p.i career search and began looking for a temporary position. Along the way I made contact with a man who would become my P.I mentor due to him working in the field for 25 years after retiring from law enforcement. He recommended that I become a licensed adjuster which I could use to get some investigative experience and good income. Now I have a huge textbook full of insurance terms in the SUV that I would like to get to before the day is over.
 

Another hour pass and we both agree that we fell off the trail awhile back. Now we're tracking through the snow, hoping to get out the park and back to the car. We ran into a nice lady who stated after following the yellow path it would be smooth sailing from there. I didn't understand at first until I saw a long road with a steady decline and considered it our home stretch. I found myself jogging all the way down.  LP soon comes down exhausted. I offered him his water bottle. He declined. I thought he should take a sip since he looked exhausted but I didn't push. We came across a small river to cross and then the path split again. Yellow went up and blue went straight ahead. The blue path looked more appealing to me and I started walking that way until LP motioned towards the yellow trail. We were still following the map. I wanted to say fuck the map and let's go blue but I ultimately decided to follow yellow and stick to the plan. For a moment it seemed like we left the snow behind and entered the woods. This trail was full of mud and flood zones. By the time left that area my feet felt extremely numb and I knew my sneakers were gonna be extra dirty.We continue following the yellow trail. I spoke little to conserve my energy as we continued climbing up to the very top. After reaching the highest altitude twice before descending down I couldn't hold my breathe any longer. We obviously were not on the path we thought we were, and we needed to improvise and quick. I could smell fire burning. Was someone having a barbeque? or camp fire out here? I don't like the sound of that. For the most part, the people we encountered have been friendly but I heard horror stories as well. My senses are definitely awakened now. For a moment my fatigue got the best of me. I was scaling up an icy mountain and grabbed for a tree trunk. The tree snapped and I fell. I instinctively caught myself by falling onto my left side and grabbed the top of the rock to prevent from falling. This hurt like a bitch but this was a pretty steep mountain. I didn't want to think what would've happened to me if I fell all the way down..............


The trail suddenly went cold. My theory was that some of the marks were probably on the rocks that were covered by snow. LP was trying to do something on his phone to figure out the next step. I waited, hoping he could figure out something soon. We were at the 6 hour point and pretty much out of water. I start looking around to observe everything. I took in the endless amount of lifeless trees... The grass and dirt up ahead.... The snow and water on the lower level............the snow!!!!! I look closely at the snow. I see enough holes in the snow to deduce the possibility of a walk path. At this point my mind was settled to follow this no matter where it lead. We walked through the snow and sure enough we reached a part where another trail began that was pretty straight forward. We reach the area where I notice a huge pick up at the top of the trail. I call it out and we flag the driver as he drives down. He tells us we're 7 miles away from our car and offers to drive us down to the end of the park. Exhausted, we did not hesitate to hop onto the pickup. The drive was anything but comfortable. The path we drove on was fully open. One wrong turn on the hill would have caused us to fall off the ledge. The rockiness didn't help either. I was mentally preparing myself for the possibility of having to jump out the pickup at the worst case scenario and given our luck so far.........it was not impossible . Along the way we run into a girl with her companions coming up the trail. They warn us to turn around since we'll be driving into a fire............so that's what I smelled earlier. The further we went, the more visible the smoke became. We eventually reach the end of the park and began walking for 90 minutes until we reached our car where we had plenty of water and drove away letting the adrenaline prolong our injuries for a little longer...................

The next day I woke up to examine my injuries. I had a small scratch on my knee that was only superficial. The pain on my left side was non existent. All in all I was pretty good to go. I was amazed at how I managed to avoid getting seriously hurt, but perhaps I shouldn't be.  Surviving a shootout when I was an infant, followed by a crushing wooden bed,  drowning in sesame place, and more, not excluding homelessness. Looks like I have nice survival instincts. Let's just hope they don't die out........