Different people have shaped me over the years. I think it should be obvious by now confrontational tones or people I don’t do well with. It just exacerbates every negative attribute I have. But some people have had a dual effect on me.
When I was seventeen years old I think I had one of the most stressful jobs ever. I worked for Daniel T. Taylor III. He is a local attorney who’d argued before the Supreme Court—and won. He hired me as a runner. I had no car. Hell, I didn’t even have a driver’s license. It was my first summer job, and honestly, as hard as it was, and as crazy (in a good way) that he was, I learned a great deal. And when he paid me a compliment at the end of the summer I was touched. But man was I relieved when I walked out of his office for the last time.
That being said, I want to say I learned what the words ‘work ethic’ meant. I didn’t know how to take shorthand. I still don’t but I fashioned my own ‘short hand’ when he would give memos. I was constantly screwing them up. And he wasn’t the most patient man. But he taught me the meaning of the word professionalism. To say Dr. when someone was a doctor, not Mr. And to respect those around me.
He had me run errands on foot in an area that I was sure to get lost in. And I did. But I figured it out. He gave me enough rope to hang myself with and more often than not I was able to avoid that particular messy situation.
I answered phones. I went to court. On more than one occasion he made me want to cry. But I don’t hold that against him, he made his clients cry too.
Of course, while working for him I gained like twenty pounds. Which, at any age isn’t good, and as seventeen year old is horrible.
Which brings me to this. He taught me a work ethic is invaluable. That loyalty is irreplaceable. And that respecting those in positions of authority can be a good thing as well as something you might question your sanity over lol.
And then there’s that matter of the twenty pounds. I had field hockey practice and marching band to start with that year. It was horrendous.
Although, when I look back at those pictures now I see how pretty I really was. Funny how we see ourselves. I saw myself as this bloated, ugly, piece of shit back then. All of my sisters were thin, so I thought that equaled pretty. Not that my biological father did my self-esteem any good on that front.
So back on the wagon. I’m eating real food, not the shakes. And I plan on getting exercise. Real exercise. I’ve already built up and endurance. Not much of one. But it might make the walk to and from the Covention Center to the hotel during Fandom Fest/Fright Night easier to handle.
Talking to Mr. Taylor today (yes, the crazy old coot is still alive) made me reflect upon all of this stuff. He really was a great guy. Maybe not someone I’d want to work for again. And when I think about it I worked my first job as a server at a Derby party. The Kentucky Derby that is. He had rich people and important people there. Sometimes the same. Other times they were not.
And let me tell you, a bunch of rich, drunk people singing and playing the piano, *snicker. They went on and on about how great they sounded. From one of the few sober people at the party, the truth was anything but. However, that being said, they were all nice to me. Especially the Human Rights lawyers who took on pro bono death penalty cases. I was only sixteen years old and they listened to me like my opinion mattered.
That taught me a profound lesson. Everyone, no matter what their station in life. With money, without money, white collar, blue collar, or poverty stricken, we all mattered. I was fortunate enough to live in a house at that point. My family’s trailer days behind us. But we didn’t live in the best of neighborhoods. Honestly, I still don’t.
Of course I dream of living in a nice neighborhood. In a nice home with a finished basement. I also dream of owning a car. Of any kind. But disability and thirty-five dollar quarterly royalty check ain’t gonna make that happen.
So I do the one thing I know I’m good at. I work. I write. And I promote my brand. Eventually, if the story is good enough, I know I’ll breakthrough.