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Post No. 1,000 advice: Don't make this job your life

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by jps, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. jps

    jps Active Member

    So, here I am at post No. 1,000. Villagers are weeping for joy. It's a wonderous event.

    I figured, at such a milestone, I really probably ought to write something quality, rather than remarking on the latest clogged toilet, dress code or self-surgery thread. Even a dig at mikey or Tom just didn't seem to be right.

    So here it is ... some advice from me, a semi-veteran, to you, the sj masses.

    Some of your have been doing this for decades. Some have just begun. More, probably, like me, are somewhere in the middle. Regardless of where you are on your career path, this is, I feel, worth taking a minute to stop and think about. (Or maybe I'm just nuts.) And, you know what, this might just out me to a few, but that's OK. It's worth it.

    A little over two years ago, my wife got sick. It was something, we just didn't know what at first. This could be a huge long section of my little story, but I'll shorten it to say that we wound up in the hospital in a pretty serious situation. We were led to believe that we were getting out of the woods, so to speak. Things were getting better. I had, of course, been at the hospital pretty much non-stop, though I did have a little one to care for, so that kept me at home with her a bit, too -- hospitals not the best place for kiddos with still-growing immune systems. We had some family in town, and I had a pretty major event to cover. It would be a one-day thing, there and back, and it had been in the works for months, really. Again, docs said it was no problem.

    So I went, nervous but confident the docs knew what they were talking about.

    I never actually got there, though. I was about 3 or 4 hours down the road and I got a call from the hospital. The nurse had to talk to me because my wife couldn't. Something had started to go seriously wrong. The needle didn't dip below three digits the entire way back, except for when I got stuck behind a few folks that didn't figure flashing hazards and a blaring horn coming form a rig that came up on them at 115 was anything to move to the side for.

    When I got there, some tough decisions had to be made. It was a very long day. I had to make some life-or-death decisions for my wife. In fact, one treatment might have killed her. Doc said she probably needed to get it, but if she did, they didn't know if it would actually make her worse. The odds weren't leaning that way, but in my mind it was a 50-50. After telling him to do it -- I will remember for the rest of my life -- I wandered into an adjacent procedure room, slouched down to the floor against the wall and sobbed. I couldn't help but think about how I'd raise my daughter alone, her never really knowing her mother. I was a mess.

    The treatments worked and, eventually, all was relatively well. We've had some troubles since, but all very minor in comparison. And, in retrospect, I should have known not to go (as it is, I had to rush back to town after being two hours out when she went into labor weeks early, again after being assured that I could go - both by her and the doc), but I am committed to my job. I take pride in what I do and in the product I create. I do a damn good job, and I know it. I have high standards for myself and my work.

    None of this is to say that I don't have the same commitment to my family. I do - and it is the most important thing in my life. But, on two occasions, I let my commitment to work take me away from my family when I should have stayed, trusting that the worst simply couldn't happen. In most cases, it probably wouldn't and won't. But it does happen, and it's happened to me. I almost lost my wife and could well have been late to the birth of my one and only child. That's scary shit to me, and every year at the anniversary of those two days, I remember how close it really was to that happening.

    I recognize this is a long story and may not be of any interest to anyone, quickly plummeting below what's your favorite brand of hot dog and guess what kind of beer I drank tonight threads. But I just ask that you pause every now and then to recognize what you have in your life. Do you just quit or refuse road assignments, etc.? Of course not. This is our job and we have families that, for the most part, I would think, understand that. But at the same time, do some evaluation now and again. If you should be there, if you need to be there, make a commitment to be there, regardless of what big event is next up on the list. Because no job is worth it to not be.
  2. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    That's a great way to rip into four digits, dude. I'm glad everything worked out well.
  3. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    Thanks for giving us a little perspective on what's really important in life. Sometimes we all need to see when our priorities are out of whack.
  4. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    So jps, what's your favorite brand of hot dog?

    Seriously, nice dose of perspective.
  5. jps

    jps Active Member

    run of the mill, I'd say ballpark dogs. they plump when you cook 'em. but I tend to be a bigger brat fan than anything else.
  6. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Can't go wrong with a corn dog.
  7. jps

    jps Active Member

    at the risk of derailing my own, legitimate thread, I agree, mikey.
  8. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    I like brats better, but as for hot dogs, gotta go with Oscar Meyer cheese dogs.
  9. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    Bageldogs are the best.

    In all seriousness, great post jps and I'm glad things worked out.
  10. jps

    jps Active Member

    thanks, guys. again, maybe this is more for me than anything else ... yet another remindering tool. but priorities do need adjusting at times, and mine have pretty much been set straight after those two biggies. just don't wish something like that on anyone else. take a personal day every once in a while - the paper will still print. go to the beach, have a picnic. doesn't matter. do something that matters with the people in your life that matter.
  11. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    And take hot dogs to that picnic.
  12. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    Fuck any boss or organization that does not respect the fact that employees are human beings first, Dickensian indentured servants second.

    I'll take a heart-stopping Sonora Dog: wrapped in bacon, covered in cheese, guacamole and pico de gallo, all stuffed inside a bolillo. Available at Tucson Electric Park.
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