“I don’t want to talk badly about corporate or anything, but I just can’t help that they keep making decisions that I can’t do anything about!”
“Dude, I get it man. Had so many corporate visits this week I can’t even stand it.”
He kept clicking and going on his laptop as my modem hummed. A younger guy, maybe mid to late thirties. Slightly receding hairline, but steely blue eyes and a handsome smile. Hands that indicated that he worked with them enough that they had seen some scarring and some dirt. As he clicked those rugged fingers the computer would ping and make noises. Every so often some light would change color or flash different sequences. I assumed whatever he was doing was working. Thankfully he could multitask enough to keep up a good conversation. It was a small connection. A very small relationship that would only last as long as he was providing the service. Yet, it was nice to have someone to talk to, and someone who knew the feeling of having a corporation hang over your head that was not as efficient as you would like.
“I noticed your area code was from Michigan. Why the hell did you move here?”
“I lived in the most gimmicky part of the state. They jokingly called our town the ‘furthest suburb of Chicago’ when I lived there.”
“Worse. Second home owners came and raped the place of everything it had on weekends.”
“That’s just terrible. But still…here? Did you do research before you came here?”
“I did my younger years here. So I know the area.”
“I hate this town. Props to you for being willing to live here. People here are dumb as stumps and foolish about money. Their tight wads, who never want to have any fun. Worse yet, I think too many people are too angry about the state of things, but none of them wants to change it.”
“Sounds like I’m an improvement to the neighborhood.”
“You’re practically a godsend. I hope they don’t ruin you. I had to get out of here as fast as I could.”
“I’m pretty easy going about stuff. It’s a small town, but it has its gems. Besides, I’m a nobody. I can fly under the radar. I like living in places I can be anonymous.”
“Well then don’t do anything to cause you to live in infamy.”
After a time of venting about work and life he took notice of my books on my table.
“Cook books and marriage books. You getting married huh? ”
“Yeah in April.”
“I’ll tell you what…don’t waste your money on any more of those books. In every relationship there is a dominate personality and a submissive personality. If there isn’t, then you’ll end up divorced. Just learn to know when to take a dive, and learn to say you’re sorry a lot. That’ll go a long way. My wife and I are going on nine years, and no book tells you that sometimes to keep peace you gotta just ditch your feelings and roll with stuff. You’ll be fine.”
“Thanks. You got kids?”
“Yeah. Eight and three. Love the outdoors and hate TV. Kinda weird for kids their age. Hey, wait, you don’t own a TV do you?” He looked around taking severe notice of the fact that I did not own a television.
“Nope, that big old book shelf behind you is my entertainment. Internet is just for work and online shopping and stuff.”
“Reader huh. Nerdy sort then. You must have been good in school too. Pretty and smart. Always the dangerous sort. Well it’s good internet for that. It’s good for if you’re streaming too, but not if you’re streaming two things at once. It’s okay Internet. Not the fastest, but it’ll get you through as long as you’re not doing too much at once. Hell, it’s cheap. If you hate it, I’ll come take it away for you. If you love it…then you’re good. Call if you need anything.”
He handed me his card and with a friendly smile paired with a wink and then he wandered to his vehicle and drove away.
A friendly and honest working man who knew a few things about a few things. Straight shooter. Chatty and offered great customer service. Above all, he was human. The usual sort, but a golden sort too. The kind who desperately wanted to make an honest living and give his family a good life. He was on the right track, and good company for a warm and happy afternoon after the struggles of my work day. I was glad to know there were some good young men left in the world. Ones who did their jobs even though they were hard. The kind of honest folk you wanted to know.