Have you had a favorite job? What makes a job GREAT to you? I mean, deep down, a lot of times we hate getting up and going to work, but maybe you’ve had that one job that makes it easy and exciting to get up and get ready to work? A job that is fun, challenging, and fast-paced? Or maybe your favorite job is one where it’s very slow, no one bothers you, and you sit (or stand) quietly during your shift? If you have a favorite job, you know exactly what I mean; you look forward to going to work every day, the work day FLIES by, there are challenges that are not impossible, you enjoy the people who you work with, and problem solving is easy. What happened to that job? This is about losing my favorite job. For me, it went down in a blaze of glory.
I never really knew what kind of work I wanted to do growing up. My passion was horses but I kinda always knew that it would never be career for me. When I started looking for work, it just seemed natural to look for secretarial jobs and so those are the jobs I perused. I soon found myself enjoying typing madly, filing expertly, refining customer service skills, organizing, and implementing procedures. However, it is when I started working on the private side of the airport that my secretarial skills were taken to a whole other level – and I LOVED IT.
I worked for a small flight department working for a wealthy family who owned two private planes used for business and personal reasons. I rarely saw the family themselves but I worked for the chief pilot. The job title ended up being ‘personal assist, flight department manager,’ and it took all the skills I had learned in my other secretarial positions and launched me into the world of scheduling, expenses, international flight procedures, trip itineraries, etc. HUGE responsibility and nothing less was accepted except perfect work. There was a lot of stress and pressure with the job, and my boss was one of the meanest people I had met up to that point, but everything else about the job was WONDERFUL for me. Besides all of that, I was making really good money (the most I had ever made), had excellent insurance benefits (which I never used), and amazing Christmas bonuses.
It was not long after getting this job that I met Mark who also worked on the private side of the airport but in another area. We would see each other throughout the day and then we started dating. But blog isn’t about how Mark and I got started; it’s about losing my favorite job.
I was at the job a little more than two years when Mark and I started meth. OF COURSE, as always with meth, you can hold your life together and party on the drug without anyone knowing or making any drastic mistakes. HOWEVER, classic meth addict behavior brings suspicion to those who are closest to you and drastic mistakes are inevitable. In a job that requires on-point communication and no mistakes, I was bound to fall on my knees. Let me give you some examples.
I found it impossible to maintain the required level of organization to do the job well. One day, one of the pilots came to me and asked me where his expense check was – I told him that I hadn’t received his expenses (while vibrating in my seat, clenching my jaw, staring at him wild-eyed). He told me that he had put them on my desk a week before. HUH?! Well, I hadn’t seen him. Well, that week I had decided to do a massive tweak-induced organization project on my desk (moving piles on top of piles to un-pile them and pile them back up, etc.). For at least a month, every day, he asked me about his expenses – this sent me into a tweaker rage and panic; I DON’T REMEMBER SEEING THEM IN ALL MY PILE MOVING. I was starting to get nasty with him when he asked me about them (which is completely not like me) and he would look at me like I was absolutely crazy (which I was) which drove me into more of a rage. When you are tweaking, it drives you nuts when people are looking at you suspiciously. I couldn’t work with the pressure. I would mad/crazy organize my desk again and again looking for his expenses, however, in the meantime, my other really important work (like trip itineraries) was pushed aside so when the main secretaries were calling me about their upcoming trips and looking for trip itineraries, I would FREAK OUT because I hadn’t even worked on the trips or the details. Then the trip pilots would be calling me wanting to know the trip details and I was still looking for these expenses! I was a HOT, FREAKED OUT MESS and making numerous trips to the bathroom to take a bump of meth to calm down (okay, you have to be laughing a little because we both know you don’t take a bump of meth to calm down). I came to work one Monday morning (probably after a weekend of no sleep) completely tweaked out ready to freak out over the phone call about expenses when lo and behold on my desk was a folder that I had been sitting under my phone for WEEKS that contained the $2000 worth of expenses owed to that pilot. It had been right there in front of me the whole time.
Another story; we had an international trip to Paris on the schedule for months and I just couldn’t find the time between organizing my desk and tweaking in the bathroom to do the overflight permit which was detrimental to landing back in the United States. It’s a pretty important document that requires only a little work because I would send the exact same application every YEAR for the annual permit. Easy work that is impossible to do when tweaking. Three days before the trip, my boss begins asking about the permit; in a tweaked-panic I’m explaining that I’ll get to it but I’ve been so busy doing ‘nothing’ to get to it. He let-loose on me that sent me to the bathroom in tears to take a bump of meth to make myself feel better. Upon returning to my desk with red eyes and a white powder ringing my nose, there was the overflight permit sitting on my desk. My boss had done it while I was in the bathroom.
Another story; we had a weekend trip with the oldest brother of the family. Believe it or not, I was tweaking all weekend so when my cell phone started blowing up on Sunday afternoon, I was too tweaked out to answer it. I was even too tweaked out to check my messages. Monday morning, my boss was waiting for me at my desk which would send me into a tweaker rage and panic. I had set up the entire trip to the wrong airport; right before the plane landed the pilots called the passenger transportation to confirm it would be ready and NOTHING WAS SET UP. Lucky, the pilots worked double time and got everything switched so the passenger didn’t know I had completely blown it, but the boss yelled at me enough that I needed another trip to the bathroom to wipe my eyes and line my nose with white powder.
I could go on and on.
So the day when my boss called me to make sure I was even at work, he told me he wanted to sit down and talk to me; I had been up for days, Mark and I had been tweaker-fighting and things were really bad, I was super behind on my work, and basically the thought of having to meet with my boss sent me into a massive anxiety attack and rage. I had tried to calm myself when he arrived, but he went straight into his office and shut the door. He immediately got on the phone but would look at me every couple of moments through the window to where I sat at my desk – I KNEW HE WAS TALKING ABOUT ME (right?). I tried to work and seem busy but I was shaking too much to be of any good. Finally, he came out and called me over to our meeting table; he carried a pad of paper and a pen, told me to send the phone to the message center, and told the mechanics not to come to the office for the next hour. My heart was FROZEN in my chest.
We sat down; I’m vibrating, clenching, sweating, and picking my nails. “Look,” he says, “we think that you are on drugs. Tell me the truth. Are you on drugs?” Of course, RAGE took over and I began to cry and scream, ‘no, of course I’m not on drugs…. What would make you say that… I’m just stressed with everything… etc.’ I wonder now what I must have looked like. He just sat there and listened to me babble (lie) over and over for a long time. He’s face was blank as he watched me crumble in my seat. He took a breath and interrupted my babble to tell me that he thought I was lying, he was feeling very sad, and that he really wanted to help me. He explained that if I accepted his help that he would do whatever it would take to help me. No, of course I wasn’t lying, I didn’t need any help, and I’ll get myself under control. I promised that I wouldn’t be late anymore, I promised I wouldn’t take 4 hours to do the office shopping (it would take me 4 hours because I met with our drug dealer at the same time), that I would be dependable, and I would be the best employee again. For as mean-spirited as he was, he really did look sad when we finally stood up and went back to ‘work’.
I told Mark that evening that I wanted to quit meth – that it was ruining my life and I was going to lose my favorite job. Wow, that started a huge tweaker fight! He told me that meth wasn’t the problem – I was the problem that I couldn’t handle it. I think I quit for a couple of days before the “tireds” came over me and I had to do some just to survive the trip to work. I remembered trying to control it over the next couple of weeks by only doing just a little to get through the day, trying to get sleep, and not going over-board. But that only lasted a couple of weeks before I was tweaked out and trying to unsuccessfully hold it all together again.
It was a horrible cycle. My heart hurts and feels sick as I reflect on all of that. Oh, I wish…….
It’s another blog that I will write about my last day on the job. It was unexpected and at that time, I didn’t know it was going to be my last day – but it was. There was no going-away party, no cards with kind well-wishes, no cleaning out my desk…..
But you sometimes have to lose everything to start getting your life back. Losing this job was part of the process of gaining my new normal life. If I had stayed there with Mark still working a few doors down, who knows, maybe I would have never come down. I would have NEVER left that job! I loved it too much! It was my life! But I wasn’t doing any good there anymore.
I know that during this horrible, stressful time where I was lost and losing everything I thought was important, God was the only One who knew of the beautiful, normal life that lay ahead for me. He knew that it was time to take me from that situation so He could build me up again. HE HAS A PLAN FOR ME! He was the only one that could break the never-ending cycle for me. I couldn’t have done it by myself. I had no strength or self-control to be able to walk away from everything to start over – I had to lose everything to start over. That meant losing my favorite job (along with a lot of other things).
An orphan loses everything – family is one of the most important parts of life. The text I leave with you in my final thoughts I pray will give you hope when you feel like you are losing everything. It’s found in John 14:18 and says, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” So simple, yet so hopeful! Yes, let go of things that seem to be the hardest to lose! I challenge you! It could be God coming to help you get rid of the meth chain that is wrapped around you! He has the key to unlock the strength it takes to accept that losing everything that is important is the only way to make room for a new normal life.
Until next time, peace.