I have always considered myself, one who gets the job done. I would like to leave it at that, however there are those that would argue my measure of success is a different one than most. I find myself more inclined to do what is required, as opposed to that above and beyond garbage, reserved for show offs and posturing. In my school days, if an instructor ordered a five-hundred word essay, that’s precisely what they got, including the title. If not writing a paper didn’t result in expulsion from school and being left to fend in the work-a-day world, it may not get written at all. My father, fondly I’m sure, referred to me as ‘the artful dodger.’ This sobriquet was most commonly accompanied with, “if you’d spend half the time working, that you spend trying to get out of work…” You see, based on the adults in my life I knew if one lived, they were destined to be part of the workforce for the greater portion of their life and with that in mind, I concluded no reason to rush the inevitable.
As a young teenager, I thought it wise to test the waters, if you will, taking on a job as a newspaper carrier for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. I made many discoveries working seven days a week, ensuring the morning news reached the citizenry. One discovery was how well my mother adapted at getting up even earlier than usual to get me off to work. She also excelled at handling paperwork after my painstaking rounds to collect from my customers. To this day, I would not hesitate to fire off a letter of recommendation for her, may she rest in peace. Moving on to a more dignified vocation appropriate to my station, I became a theater usher, at sixteen years. A sport coat and tie set me apart from the waifs in the street peddling their papers or pumping gas at a local filling station. Wrestling with the choice of losing the celebrity of the theater for the mundane but more monetarily appreciative factory, I acted out of greed and deserted the world of entertainment for the handsome wage of $1.50 per hour with a firm handshake guaranteeing an additional nickel after thirty days.
Finally, earning my high school diploma I moved on with life and the working world. Some would suggest my attestment too generous and might say, I was rather, granted a diploma and given a swift kick in the ass out the side door. I have always chosen to be the bigger man and take the higher road, as it were. I find the petty jealousy of others motivates me to do only what is required, but we’ve already touched on that.