Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Visit with the Turk

Admittedly, I have never been fired from any job I've ever held.  Now there were occasions when I went out of my way to try and get fired, such as my appointment to Urinalysis NCOIC of my last unit when I was in the Army.    The title says everything you need to know why I so despised that job...essentially, when a male soldier had to be screened for drugs, it was my job to ensure that he filled up the little bottle.  We were dealing with nuclear weapons and Uncle Sugar didn't want the wrong people guarding them.  If the government didn't trust it's soldiers with nuclear think they were on the honor system of filling up that little bottle?  That's right, someone had to physically watch the fluid leave the body and enter the container...enter your Urinalysis NCOIC.  Damn, I hated that job!!

Then there are jobs that I absolutely love.  My current gig as an Environmental Engineer with NCDOT is one of them.  It can be rather mundane and tedious at times but there is no greater calling than helping out good 'ole "Mother Nature."  OK,you got me, I do enjoy the job but I added that last line for the benefit of my bosses, who may read this on occasion and I hope they might spare me when the next round of budget cuts are needed.

I also worked part time at the RBC Center where the NHL Carolina Hurricanes and NC STATE University Men's Basketball team play.  Initially as a Suite Host for about three seasons and the past two as a suite server.  It was only to be temporary but I stayed mainly out of my love for sports.  I will never forget the '06 Stanley Cup Finals between the 'Canes and Edmonton.  Absolutely the most electric and contagious atmosphere I've ever been associated with and the catalyst that has made me a raving "Caniac."  Also, there's no bigger rush than watching Wolfpackers rush the floor after beating those despised is indeed a rare occasion but never gets old.

The last two years have been great monetarily speaking as I was able to make some serious tips serving in the suites...but it was also a hustle gig.  I took a pedometer into work one time just to see how many miles I was getting...8.  Yeah, I was averaging that many miles walking back and forth from the suites and to the kitchen.  The pay made those aching hooves of mine hurt a little less.  I honestly have a new profound respect for wait staff...not that I was ever dis-respectful to those who waited upon me, but it was a job I deemed beneath me til I got on at the RBC Center.  The other keen aspect I took from this position was the attention to detail needed to succeed.  These clients were pretty successful in the business community and if you wanted to get paid, you had better bring your "A" game.  You needed a "shtick" to succeed and being the "old soldier" in the group I became "Sarge."  I fared well in this role but you always had to be at your best.

Here's where I ran into the Turk.  You all know him...the Grim Reaper.  He's also that guy in the NFL camps who has the unenviable task of informing players that they've been cut.  I was getting ready for the new season, running...busting my ass to get into shape...well, the "busting my ass" part might be an exaggeration...but this was going to be a playoff run for the Canes and my Wolfpack were breaking in a new coach... I was jacked...til  that subtle knock at the door with a guy yelling at me to report to the coach with my playbook...which in this case turned out to be an email from my supervisor which read:  We have reviewed your HR file and have decided not to invite you back for the upcoming season.

It's a business; the 'Canes are struggling to sell their suites.  I get it and I wasn't the only one shown the door.  In all fairness, they did offer me a demotion to a position within the building minus the tips.  That was swell of them, but no thanks.   Remember, this is the first time I have ever been fired.  Technically,  I was "released," but damn if it doesn't feel all the same...just like a gut punch.  What's more aggravating is the cowardly manner in how they drop the bomb on you...a cordial way of saying "fuck you very much!"

Don't cry for me Argentina.  I'll be just fine.  In fact Claudia is down right giddy over the prospect of me being home more...I'm worried now.  This also gives me a chance to get into a rhythm physically.  Part time work at my age is hard on the body and doesn't allow me to function on a normal routine.  I'm going to use this time and focus on my running and my day job with NCDOT...Lord knows, I don't want the Turk paying me another visit.  It also affords me the opportunity to write more on this here never know, I might even become so popular with blogging, someone might pay me to write about stupid shit.  Take care everyone and do what you can to avoid the Turk.


  1. I know it sucks, it sucks to have to walk away from something that you loved.But, as "they" say, everything happens for a reason. I believe that.I hate it here, but I am here for a reason.We are merely players in a bigger plan.We had our role there, but had to move on.I was fortunate to make a friend in you while I was there. hat job does not, did not, define you as a person or employee. You are one of the best people I have had the pleasure working with and I enjoyed every second of it. Em

  2. Emily, I gave up a lot to be up there hope it turns out the best for you. Like wise, I'll be ok. Take care.

  3. Mark, I believe being "released" ( WTF ... are you a Trout? ) by email is insulting, lazy and just bad manners. It's one step below Carrie ( from Sex in the City ) being dumped by her lover with a post-it... at least she was left with a "bird in her hand". You... What you got was being dumped via Cyber Space, which I have been led to believe is out there for all eternity. It's on your " permanent record ", Mark... Is there a lawsuit there? Now all over the planet, anyone who would want to know about you could have access to that piece of your history... Nothing is really deleted. They might have well put it on a " Jumbo Tron ".

  4. Who the hell has time to pursue a lawsuit? Besides, they have this little policy that allows them to "release" part timers with or without cause.