Two Decades Later

Posted: December 2, 2016 in Blur of Life

This month marks my 20 year anniversary in the Treasure Valley/Boise area. Moved here in 1996 from Winnemucca, where I lived, miserably, next door to a group of wacked-out crankheads in a dilapidated apartment complex with my former wife  and 1 year old redheaded daughter.
I was a regional sales manager/delivery driver/merchandiser with Swire Coca-Cola and had a 300 mile sales area in the middle of Nowhere, Nevada. Several times a week I’d drive hours to deliver less than 4 cases of soda to a vending machine next to an outhouse, or toothless gas station attendant, or a mom-n-pop greasy spoon restaurant. 
I had to be back home by 5pm to get my orders in, using a dial-up Internet connection, or my customers wouldn’t get their shipment from Reno that week. Upper management from Reno trained me for 2 days and expected me to be my own support network.
I had two moronic employees under me whom I’d constantly catch screwing off and therefore I’d end up doing their job just to get it done.  I was up at 4am and crashed into bed about 10pm.
I had a pager (also referred to as a “beeper”), a CB radio installed in the company truck for communication and was on-call 24/7. I was expected to wear my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-looking uniform anytime I was in any store we serviced… even on my days off.

Needless to say, I was burned-out within a month. I had moved to the shit hole known as Winnemucca from Elko… which was only slightly less of a shit-hole… in search of a big career advancement with the company. Prior to moving, I was their only merchandiser (the dude who stocks the shelves, builds displays, rotates out the expired product) and also the main delivery driver around town (I had my Commercial Drivers Licence).

I was offered a whopping $24,000 yearly to move to the nation’s butthole and not complain about the smell of crap.

Out of boredom I started comping product to some of my Indian reservation customers; bartering Coke cans for a hamburger lunch or firework family packs, which I could then resell to get food money for the family.
I barely made enough to keep the lights on at home and we often ate Ramen for dinner.
When management discovered I was giving product away on occasion, they weren’t pleased. I received a phone call instructing me to stay put at my apartment because they were going to come talk to me. Within 10 minutes this 6′ 7″ Italian thug (aka: my supervisor from Reno) opens my front door without knocking, gets in my face, and demands my truck keys, calling card, and equipment. I was fired on the spot.

At that point I considered my life to be completely meaningless. Here I was, trapped in a section of Hell that even Satan forgets about, not knowing what I was going to do next in order to raise my young family in a safe environment. My wife and I rarely got along, my daughter was barely learning to walk, I had no family nearby and no friends in the area. My options for employments hinged on working for the very same grocery stores I serviced as a Mutant Ninja Coke Employee. I literally wanted to end my life and had the gun and mental instability to do so.

Thankfully, my parents lived in Meridian, Idaho. I tucked my tail between my legs and called my mother, sobbing about how much of a failure I was. After quite a bit of consoling, my mom and dad offered their home for us to move into. The possibility of new opportunities in a town I had only visited a few times (but absolutely loved) was all I needed to rejuvenate my soul. We packed up and moved out that weekend, leaving Winnemucca behind us in the dust bowl that it is.

I’ve since divorced and married and divorced and married and divorced and raised more kids (many of which weren’t blood related), been through more jobs than I care to count, been through even more women than I care to admit, but ultimately I’m very happy with my life in Boise. Twenty years later, 43 years young, and I feel more at home than ever. My family is tight, my friends are wonderful, and I feel blessed to have the job I do.

I still feel as though I’m going nowhere fast as the years slip by even faster, but at least the view kicks ass.

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