Growing up as a kid, I was a bit of a goof ball. One might say I was the class clown, in fact, I may have been voted "class clown" in our Senior superlatives. Life has a funny way of making you get real serious real fast. I'm sure there are many people whom I've met over the past couple years, who'd be shocked to know I do have a sense of humor and can be funny on the occasion.
It's always nice to catch up with old friends, whether it be former classmates or co-workers. I had the opportunity to go to lunch with a group of people I worked with for many years, last weekend. I worked with them from the age of 20, until just after my near fatal car accident, ten years ago. I was just a kid back then, and after listening to them reminisce, I realize I was probably the office clown as well.
I was reminded of how my sinful rendition of Madonna's "Like a Virgin", actually helped conceive a child one night. Again, you are welcome Renee! There had been some video and audio evidence of many of those Karaoke performances, though thankfully, they have been lost. Back in the old days of the collections industry, we were able to use an alias name to protect our identity. I chose the name of former KC Royal and St Louis Cardinals pitcher, "Danny Jackson", as my alias name at work. I was Mr. Jackson by day, Rod Lovejoy by night.
Once I turned 21, I don't think I paid for a single drink over the next several years. My co-workers were so entertained by my drunken shenanigans, that they would buy me all the adult beverages I could handle. To this day, I can no longer stand peaches or peach anything because of the schnapps in the "Sex on the beach" drinks. I ended that particular evening, wedged in my co-workers bathtub, naked and afraid. The following Monday was not awkward at all, after having had your work pal, peel your nude drunken ass out of the tub. He would later become my boss.
One of the memories which came to me, was how frustrated I would get, when it seemed as though I was pitching in money for something on a weekly basis. "Oh, Mary had a baby, let's send her flowers!" "What? Tom broke his arm, falling off his horse? Here's money for a basket of meat and cheese." "Sally is getting married, let's pitch in for wedding gifts." "Shane's wife is pregnant, lets throw in for an office baby shower!" "Oh Dear, Sandy moved here as a result of hurricane Katrina, let's donate half a paycheck because she has nothing." (Two months later, Sandy has new breasts) The problem, in my mind, was this. I was single, with no prospects of marriage or children anytime soon, so nobody would be pitching in for my wedding gifts, baby showers etc. My extended family and I were all healthy, so nobody was donating money for flowers & baskets for me. I would continue to pitch in week after week over the course of about 11 years. Little did I know, it would all come back to me and then some. After my car accident, these wonderful people, my work family, surprised me with over $3000 they had raised to help me out while I was down.
I met so many amazing people through my former employer, including my wife, Emily. It's a shame when you spend each and every day with people for years and years, but when you leave, you don't see them again for years and years.
Russ, Glenda, Sheila, Alisa, Mindy, Lori, Jean, Dianne, Renee, Lori & Roberta, it was great catching up. Kay, I will continue to keep you in my prayers. You look great, and I'm looking forward to lunch again next year.