November 24, 2020

In the end, the decision turned out not to be that hard at all. A couple of weeks ago I could feel my store manager starting to feel me out about taking on the assistant manager role at the store. The district manager (his boss) was very keen on him trying to convince me to accept the position, but I wasn’t really interested.

“So let’s just say you’re still looking for IT work and let’s just say you’re not interested in the assistant manager role. All that being said, what would it take for you to consider the position?”

I tell him I don’t want to work more than 30 hours a week except in the case of an emergency.


I tell him I don’t want to work two full weekend days. Like, ever.

“Well, Saturdays are tough, as you know. How about you only work Saturdays until, say, 1 PM. No later.”

I tell him I’ll take it under consideration. And I want more money, no more minimum wage for me. At least a couple more bucks an hour.

“I can make that happen.”

I tell him I don’t work with Ed (current assistant manager), like, at all. The guy’s a pain in the ass who likes to bust balls just for the sake of it. I’ll accept ball-busters in the IT industry because that’s just how the game is played. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to have my balls busted by a friggin’ retail guy.

“Marc (district manager) wants to move Ed to another store as a manager. May God have mercy on their souls.”

Aahhhhhh I….don’t…..know.

“Think about it. We’d make a great team.”

I said I would and would get back to him by end of week. I spent the next two days thinking about things. Tracey and I talked about it and we felt comfortable with the fact that with my pension starting in December and her job the way it is, the money I’d be bringing in would be more than enough to help us keep building up our savings (not like it used to be, but yeah) and give us a cushion for any emergencies that might arise until I hit full retirement age in December 2021, so we’re only talking a year. And, if things go well I can keep masquerading as Pool Guy as long as I want.

But I still wasn’t sure.

Then, a day later, a cathartic moment. I was sitting under the happy pineapple lights enjoying my version of a Pusser’s Painkiller (emphasis on the rum, less fruit juice) when I just asked myself out loud why an old buck like me would want to go back into the IT meat grinder. “Look at you”, I said, “is that what you really want? You’re friggin’ 65 years old and you want to get back into all the bullshit that goes with a young man’s game with the long hours, the stress, the demanding clients, and deadlines? Right now the only stress you have is when some guy brings his beat up, pool chemical ravaged Hayward Phoenix in to have its guts replaced. How bad is that?”

I had to admit that the handful of IT jobs I had applied for over the past few weeks were not exactly done with enthusiasm. Trepidation was more like it. And, as Tracey had said multiple times, I’d paid my dues. Would the money I’d be making in IT make it all worthwhile? At one time – like, 15-20 years ago – the answer would be yes, but there comes a time, doesn’t it? And, as Dirty Harry once said, “a man’s got to know his limitations”. The (relatively) young buck who had dashed into my previous IT job seventeen years ago with both feet, ready to take on all comers, was long gone. The new alternative? Doing water tests, hauling 35-lb buckets of chlorine tabs and 40-lb bags of pool salt and sand for what so far has been a nice bunch of customers, repairing pool cleaners? It was pretty chill. And the manager is a great guy to work with. No bullshit. No stress.

That night I got the first good night’s rest in, like, three months.

I texted the manager the next day. “I’m in.” Two days later, Ed gets his long-sought after manager position at another store (may God have mercy on their souls) and I get a whopping $2.75 pay raise for the promotion to assistant store manager. Everyone’s happy.

Today I shut down all the notifications I was getting from LinkedIn and the handful of job sites I had subscribed to. It felt good. And right.


And speaking of embracing the chill, I hope y’all like what I did with my front pot. The Bunny Basics thrift store had a bunch of fake autumn leave for $.25 cents a pop, and I just hung them on a bunch of sticks I had collected last year. I think it came out looking really nice. Very autumnal, dontcha think?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 12:44 | Comments (2)
  1. I feel so good about your decision. The last few years were NOT good for you, physically or mentally.

    Congrats! Let the countdown begin! (there’s a bunch of apps for that, btw . . .

    Comment by Dave Richard — November 24, 2020 @ 3:46 pm

  2. Thanks bro!

    Comment by The Great White Shank — December 5, 2020 @ 11:44 pm

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