I survived Memorial Day and all I got was absolutely nothing

Wow, I had a busy Memorial Day Weekend.  The campground I host was packed with about 100 people.  Most of which were children.  To make matters worse the pool was still closed Friday because of broken tiles, our west end bathroom is broken because someone found a broken fire hydrant and decided it would be easier to pave over it and now there’s a sink hole (then my predecessor forgot to drain the water heater in the winter and that blew up), the east end bathrooms were closed because the men’s room toilet was broken and the showers were filled with bat droppings, most of the picnic tables were still in storage and I can’t operate a front end loader (at least not without fatalities) to haul them out, and I was the only one working here because… yeah, why is that?  I like my bosses and co-workers here, but on the busiest day of the whole year for our business everyone went missing and left me holding the check.  Also, I’m still really bad about keeping track of all the used spaces because of a combination of inexperience (first busy time here) and incurable incompetence.

So I spent my week getting yelled at.  Strange fact, yelling at me for an hour does not give me the knowledge, skill and materials to build a new bathroom and connect it to the plumbing system.  I’m the host, security guard and fee collector.  I’m not the architect, the treasurer, the director, the maintenance guy, the janitor, or anything else.  I swear, if I ever get sick of this place and leave, they could replace me with a brick with googly eyes hot glued to it so people have something to yell at.

I do love this job though and my bosses seem happy with my extreme tolerance for verbal abuse.  Of my two jobs (medical transcription and campground), hosting is my least stressful.  Part of the reason I’ve been effective in this job is that people who break the rules get bounced, but if someone just gets angry I let them stomp their feet and get it out of their system like a 3-year-old.  The trick is not to get angry.  Let it wash over you.  People who get angry easily expect you to get upset too.  They want escalation.  They are nourished by drama.  Give them none and like an internet troll it withers and retreats.

I’ve become quite convinced in recent years that maturity is an illusion.  Kids get taller, but they never grow up.  Most of what people call maturity is nothing more than buying into the trappings of their society.  Maturity is drinking the Cool-Aid.

I’ve occasionally been told that I’m too immature because of my somewhat nerdy ways.  All my closest friends are on the internet spread out over the country.  Video games take up a decent amount of my schedule.  I’m a major sci-fi fan.  Now luckily all these things have become a little more mainstream, but admittedly I was doing them when they were expressly uncool.  But every now and then a well-meaning totalitarian (all totalitarians mean well) will say that I need to settle down, start a family, get a mortgage and more “adult” hobbies.  Even the service that I use to watch my credit report advises me that my bad credit might look better if I had a mortgage on there.  So, because right now I owe too much, one possible solution would be to owe more vast sums of money.  Got to spend money to… pretend you have more money… that just makes too much sense.

The odd thing about these sources of advice is that they are rarely from people I would want to emulate.  As far as my maturity goes, I’ve been taking care of my mom since she had a stroke when I was 17, I’ve got two full-time jobs, I pay my taxes, and I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs.  None of these things is special and I have it a lot easier than literally billions of other people on this planet.  Nonetheless, I see maturity simply as doing what is necessary.  I see no reason to actively seek out more responsibilities and burdens as people recommend.  I do what I have to do when it has to be done.

As far as correlation between hobbies and maturity, that’s a dubious proposition.  Immature hobbies:  Video games, comic books, anything in the sci-fi or fantasy genres, table top or collectable card games, etc.  Mature hobbies:  Getting drunk, watching cars drive around in circles on television, casual sex with someone you just met while getting drunk, clubbing (X and glow sticks optional), tracking down and sniping defenseless animals when you aren’t hungry, having a car propped up on blocks on your front lawn that you promise to fix up one day, any game that involves physically conveying balls from one arbitrary area to another to gain imaginary points.

Every human being needs to have fun to distract themselves from the hardships of life.  In fact, I recommend that you pack every second you’re not working with as much fun as you can, because time goes fast and no one ever died regretting how little time they spent working.  The problem is that it’s really easy for all of us to judge other people’s sense of fun.  The things we do to unwind have no point.  The most entertaining things in life are mental constructs.  Art and entertainment are necessities without ever having a purpose.  The more you enjoy your life the better a person you’ll be.  If you don’t, you’ll end up one of those people telling everyone what they should be doing instead because you need them to validate your life.

I meet way too many people who plan to enjoy their lives once they retire or after they’ve achieved some goal.  First, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get there.  The best laid plans can go to ruin at a moment’s notice and the strongest foundations can fall into a sink hole because someone paved over a broken fire hydrant.  Or you could shot by a drunken Nascar watching hunter who mistook you for a deer because you decided to wear brown that day.  Finally, once you retire, the best years of your life could be behind you.  Nothing wrong with working hard or planning for the future, just make sure you’re living in the present too and, equally important, make sure you’re doing what you love to do no matter what others think.  As long as it’s not hurting anybody, it’s no one else’s business.

Entertainment and art isn’t good or bad.  It’s all about individual tastes.

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About fanaticalhypocrite

I'm your average agnostic Irish Catholic Welsh Jew born in rural West Virginia as the mildly autistic son of a motorcycle riding nurse and an unemployed, ex-military, atheist theology major (likes there's any other kind.) Just another tragically disconnected member of the bitter American proletariat living in the twilight of U.S. world dominance. I'm a medical transcriptionist by day ("They're going to fire me tomorrow" has been my motto for 11 years), a security guard/campground host/lost & found department/problem solver/bouncer/bookkeeper understudy 24/7/365, and a nerdy wannabe writer by night. And also day. My life is basically a non-linear blender full of random activities. And now I run a blog because... why not? It's not like I was using my precious time to cure disease or end world hunger. Might as well tell a bunch of strangers about why [insert anything here] really pisses me off.
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2 Responses to I survived Memorial Day and all I got was absolutely nothing

  1. bootstraps says:

    If I’ve said this before, I apologize, because I think it every time I read something you’ve written… It’s hard to believe that someone who writes like you actually types the words of someone else for 8 hours a day. I imagine you sitting there trying to make an appendectomy poetic 😉

    Very much enjoyed your Memorial Day essay, especially this: “The trick is not to get angry. Let it wash over you. People who get angry easily expect you to get upset too. They want escalation. They are nourished by drama. Give them none and like an internet troll it withers and retreats.” I’ve begun to use that as a mental template when I post you know where. I admit, I am anonymously sprinkled all over the board. I try to stay away, then I peek, and then I post, and then I think, “It’s a good think I peeked. That thread would have never devolved without my help.” The funny thing is, devolving a thread is not my intention. I’ll type the most benign thing, or something will catch my eye that isn’t quite right, so I respond, then go to bed or work, and come back only to find it’s turned into a delete-fest. Upon reading memorials of the deletions, I realize my post was the flint and usually my only contribution to the thread.

    Your hipster post triggered memories of a slumber party I went to in my teens. First though, you spoke of buying the whole album to get one song. Well… there WERE the 45s! Granted, it was the #1 song on side A and the rarely played side B, so a true-blue fan of a given band might find it blasphemous to ignore all the other cuts and opt for the 45 thing, but… back to the slumber party. It was my friend’s birthday slumber party and someone (maybe even me) gave her a 45 of the Archies’ Sugar Sugar. My friend had a collection of 45s unmatched by none. Amazing collection. Most of it was the contemporary top of the charts stuff from the late 60s, early 70s, Credence, The Jackson Five, Temptations, Supremes, and of course Beatles, Stones, etc., but there was also the random (OMG I’m not sure if I’m happy this memory was jogged) selection like Joe Tex–I Gotcha! … Back to the party. She played that Archies’ Sugar Sugar ALL NIGHT LONG. But what good night it was. She and I became “best friends” that night. She was an introvert (but drop-dead gorgeous) who needed the validation and confidence of a best friend, so that was me, which was great for many reasons. I was a fan of professional roller derby at the time, and her dad reminded me of one of the “bad boy” roller derby guys I loved, so we had lots of fun with that. And she had the closest thing to a Cleaver Family I’d ever experienced, mine being a polar opposite, so memories of that time in my life are always fond, and definitely were revived when I read I’m Not A Hipster.

    And Napster LOL!!! My daughter was Napster-intensive back in the day. I was always waiting for the Napster Swat Team to break down my door. But of course I was having flashbacks to when my son was younger. He witnessed the birth of the Internet… back when we were charged and paid by the minute by the provider. I received a bill from Prodigy for over $1000 one month and thought that was the end of my life. Then he figured out how to hack passwords to get it for free until the more modern and affordable mode of internet access was available, so I was waiting for the Prodigy Police all the time. Those were the days!!

    I’ve been meaning to drop you a comment for a while now… so here it is. And I am looking forward to one of those books you’re working on. Happy writing, working, and camp-tending!

  2. Thanks:) Yeah, I got completely fed up with the boards for a while. I would come back and look in and it was too crazy. I had to sort of fall back on the old “If you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all.” A lot of the time my only viable counterpoint was “You’re insane. What you just said is insane.” Not exactly constructive, so I had to take a break. Also, I don’t like this whole policy of not being able to question another person’s source. So I could post on this blog that an eyewitness just stepped forward to say that every day Paul Ryan eats a basket full of kittens and puppies, then cite the blog as a source and no one can argue against my source without me being able to accuse them of picking on me? Any news source can be and has been wrong, but some of these websites they come up with are so out there.

    Funny how thinking about music can take you back. I personally love the sound of records. My mom, who went through the entire era of records and 8-tracks, prefers digital quality. I think the pops and clicks add character. Of course, actual records are a pain now. They take up room and finding a working record player can be a pain. Luckily, a friend of ours has a converter to pull songs off records and convert them to MP3, so the old vinyl collection fits into a single folder on the computer now instead of whole bookshelves.

    $1000 bill, ouch! I can only imagine getting a bill that big. I would have changed my name and fled the country LOL. A while ago I was using dial-up AOL from this trailer I was temporarily living in at this park right on a river. Nice place, but middle of nowhere. Turns out the access number I was using, while in the same area code, was outside the “phone tree” so I was being charged “local long distance,” but I had no long distance provider. So AT&T ended up with an 80 bill, but I moved before they ever got around to sending it. So when I didn’t get it, they reported me to collections and marked my credit down for it. I was so furious. I eventually got them to apologize and rescind their mark on my credit because first they had failed to mail it in a timely fashion (they sat on it for 6 months) and second they had allowed me to get AT&T service at my new address, which I had for 3 months and they never put two and two together that the same social security number and name implied I was the same person. Also, they could have contacted the third party telephone company, who knew where I was the whole time. Basically, they never actually tried to collect and only damaged my credit so they could write it off later.

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