That dumpster didn’t leave Second Chance Ranch yesterday after all. It wasn’t until late this morning that a dually backed up our driveway to pull it away. The young man in the pickup offered Deb a perfectly reasonable explanation for the delay — he waited ’til today so he could swing by on his way back from a morning of turkey hunting.
Gotta love country boys.
I’m still out of action. My back may be improving, or maybe I’m just getting better at moving only in ways that don’t trigger knee-buckling pain. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s the latter.
Deb’s been great, a huge help while I’m largely immobile. She’s well-acquainted with my rub-a-little-dirt-on-it attitude, so as soon as she saw that trademark stoicism evaporate she knew that I was dealing with injury and not routine pain. Both of us acknowledge that it’ll be awhile before I return to the game.
That said, I’m keeping all this in the proper perspective. News we received this morning helps with that. Before I say more, permit me to cover a little history.
A couple of years ago Deb and I were working together. She managed a small wholesale-distribution branch while I ran her shipping and receiving. After 15 years of service she was fired in July of 2020 — a guy she’d brought into the company (when he was out of work and really needed a job) unceremoniously sacrificed her to management to advance his own interests.
Why I wasn’t terminated the same day remains a mystery.
The company brought in a new branch manager, a woman clearly out of her depth. It took her over three months to figure out that having her predecessor’s spouse working there was a bad idea. She showed me the door on October 30th and, unlike my wife, I got cops.
Deb’s replacement was fired not long after that. Today we learned that the guy who’d thrown Deb under the bus dropped dead yesterday of a heart attack. He’d turned 61 a few days ago.
Deb and I talked about that this morning, recalling how many times over the years we’d heard about people in her position and mine, colleagues at other branches throughout the company, dying on the job. It’s not hyperbole to say that a ruthlessly dysfunctional corporate culture often proved lethal.
The two of us survived not only because we were dismissed while we were still alive, but because Deb’s management style created an island of professional sanity at our branch.
Neither of us celebrates this most recent death, despite our history with the deceased. It does, however, lend perspective to our own issues, such as they are. And we’re especially grateful to still be on the green side of the grass.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.