New Challenges

So as a note, it’s pretty much common knowledge around work that I’m not the largest fan of life below Interstate-10. Just a perception on how I was raised and how I want to live, how I want my world to look when I wake up, etc. In the last couple of months I’ve been doing interviews and job hunting around the state (because really nothing offers me life like it does here).

Odd how when you’re fed up with the people you work with, how just a few things happen and your perspective changes. I was in Odessa and going for a job interview, kinda like what I already do. It was mainly for logistics of hazardous things and for some odd reason (couldn’t tell you why) I really like that sort of work.

I was looking around at the town and the people and while I generally can’t stand the rural scenery of southern Texas, I have to say that I like it better down there than in Midland or Odessa on holiday. I’m sure if I was making the money I was offered for the job, I might feel different, but here goes.

You get paid a lot of money every two weeks to eat a bowl of shit. You have a cupboard full of spices, from everywhere that taste like anything. But when it comes down to it, you get paid to eat shit. Spiced shit, organic smelling or not, it’s still shit. Shit that if you didn’t have the job, you’d be like, “Woah, I couldn’t be paid enough to eat that shit.” And when you have it, it’s like you married the Bosnian beauty pageant queen from twenty years ago. Sure, you can see she used to be heavenly gorgeous, but she’s a little past that hump now, and if you can assist her getting around, you can proudly look at her old trophies, too.

I originally went to do this interview for a driving job. But as I walked around the location, I felt less and less secure about wanting to be here. The Texas Railroad Commission, who handles everything energy sector hazard spill-wise, would have a field day here. I’m not going to mention who I was interviewing with because this is one of those things that people show up and it looks like the movie, “OUTBREAK.”

Suddenly, I felt like my life working in South Texas wasn’t so bad. My job might not rock the way I want it to, but it wasn’t something of a crapshoot every commute into work. “Do I have a job today, or am I going to a place where they have a fresh chainfall on the door?”

And the more I drove around Odessa, I hit this mental hurdle that every one of the jobs that I applied for is one step away from this. In frack, some guy is using unlabeled jugs of what was Pinesol and some other chemical usually found in a junior-high chemistry set, mixing them like an alchemist from the 1200’s, “Just a little more vodka in this and I think we got ourselves a frack, boy!”

Fifty years ago, we were doing that, with lit cigarettes, over largely flammable chemical vats. This is just one of those things that hit me…I work in a more dangerous-than-usual field.

While I was not happy with things, largely it is something rooted in perspective. I’m happier in urban areas or in areas where I can not feel like I’m the only guy that enjoys a good panini with goat cheese. I’m not so happy in the areas close to the border where my lunch options are the taco factory or ramen.

Thankfully, when I returned to work, I had a discussion with my supervisors. I’m going to be challenged once again, I feel. Which is good. I shouldn’t get complacent or feel stagnant. But it depends on me. I almost have three years in here.

It sounds odd. At the moment I’m wholly content to do this. I know when I have time, I have to finish my third book. That’s my off-time priority. Resettling up north of Houston will happen before the year’s end, it looks like (unless I really spend too much time in Fredericksburg).


This blog sat in my file for a month while things were fin a state of flux. I’m now working out of Midland and got a substantial raise/promotion. From as far as I can tell, this is a big one. The bowl of shit was replaced with communal hot dogs with mac and cheese and every one of us up here seems to be enjoying the leftovers from the spice cabinet when we were all trying to stomach crow.