My Life – Part 11

Filed under: Uncategorized — maxweb September 28, 2007 @ 9:25 pm

Last Time:

“…I was the last of the new crew they had just hired… but it didn’t seem like that would be a problem…”

So I left the Oceanside store for an independent in Carlsbad. The feel of Carlsbad was very different, it’s a laid back surfer kinda beach town, with a more upscale populace… See, at the time Oceanside was still a shabby, run down home to streetwalkers, scumbags and the many Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton. It was the last affordable place in Southern California where one, with enough money, could still buy beach front property. V and I had found that we both really enjoyed real estate… we looked at properties, went to seminars, bought some books and tapes, even met Russ Whitney at one of his seminars in downtown Sandy Eggo and he bought us drinks… What we couldn’t get was financing from anyone, so the apartments and houses that we wanted to buy for the low $100Ks were bought by others, who are now millionaires… It was then that we learned who really believed in us, that would be… nobody. We knew if we were ever going to follow our dreams of rehabbing properties and making, Safe, Decent, Sanitary housing for low to middle income families, it would have to be done some other way. We shelved our ideas of buying properties for the time being… I went to work for the married entrepreneur couple who had purchased the lowest producing store in the chain… We learned a lot from each other… they learned the video business from me and the other employees, while I learned about being an entrepreneur, that it wasn’t a bad thing to work for yourself, to open and run businesses, to train people to be good employees and that within reason, management had a certain responsibility to those employees. They believed that my success was their success and that stuck with me in my management positions later in life. The store they had purchased, they renamed “Red Carpet Video” and it was a running joke with employees to call it “Rotting Carpet Video” because the carpet was very old and very smelly. The store was dark and dingy, with old wood paneling on the walls and the old style, bring the box up front and we’ll get your videos for you, system, instead of the current style which our chain (pre-Blockbuster) helped make popular called a “live floor” system where the tapes were behind their boxes if they were in, and you brought that to the front of the store for check out. My bosses rehabbed the store, including fresh, new red carpet and white painted walls… they also adopted the live system… the store’s business increased, but apparently not so much that they could continue employing everyone… I was at work one afternoon when I was called into the back office, they said that while they loved me and I did a great job for them, they couldn’t keep us all and they would have to start taking shifts themselves… basically, last one hired, first one fired… So, I was out of work again… I started looking for jobs in my hometown, as we had been talking about moving closer to my folks and getting away from Oceanside… I got an interview with a local company, it went great, the pay was more than I’d been making and the woman who had interviewed me seemed to be saying she wanted me to start soon, but she said I’d need to interview with her husband first. V and I went to see a rental house on 10 acres perched between an avocado grove and an orange grove. It was very rustic and secluded and we loved it. I told the owners that I had this job all sewn up and just needed to have my final interview, they approved us on the basis of V having her job and me getting mine… Then, somewhere out of a Seinfeld episode, the woman’s father dies, the husband says that she won’t be back to work for a while and that the job won’t be available until she comes back. So, I’m left wondering what the proper protocol is for getting a job with someone who’s just lost a father… when, and how often, can one call on something like that? Apparently the answer is not more than a couple of times, because on about the third or fourth call the husband basically said, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you…” and I never heard from them again… So, now we have a one bedroom granny house and I have no job to pay for it… and V was starting to feel condemned for living with me because all of her new Christian friends were telling her she’s living in sin… She still can’t bring herself to divorce him and is now feeling like she should go off and live on her own and get her head together…

See you next week!

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