Saturday, June 20, 2015

Doom or Blessing

KC, short for Kama Chameleon ~ What WERE her parents thinking, or on, when they named her?, focused on the application she was filling out.

What kind of work had she been doing most recently? Well, KC was what’s termed a ‘seasonal worker.’ It’s funny how that works out because ‘seasonal workers’ fill a multitude of positions: agricultural workers, holiday workers, summer vacation workers; and come from a variety of places: high school and college students, single mothers, undocumented workers, to name a few.

How did she fit into this mix? She was a ‘cafeteria lady’ at the grade school during the school year, working 3-4 hour shifts when students were in school. In the summer, she worked at Jimmie Joe’s General Store at the edge of the city, on the road leading to the lake and woods. She was always up by 5 a.m. to be at work by 6. 

Last week, as she was getting ready to head to Jimmie Joe’s, her phone buzzed. It was a text from Jimmie ~ not the old man who’d started the business, but his daughter who was the current owner/manager ~ “Call me before you leave the house” read the text.

KC called.

“Hey, KC,” Jimmie said.

“What’s up, Jimmie?” KC replied.

“Well, uh, it’s kinda like…”

“Out with it, Jimmie. Are you firing me?”

“Not exactly,” said Jimmie. “It’s just that, well, they started work on the road today.”

“Sure. That was planned. I was about to head out the door to get ahead of traffic when your text came through.”

“Yeah. But what wasn’t planned was the backhoe taking out a piece of the bridge. They have it blocked off.”

“Wow. Really?” said KC. “How long is it going to take to fix?”

“Well, that’s the problem. They don’t know. They’ve already started arguing about who’s fault it is and who’s going to pay for the repairs.”

“That could take a while. So what’s the problem?”

“Well, KC,” said Jimmie. “I don’t need you to come in if no one can go camping or fishing from this direction. The only way out now is across the old Casson Street bridge north of town.”

“Oh. I get it. So no one will be buying stuff at the store, right?”


“Okay,” said KC. “Glad you caught me before I left. I’ll call you later to check on things.”

“Okay,” said Jimmie. “Talk to you later.”

After they hung up, KC stood at the kitchen sink looking out into the yard. She was stunned. She needed the work to make ends meet. What was she going to do now? She turned, grabbed her travel mug of coffee and sat down at the table. Before she could stop them, the tears began. 

“Oh, shit!” KC said out loud. “What am I going to do now?” She put her head down on her arms on the table and let herself cry.

A short time later, KC got up, walked into the bathroom and washed her face. She looked at herself in the mirror and repeated her question, “What am I going to do now?”

She went into the bedroom, pulled out her laptop and turned it on. What was that site her brother kept telling her about? Somebody’s list….? Oh! Yes. Craigslist, right? She typed it in and there was a pause as the page loaded. Like her brother had suggested a half dozen times recently, she now looked at the ‘help wanted’ section. There was one for a part time gardener, two days a week. Another for a line worker at the factory. Another for a companion for an elderly woman. As she read them, she started thinking, “I can do this. And this. And maybe this. I don’t want to do that one.” Soon she began replying to the ads ~ which led her to filling out the application to work as a companion for the elderly. She found her attitude going from frustration and fear to hope, excitement and looking forward to change.

That backhoe’s accident which first looked like it spelled doom, might just lead KC to a new job that won’t depend on the season!

What situation have you experienced that looked bad at first and then turned into something good? How did that happen? Are there other situations that appeared bad that might have a good side to it?

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