The Alcoholics and My Second Interview
“So we’d love to have you come in for another interview and meet some more members of our team.” That’s how the message ends on my answering machine. I still have an answering machine because I still have a land line, and voice mail is an unnecessary expense. And the blinking message light is always something to come home to. This particular message comes at a moment when I really need to hear it. I’ve just returned from the coffee shop where I sat at the corner window table with Get In The Van by Henry Rollins.
There were two middle-aged men seated to my right and two more behind me. After ten minutes of their conversations leaking in on my reading, it’s apparent that two are recovering alcoholics and the other two are their sponsors. There’s a church just around the corner so a meeting probably just ended. These are the saddest and, at the same time, most self-indulgent conversations I’ve ever eavesdropped on.
It’s a cacophony of self-pity, day-to-day existence and over-rationalizing of recovery. They all appear to be in their mid to late forties, and I never want to be them. One guy takes a really spiritual view of recovery, and another talks like he’s smarter than the whole process. I find out that they’re all single and that being on Facebook is prohibited in recovery. Looking at profiles of exes and their successful lives makes us all pick up a beer, but these guys would never be able to stop. Any ambition they’ve ever had has been replaced by fragility. It would suck to be these guys.
I never want to have so much free time that I’m able to fall into chemical dependency, attend AA meetings and sit around discussing myself in a coffee shop. I don’t want that to be my day, week, month and year. Who knows how many years these guys have lost to their addiction? Years they’ll look back on and realize they didn’t make the most of that time.
It’s exactly why I need this job. Not want it, but need it. I don’t want to look back on a time in my life where I sat unrecognized, unfulfilled and unhappy in a cubicle and did nothing to make it better. Making a paycheck but never becoming wealthy. We all deserve to be rich. It’s not a bad thing. We all have that potential and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let it go to waste in this place. Excess money won’t guarantee my happiness, but it will guarantee more choices for myself and my future family. I’m too young to accept complacency. Aren’t we all made in God’s image and isn’t God prosperous? I’ll never prosper at TR.
So fuck it. I return the call to set-up the second interview. I’m going to take the entire day off for it and not just a half day. I grab my car keys and I’m out the door to buy a brand new suit. I’m going to buy the ultra-nice and expensive DKNY one because four alcoholics made me realize that I deserve it.