March 5, 2010
LIBRA HOROSCOPE (from astrology.com): Your head for business is screwed on perfectly straight right now, so get down into the details and make something big happen! Even if you're not on the clock right now, you can make a difference.
I have the day off. Apparently the funeral biz is slow. People just aren’t dying right now.
Naturally, I felt the urge to console myself with a shopping spree. And yet, as I started to drive toward Robson, I realized I couldn’t really afford the parking meter, much less the new shoes I’d hoped to purchase. I pulled over and called Dad. I knew he’d answer as Mom’s at the salon on Fridays. Gorgeous day. How about a stroll around Trout Lake?
I dashed back home to fetch Tupper as he always perks up in off-leash zones. Grabbed a couple coffees to-go and picked up Dad. He seemed down and, when I asked him, he attributed it to the post-Olympics blahs. I didn’t buy it. The Canucks were back on the ice and Dad doesn’t really care where he gets his hockey. The blahs don’t come until June.
As Tupper and a schnauzer sniffed butts, Dad blurted, “They want me to retire.” And there it was. The dark cloud. Two years ago, after a heart attack, he’d reluctantly cut down to four days a week. For almost a year afterward, he was the walking wounded, his pride as an indispensable part of the fruit distribution business punctured. If people were trying to show him the door, it would be devastating.
I’ve always worried about what will happen when Dad retires. You hear about guys who die less than a year after the For He’s the Jolly Good Fellow party. Some people aren’t meant for eighteen holes on the golf course. And, worse, Dad isn’t suited for spending mornings with Mom, listening to what Regis and Kelly have to say about that cute Bieber kid. He’ll die or demand a divorce. Either option will rip the family apart. Mom is enough to handle as it is. A divorced Mom? God help us all.
I had to keep my eye on Tupper as a bulldog tried to hump him. I relaxed when I realized Tupper seemed to like it. “They can’t force you, can they?”
“They can find a way to fire me. That’s what they did to Terrence Shackelton. Forty years of loyalty and the bastards sacked him.”
“You’re sixty-three, Dad. They can’t discriminate based on age. Marella would launch a suit. Terrence only provides more evidence. She’d have them choking on their balls.” I didn’t mean to sound crass but the whole conversation brought out something guttural. Dad deserved better.
“Yeah, Marella would make them pay. No doubt.” He crouched over to pick up a stick. Tossed it and Tupper ignored it. The schnauzer, however, felt he had a new best friend. “I don’t want it to come to that.”
“What do you want then, Dad?”
“I don’t know.” Dad wasn’t the hugging type so I held his hand. He gripped mine tightly in return.
KEN’S JOURNAL (via BlackBerry):
ACCORDING TO GLORIA, THE BOSS ARRANGED TO HAVE SOME OUT OF THE OFFICE MEETINGS AND THEN WAS WORKING FROM HOME FOR THE REST OF THE DAY. DIDN’T HAVE THE GUTS TO SEE ME FACE TO FACE, TO LOOK AT THE BLACK EYE AND APOLOGIZE. NO BALLS. DESPITE ALL HIS GRUFF ANTICS, HE WAS A WUSS. NO WONDER HE YELLED & CHUCKED THINGS. INTIMIDATION WAS HIS ONLY OPTION. RESPECT WLD NEVER COME.
I CALLED MARTY LAST NITE & WE’RE SET TO LOOK @ SOME OFFICE SPACE ON SATURDAY. EVERYTHING’S GOING TO HAPPEN A FEW MONTHS EARLIER THAN PLANNED. I’M CERTAIN I’LL WALK FROM HERE B/F THE END OF THE MONTH. THE NEW BUSINESS WILL BE UP & RUNNING BY MID-APRIL.
CAN’T COME SOON ENUF.