Category Archives: Work

The Waving Man

There used to be an old tire store up Main Street surrounded by properties that have all seen better days.  Years ago it was a full-service gas station built in the late 40s or early 50s out of cinder blocks and mortar.

For the most part, however, the old building was insignificant.  If it hadn’t been for the man outside, I would’ve never even noticed the place.

Years ago the tire store was painted white, but oil, grease and dirt make a dark entourage at the base of the walls up to a chalky, white at the top.  The concrete around it was patchy and dark, stained with layers on layers of grease, dripped motor oil and a host of other dried automotive blood.  Continue reading The Waving Man

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Tie Tuesday

We had a financial audit at work. Ronnie must have been worried. He dressed up. He even wore a tie for the auditor. That’s how it started. In a business where Sunday best is casual Friday attire to most, a tie is an anomaly.

He picked up on my sarcasm, grinned, and ignored me carrying on about how good he looked and how he brought up the class of the whole joint!  He dismissed me with an amused smile and talked about how he used to wear a tie every day to work, 25 years ago, in another job.  And after all, he was the company Accountant!

I droned on and on about how professional and competent he looked wearing a tie while the rest of us, the other 194 ragged, wretched employees, wore boots, old jeans and Carhart shirts.  When I suggested he wear a tie the next Tuesday also, he pursed his lips and looked away, like he was deeply considering it. And why shouldn’t he? He was the Accountant and had garnered more attention from co-workers while wearing a tie for a day than he had the whole last year. Continue reading Tie Tuesday

Rock Bottom Hope

Two questionable characters were loitering in front on the grocery store bench. I did what all concealed handgun licensed carriers do.  I slipped a small pistol in my pocket before going in.

About the time I was in front of the bench, one of the men said, “Hey brother! Why don’t you hire me?”

That’s not the first time I’ve heard that line, so I knew at some time or another he had worked or interviewed for a job with me. I looked at the man who spoke and said, “I’m sorry. I recognize your face, but your name is slipping me.” Continue reading Rock Bottom Hope

What Will He Do?

His gloved hands grasped the reins of his horse. He gave Domino a gentle nudge with the heel of his boots. He knew what to do and began the long trek home with a gentle plod. There was still more fence to mend. He’d gone out on a limb and put his entire net worth into these acres and cows.

There was so much more work to do, but no more time, not today. The sun was going down. With each plod toward home, his mental checklist for tomorrow grew bigger, with more jobs, more tasks to do. Continue reading What Will He Do?

Coffee Kindness

We had a blood drive at work recently.  A co-worker is an avid donor and has donated blood, not just platelets or plasma, but whole blood, 126 times now!  That’s 126 pints, 63 quarts, 15.75 gallons of his blood to help others! That’s incredible!

I’ve always asked why, but he just says he doesn’t do anything for anyone else and this is a way he can do his part, but it’s always seemed there was something more.  The other day we talked about the blood drive and he shared the something more.  Normally he’s a stoic, private guy, whose emotions swing little one way or the other, so it was a privilege to hear his story. Continue reading Coffee Kindness

A Short Time To Live

Two and half months ago a lightening strike at work crashed our computer server and immediately brought us to our knees. Within an hour a couple of computer geeks who work for the IT Company we contract with showed up. One started on the main frame and one, Joe, began checking individual computers. I walked in my office to see Joe at my desk.  Joe glanced up and asked if I was having problems. I told him I’d spilled a cup of coffee on the tower and it’s acted funny ever since.  Slightly amused, he retorted that my computer was just low on gasoline and after he filled it up and left he wanted me to plug it back in.

I stood fumbling through some paperwork while Joe kept hacking and coughing. Half joking, half serious, I told Joe if he’d lay off the cigarettes his cough would go away. Without looking up from the keyboard he casually said, “Not this time. I found out last week I have stage 4 lung cancer. It only goes downhill from here.” Continue reading A Short Time To Live

Hurricane Heros

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey are still dumping Mother Nature’s tears on my home town of Angleton.  Houston, an hour north, is getting deluged with rain. Creeks, rivers and bayous are overflowing, and every drop of rain on top of that is making life hard on family, friends and strangers.  Having grown up in the area, this is beyond hard. These are some of the most stressful, difficult, trying days one can imagine!

People are leaving their homes for higher ground, but then they are stranded, including Continue reading Hurricane Heros

Mr. Willie

When he smiles, it is obvious he has only one front tooth on top. He has a pear-shaped body so his hips are wider than his shoulders, and he walks with a limp. He always looks sleepy, and the giant T-shirts he wears every day with his thick glasses give him the appearance of a dull wit.

The thing is, he’s not. He’s actually quite witty, charming too. And he’s smart. It’s not that he’s educated. He’s not. But he’s wise. Wise is better. Continue reading Mr. Willie

One-Legged Robin

It didn’t have a hurt leg tucked under. It has one, and only one, leg.

I noticed the robin last month when working in the yard, mainly because he let me get a lot closer than most birds do before they fly off. It was working double overtime looking for food. It half jumped, half flapped its wings to move. Continue reading One-Legged Robin

That’s His Story, This Is His Hope

He had a headache, not bad, just one Tylenol bad.  It didn’t stop, so he took two and went to bed.  He felt funny the next morning, but did his regular thing.  That afternoon he had another headache and grabbed a bottle of Ibuprofen and took 4.  He still didn’t feel very well and thought he was coming down with something.

The next morning, he still felt strange, but went to work anyway.  About 2:00 PM he had Continue reading That’s His Story, This Is His Hope