When Life Hands You Shit, Start Shoveling
Since 2003 I have worked for a global coffee company. The benefits (like reasonably priced health insurance) are good and I get all the free coffee I want. Mostly I brew coffee and take orders and make lattes. I don’t work full-time, it’s not a hard job and it suits me.
But lately I’ve been re-evaluating my life choices. This started when a customer told us we had an issue in our restroom that needed to be dealt with. I had been in the restroom earlier and noticed a rather unpleasant odor, but that is not unusual. I often wonder what goes on in there.
But this particular afternoon, there was a bit of a lull and since no one else volunteered, I decided to see what was going on in the restroom, a decision I will regret for the rest of my life. Because what had happened in the restroom was that someone had shit on the floor. On purpose. Behind the trash can. Then the trash can had been moved which smeared the poop across the floor and onto the bottom of the trash can.
Gross and disgusting does not begin to cover it. And guess who got to clean it up? I don’t suppose I had to, but my philosophy is, once your child has thrown up in your hand, not much grosses you out. But this came pretty damn close.
So I’ve got a mop bucket and restroom cleaner and gloves and the whole time I’m literally cleaning up someone else’s shit I’m wondering where I went so horribly wrong on my life’s path that this is what I’m doing now. I’m also thanking God that our delightful guest didn’t decide to smear the gift across the walls.
Seriously, who does this? What is wrong with people? For future reference, if you’re unhappy with your drink, we’ll remake it at no charge. We do it all the time. We get enough figurative shit from the general public on a regular basis. There’s no need to leave the real thing on the bathroom floor.
So the shit gets cleaned and eventually we all have a good laugh about it and I get a pat-on-the-back award from the shift supervisor with a note that says, “Thanks for cleaning up the shit around here.” Har har.
Then the next day I find out my publisher is going out of business.
There aren’t quite words to express how that felt. Disappointment. Sadness. Frustration. I just can’t seem to catch a break. And I seriously have to wonder how I ended up where I am. At the proverbial fork in the road, did I choose the wrong path? Because these days that’s how it feels.
Should I just stop writing? My books don’t sell in big numbers. It’s been an uphill battle ever since I sat down to write a novel oh so many years ago. Maybe I wasn’t meant to do what I’m doing at all.
Except when I mention this to two friends, both of whom formerly worked with me slinging lattes and one of whom is now my marketing guide, I was reminded of a blog I just wrote about how hiding your talent under a basket is dishonoring God and the gift He gave you. I swear as I was sitting there talking about that blog it was like God saying of course you can’t stop writing. No matter how much shit gets thrown at you. (I’m paraphrasing, of course.) And then He said, “I’ll help you shovel.”
#writing #shit #life #choices