Ricky the temp is being his usual sassy self. I am in an adult job now, but his bitchy manner to me feels like bullying. All because I don’t want to divulge my sex life at work.
For some reason he uses this as an opportunity to have a dig at me at every opportunity. Normally a temp would get canned quickly if they got a bit too big for their boots. But Rick the prick was clever and charmed the management so he was the golden boy who could do no wrong.
But he was low on my list of problems – I had been stuck doing this job for the last four years. I felt I was destined destined for more, but whenever I tried to better myself I just got put back down. I had been snubbed for promotion twice in the last three months and had begun to question my future in the job.
I had developed a degree of comfort and safety – the pay was okay, but not enough if you wanted more. For a 22 year old who lived with his parents it was good money.
I chosen work over going to University, but had still thought about going, but I always found excuses to reject it:
- I am not the University type,
- I can’t could cope with the study,
- I don’t think I could cope with the student lifestyle,
- I am not qualified enough to go,
- I am not sure about doing that course,
- I don’t think I could cope living away from my family
My latest doubt now was that I was getting a bit old to go. I had bumped into many teenagers when I got public transport – they were so loud and obnoxious that I didn’t think I would be able to cope with working alongside people like that.
Another average work day came to a close. I went to my locker and saw that a magazine headline had been cut out and stuck to it. It said in big white bold letters with a colourful background
“IS HE STILL A VIRGIN??…”
Rick the dick, at it again. The temptation was to go over and hit him. I was confident I could take him, I had been slowly getting stronger at the gym over the last four years and had lost my fear of making eye contact with people over the last six months because of my Karate.
Instead I scrunched the paper off my locker, threw it in the bin, quietly packed my stuff together and went home without saying a word to anyone.
That evening I sacrificed my usual past time of browsing aimlessly on the Internet to look at Universities and the courses they had to offer. For the first time since starting my job my fear of all the changes from realising my potential had disappeared.
By the end of the week I had decided what area I wanted to study.
By the end of the next week I picked a dozen Universities I would like to go to.
By the end of the month I had submitted the form to apply for six University courses.
I was determined to show people I could achieve more. I started going to view the Universities and see if I felt like I could live there. Because this required taking leave from work I had to tell the the truth – I was looking into going to University.
I came back to work the next day after a particularly disappointing visit – the campus was in the middle of nowhere and had one of those patronising “Meet the students so they can tell you how it really is” type talks, which consisted of a bunch of 17 year olds asking important questions like the price of beer.
That fear and doubt set in – I won’t fit in with these idiots!
“I will find a job elsewhere” I told myself even though this had not got me anywhere in the last three years.
I spoke to my work buddy John about these fears. John – who was not the University type, but in his young age, was quite street wise spoke in a very economical working way.
This wasn’t enough to change my mind. I imagined I would be having a similiar conversation next year, where we shared frustrations about being the guys who were at the bottom of the pile. I might have been content with that. But then he said:
“Ricky has been going round talking shit, saying that you wouldn’t dare leave and that you won’t achieve anything in your life”
What?…. Ricky the temp, the prick, the dick, the absolute c…
My fear had gone again, this emotion had been drowned out by full blown rage.
I went and had a look at the rest of the Universities. I got my application back 5 of the 6 had accepted me. The rejection didn’t bother me, I remember one of the lecturers whinging about slacker students on his course. Fuck ’em it was there loss.
In the end I actually decided to go with my last choice, the course was right, there was a good ratio of mature students and I could see myself settling.
Over my last few months at work I grew bolder – I was not fearing the future anymore, I didn’t care of the opinion of others – they could say I was too scared to actually take the risk and they could laugh that I would live with my parents for the rest of my life.
They were wrong
Ricky the temp eventually left, before I had chance to prove him wrong. But it didn’t matter, I was not scared of taking control of my life. I didn’t fear taking the risk – I could go and hate the course, the town, the people. It didn’t matter if it did not work out – I was moving on with my life.
I handed my resignation to my manager. They thanked me for all my years there, the effort I had put and wished me well for the future. Inside I was smiling.
A month later I left.
I didn’t fear failing at being a student and I didn’t fear going back to a dead-end job. For me my fear is deliberately not making the effort to try to be the best person that I can be.