Old People Used to Pay My Bills


        This might be the last essay of 2014. I will still be doing my traditional year end wrap up but this could be the last general one I put out. I’m considering a special Christmas Eve Essay but you all know I’m lazy and tend to bite off more than I can chew. With all of that being said lets dive into the Hi-Larity of my day job at night.


        If I wasn’t already quitting this essay would get me fired.

        Since June of 2009 I have worked for Graceworks Lutheran Services at Bethany Village an upscale senior living facility. I have been remiss to ever mention the name of my employer due to a Social Media Policy worthy of North Korea or Putin’s Russia. They will and have fired people for simply posting a picture from the interior of the facility or having something truthful but unflattering to say about it. This draconian policy is hammered into employees from the first day of work.

        So why am I mentioning it as opposed to my normal vagueness?

        Next Tuesday I am giving my two week notice. I know I’ve been mentioning it over the last few weeks but I’ve never put it in a place where anyone tangentially affiliated with Bethany Village could read it. That all ends today and as far as I’m concerned they should be glad I didn’t decided to leave them high and dry over the Christmas/New Year’s Holiday.

        Before I tell you of the awesome amount of fail I experienced today let me give you some back story. Don’t worry I know I’ve touched on the day job at night more than once in the past so I will keep this as shirt and sweet as possible. Or at the least I’ll try not to meander…

        I took the job here (I’m currently on break and writing this essay as opposed to working on Frank 2) in the summer of 2009 in order to prepare for the birth of my sixth child. I’d been working at Toys R Us for six years and as the economy tanked they cut and cut in the company, funny part was their numbers never really got that bad and they used the collapse as an excuse to fuck over employee’s but that’s an essay for another day. At the time Bethany Village was a wonderful place to work.

        In May of 2011 I quit my job with no notice.

        The reasons have been talked about before but the short version is I did it to save my marriage. It worked and my marriage is happier than ever but I regretted leaving Bethany the day I quit. For five months we scrambled to make ends meet and I eventually took a low paying job working for Marriot Hotels. The job was good and I had every intention of staying.

        Then one day I received a call from, Terri, my manager at Bethany.

        She asked me to come back and I said yes without a second thought, well I talked to Karen about it first but other than that I jumped at it. I returned to the retirement community and up until March of this year I was very, very, happy with my work situation. In March my Supervisor, Kelly, was forced out of her job due to the fuckery of the people above us. I’m not going to explain that because it’s her story not mine but suffice it to say in my mind she would have been completely justified in burning the mother down. She was one of those supervisors who actually shielded her people from the crap raining down from management and handled department problems in the department.

        With Kelly gone things went into the shitter.

        I was the BEST qualified person to take over the department. I know it and they knew it. But they didn’t want me or one of the other people in the department with the proper experience to have it. Terri wanted one person to have the job and she was determined to get her into the position. To be fair the girl who got the job, I’ll call her Clara, is not unqualified for the job and she wanted the position but she was not the best candidate. Terri was supposed to post the job so people could apply… funny how that bit of company never happened.

        So Clara got the job and things got… rough.

        The department became a rudderless mess of conflicting orders and petty back stabbing. There was, and is, a lot of chest beating and people trying to prove they were the Alpha’s and everyone else was their bitch. It took me about five minutes to realize I was too old and too smart for this same old bullshit. But I needed the job so I continued to do what I was told and kept my foul little mouth shut. Last month the decision was made to leave at the end of the year and I’ve felt like a weight has been lifted off my chest.

        Today I went to war.

        Last Monday and Tuesday I called into work and today I received the traditional ‘You’ve been a Bad Boy So Sign This Write Up” visit to Terri’s office. Have I told you about the attendance policy here before? You are allowed six points in a twelve month period these points can be comprised of some combination of 6 absences (6 points) or 12 late for work incidents (6 points) in that period. Reach six and you’re fired. The Call offs on Monday and Tuesday put me at five and a half. I have been at the five point level four times in the last twelve months (points come off after 12 months) and I was informed if I received another point before I was down to three I would be fired.

        I lost my shit and nearly quit on the spot.

        After a brief tense discussion with Terri I informed her I was going to Human Resources and left her office. When I arrived at HR they were in the middle of fielding a call from Terri who was apparently trying to get in front of this. I actually started laughing in the middle of the HR lobby.

        The conversation with HR was pointless and in the end did nothing more than allow me to tell them the way they treat their employees is disgraceful and that they should be ashamed of themselves. I pointed out that I have NEVER been written up for anything but attendance, I take ever my extra job they offer me, and that they would be stupid to fire someone of my skill level and experience.

        I was calm, I was respectful, and I was appropriately polite.

        It felt wonderful to vent.

        Next week I’m quitting the right way. I will be delivering a letter of resignation and notification of two weeks to Clara, Terri, and HR. They’ll be pissed and I am almost 100% sure they will try to fire me (they can’t) or convince me to quit (they might be able to). In the end I don’t regret working here, I wrote so much on my breaks and lunches in this facility, but it’s time to move on.

        It’s gonna be an awesome Christmas!



- Josh

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Josh Hilden

When I was born on August 3, 1976 in the great state of Michigan the hills shook and the sky was swept with fire. These were portents of the greatness for my future that was written in the stars ... I'm still waiting for that greatness. My name is Josh Hilden and I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a son, a friend. These are all important things but at my core I am an artist and the medium that I work in is words. I am a writer of Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, and Role Playing Games. I worked for Palladium Books (www.palladiumbooks.com) and Third Eye Games (www.thirdeyegames.net) before striking out on my own and founding a small press publishing company Gorillas with Scissors Press (www.gwspress.com). I also work for Fat Goblin Games (www.fatgoblingames.com). In the everyday world I can be found spending time with my family and friends. I have been married to my lovely wife Karen since 1996 and we have six amazing children. We tend to be a family of unabashed geeks and gamers who were geek before geek was chic. If you are really interested in me I am very active online with a personal and a writing blog along with a plethora of social media outlets. If you have any questions or just want to chat hit me up!