Burn it Down


Today is the twelfth day of 2019 and boy howdy this year has started with a bang. Last year was a, let’s call it a quiet year from me. I barely wrote any essays, I released very little in the realm of fiction, and my personal life was a mess. I fought relentlessly with depression and anger, harder than I have in a decade. I didn’t win that fight, but at the same moment, I didn’t lose either. I will accept the stalemate which allows me to function for the time being and hope things get better.

So, a brief rundown of 2018. 

The year started with me working at an assisted living facility. My middle son and his wife of 8ish years had broken up. After many run-ins with the police, we’d forced Stephen out of our house. I took a tentative toe-dip back into the world of writing. My wife was miserable at her job. And I was trying to recover from the worst Christmas of my adult life.

Not long after the beginning of the year my middle son, high off his ass on meth, attacked a group of police trying to talk to him. He ended up in the hospital. I would NEVER insinuate that the police in that area beat him for fun, but it’s not the first time he’s been hurt “Resisting” them. He spent a week in the hospital and was sent to the county lockup. In the end, he received a year in state prison (11 months actually) and was sent off to the Columbus area.

This settled down a little after my middle son went to prison.

I tried to muddle through at a job where I wasn’t respected and even though I was the manager my boss still went to one of the other department employees when there were questions or projects. Likewise, I was not allowed by him to write supply orders, make schedules, or handle discipline. My job was only a title, and the other woman was really in charge. Add to all of that the low pay, and it was evident to everyone that I wouldn’t be there very long.

In March I decided it was time to move on.
I quickly landed the job as a room inspector at a chain hotel. It would’ve been a time to be happy but during the transition, period between jobs my best friends mom, the woman who’d been like a mother to me since I was fourteen, died. I did my best to be there for my nonbiological family, but the loss of her sent me into a spiral of depression and self-loathing. To this day I hate myself for not seeing her more in the years she was sick. I feel extreme guilt because I believe I let my family down. I’ve been told I haven’t let them down on many occasions and I believe them when they say it. But it doesn’t change how I feel.

I left my job in April and started my new job immediately.

I hated working at the hotel. The Executive Housekeeper was a secretive, manipulative bitch who was eventually fired for stealing tips. The General Manager was a two-faced backstabbing hypocritical lying bitch. When she offered me the Executive Housekeeper position, I took it despite my gut rebelling at the idea. It wasn’t long before I realized things weren’t right in hotel land. The General Manager demanded all of the department heads work ten hours a day even though company policy was a 40 hour work week. I confronted her about this and a few other things and in the end, I gave my two weeks’ notice.

While the saga of the hotel was taking place, things were not so great on the Homefront.
My middle son was released on work release in June and sent to a facility here in Dayton. I knew this was a bad idea, but I still love him and hoped it would work out, and for a few months it did. The summer of 2018 was a time of changes. My wife decided she wanted to buy a house again even though after losing the old house I said I never wanted to own a home again. She was also promoted. We thought I could go back to writing fulltime, but when her first pay came through, and we saw her bullshit raise I started job hunting… again.
We bought a house and moved in August.
After many interviews, I was offered a job as a Director of Environmental Services for a healthcare company. With the position locked in and looking like it might be a place where I could settle in, we bought me a truck. The payments are horrible, and insurance is tolerable, but it was all kinda predicated on me having the job.

In November my Middle Son lost his mind.

I’ve essayed heavily on the incident, and I have no desire to revisit it at this time. I will add an update for those of you familiar with the situation. He is out, that’s right once they were sure he wasn’t a danger (yeah right) they released him with no charges. In the aftermath, we gave him (with my protest) a bus ticket to Tacoma Washington, where he was supposed to enter treatment, and some supplies. He didn’t begin treatment and came back. Then he went to stay with my grandparents (again I protest) for a few days before finally going into a local treatment program he’s been kicked out of more than once.

And that’s where we stand with him.

I made it to the end of the year and received my own building to run. I was happy. I like the building and the people in it. Then on Monday, January 7, 2019, it all crashed in on me. My boss arrived at the building at 9:45 am and told me I was being permanently removed from the building and suspended from the company without pay.

What was my horrible crime?


Was I running a bootleg cigarette ring at the facility (there really is one there)?


Was I using the job as a front to refound COBRA and beat those damn Joes once and for all?

No, but damnit that’s a good idea.

No, what I did was make two videos on my YouTube channel almost five years ago where I complain about my job without naming any names or locations and wax philosophical about the fantastic sex lives of the active elderly.

That’s it.

I was then told someone at the building I was working in. I think I know who, did a deep google dive on me and that’s the worst they could find. But apparently, it was enough to get me booted from the building. Why would this person want this? Your guess is as good as mine, but I suspect it’s because the person who left the building was extremely well loved by the staff. Even though her going was a bump up for her, it was enough for them to wreck my financial stability.

Where do I stand now?

No idea. I text my boss every day for an update and when he responds, he sometimes just ignores me, he knows nothing. He keeps saying he’s waiting to hear back from Human Resources, but I’m starting to think that might be bullshit. So, this weekend, this very day even, I’m rewriting my resume and starting the job hunt again.

Fuck 2018.

- Josh Hilden (1/12/2019)