Friday, June 12, 2009


OK, some of you know that I work for a road maintenance company. We have a rogues gallery of employees. Among them are two convicted sex offenders, a convicted murderer who was told by the state of California to get the hell out (why do they always come to Alaska?), and the assorted drinkers slash ne'er do wells. Problems crop up every now and then, but it's not really anything that other companies don't deal with. My boss keeps them because they're good at what they do, and they keep showing up for work because no other employer will put up with their crap.

We hired one such person almost a year ago. I'll call him John. John was married and had two small children. He also had a girlfriend on the side, and she had a husband of her own. He was in and out of jail three times in the last year due to various girlfriend-related events. Most of our employees work 50-60 hours a week, but John couldn't even put in a full 40. He'd either leave early to see his girlfriend, or be in court. He was trying everything he could think of to get his wife to move out of the house with the kids so he and the girlfriend could live happily ever after. His wife wouldn't, and even got a job so she could support herself and keep the house. John started "living" in his car. He used the house to shower and do his laundry, but he slept in his car. He was broke, and he lost a lot of weight.

I'm talking about John in the past tense because he shot himself in the head last Monday, and died instantly. He and his girlfriend were sitting in his car around 5am in a National Park parking lot. A policeman came to the window to tell them they had to leave the lot. John asked the policeman to please give him a few minutes, and as the policeman was walking away, John shot himself. We can only theorize why he did it. We're assuming he didn't think he had much of a life. After all, his wife wouldn't leave her own home to allow him to move the girlfriend in.

Yes folks, that was my coworker. What a pisser.

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