In the years I was a cop, given the kind of job it is, whenever I had to call home from work, I knew that, after the Good Mrs. Benson answered, the first words out of my mouth needed to be "I'm alright."


I'm sure many of you have noticed that my presence on this board isn't as common as it used to be.  I don't post comments as often as I used to, and the intervals between my Deck Log entries continue to extend.  Given my superannuated years, the possibility that I'm experiencing a health problem, or some other age-related difficulty, might be rattling around in some of your minds.  If so, I genuinely appreciate your concerns, but there's nothing to worry about.


The first words of this post should have been "I'm alright."


The cause of my reduced time here in Captain Comics land is, well, I got tired of being retired.


I don't talk much on line about the details of my life.  It's not that I'm paranoically private; it's just that it's nobody's business, really.  The same way you don't talk about your uncle who's written letters to every member of Congress complaining about the government putting mind-control drugs in the drinking water or your lazy brother-in-law whose job is wearing a sandwich board saying, "Eat at Joe's".  But, sure, I'll disclose something, if it helps make a point or to relate a funny story.  And, in fact, I briefly touched on what was going on in one of my comments to a Deck Log entry I posted last year.  That's when I mentioned that I had applied for a contract position with my state government.


As advertised, it was perfect for a man with my credentials.  Moreover, since the assignment called for two people (my state is notoriously cheap about paying overtime), I was looking at working only three days a week, maybe four sometimes.  And I'd still be drawing a pay that fell near the average household income in the United States.  I don't have to work, but it seemed like such a plum opportunity that it would be foolish not to explore it.  So, I applied. 


As it turned out, I was just the sort of applicant the state wanted.  At least, based on the interview process.  I hadn't been called "Commander Benson" so much since I left active duty.  I was essentially hired on the spot, pending the state's investigation of my background.  That's what I was waiting to hear back about when I posted that comment to my Deck Log Entry.


With all the security clearances I've held in the Navy and the regular official scrubbings your life gets as a police officer, I'd been vetted and re-vetted so many times, I knew I would come up squeaky clean.  And I did, but I have a long life to go through and the process took almost two months.  So, in September of last year, I was signed on and told to get to work.  That's when the other shoe dropped.


Remember, I said it was a two-man job?  Well, they hadn't found anyone else to take the other slot.  I was asked to fill the gap, which meant putting in more than a full work week.  I would be financially compensated, I was told, and they would find someone to fill the other position as soon as possible.


I guess I was too buttered up from all those "Commander Bensons".  I agreed.  The first promise has been kept---my pay jumped considerably---but I'm still waiting on the second.


The good news is that the work is well within my wheelhouse.  There was no learning curve and nothing about it that I hadn't dealt with in some form over my professional lifetime.  No crises or eleventh-hour taskings.  I like and respect the people I work with, and they like and respect me in return.


The bad news is my work day is long---eleven-to-twelve hours---and five days a week.  By the time I get home in the evening, I have only a few hours before it's time to go to bed.  The week-ends are my only real opportunity to get re-acquainted with the Good Mrs. Benson, handle any personal and social obligations, and just plain be lazy.  That's why I've let my Deck Log slide, and why I don't chime in here as often as I used to.  It's not the effort of the writing; that's always been a labour of love.  And I enjoy socialising on this board; with some of you fellows, it's been for twenty years.  It's just that, by the time Saturday arrives, all I want to do is order a pizza and binge-watch my recorded episodes of Twelve O'Clock High.  (Just why they derailed the show by replacing Robert Lansing with Paul Burke, I'll never understand.)


Now, some might ask, not unreasonably, why, with two healthy pensions and a full Social Security payment filling my bank account every month, am I bothering to work at all?  Well, there are tangible and intangible reasons.


First, I'll be honest, the money's too good to pass up.  Most people at my age are managing their fixed incomes.  My salary from the state isn't exorbitant, but with everything else, I find myself in the highest-income years of my life.  I want to use that to the GMB's benefit by socking away as much of that state income as I can.  And there's enough left for us to take those luxury cruises we've always dreamt of.


It's not all avarice.  Cheryl has a number of health problems.  Nothing life-threatening, but life-impeding.  Arthritis in her hands and knees, neuropathy, and a couple other irritations---sufficient so that she's had to give up her job.  My job covers that, now.


Those are the tangibles.  As for the intangibles . . . well, as much as I enjoyed having my time to myself, I find that I like having a place to go in the morning.  Yes, the hours are long, but the work is familiar and the folks with whom I work are top-drawer.  Even though, technically, I'm not part of the organisation, they treat me as part of the team, valued and respected.  Hence, I am rewarded in ways that you can't assign a figure to.


The work paradigm has shifted in our society, with more and more people working out of the home and telecommunicating.  So the mindset must be changing.  But for those of us who spent our work careers making the daily trips between home and work, our minds and personalities would make a subtle shift during the drive.  As soon as we got to our place of business, our home persona would change to our work persona.  Our home self didn't return until we walked in the front door and announced, "Hi, honey, I'm home!"  When you have a separate place to go to do your job, you're one person at home and another person at work.


To be honest, I'd kind of missed the work-Adam Benson, and it's nice to have him back.


I try to keep up with the chatter on these boards, though I don't get to them every day.  I haven't run out of ideas for Deck Log entries.  I've got a half-dozen rough outlines lying here on my desk.  It's just a matter of sitting down and fleshing them out.  Right now, though, you'll have to settle for a couple of "From the Archives" re-runs, as soon as I can update them and give them a good pasting of Turtle Wax.  To be sure, I miss showing up here every day and being an active participant.  You're a swell bunch and being one of you for the past twenty-three years has been one of the fondest associations I've ever had. 


I'm not about to give that up.

Views: 384

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I never know what people will or won't know.  There's lots of things that I don't know.  For example, I couldn't tell you the name of the major highway through Memphis, and I'm pretty sure that I've driven on it.

Richard Willis said:

The Baron said:

*Stands for "Long Island Expressway"

**Stands for "Sh*t Out Of Luck"

I knew both of them.

I watch enough TV to know about the LIE, even though I'm on the "Left Coast."

I'm experiencing the work paradigm from a different angle. After too many miserable years at an inhospitable workplace, which unceremoniously gave me the boot, I've been working from home as a freelancer for the past eight years or so. I came to like not having a daily commute, basically setting my own hours, sleeping in as late as I chose, dressing as casually as I liked, writing stories about the topics that actually interested me -- indeed, writing the kinds of stories I wanted to read myself -- and being free to have music or the TV on as background noise as I typed away. (The minuscule remuneration, however, didn't quite make up for all of those perks).

I'm now back in the workforce full time, and I actually have co-workers I can see in person, after years of dealing with colleagues only by email and Yahoo! Instant Messenger and Slack. I'm commuting again, way way early in the morning (I have to be there at 8:30 a.m., when previously I'd get up an hour later -- which means leaving home about 7:10 a.m.). I've become enamored of the friendly folks on the early early morning news shows, who are on the air at 4 a.m., God bless them. I don't know how they do it.

My office is conveniently located a mere three blocks from a Metro stop, so I never have to drive there and can take a nap on the train before I arrive. How people drive to work every day I cannot understand; it's an insane hassle I want no part of. (On the other hand, where I live there are commuters who hold the same view about the local transit system, for lots of reasons I won't go into here. Either way, by car or by subway, commuting here can be a death-defying experience.) 

"I never know what people will or won't know.  "

So let me get this straight... you felt the need to footnote LIE and SOL but not hikikomori? Got it. ;)

I defy you to find a post anywhere where I claimed to be perfectly consistent.  :)

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"I never know what people will or won't know.  "

So let me get this straight... you felt the need to footnote LIE and SOL but not hikikomori? Got it. ;)

Congratulations, Commander! I'm glad you found fulfilling, engaging work. I'm still years from retirement -- and have been self-employed for more than a decade, so I haven't even grappled with what that would mean -- but I certainly understand wanting to be part of an organization that's doing valuable work. And I'm glad that, even if it's infrequent, you're still finding the time to drop by here now and then. 

Reply to Discussion



Latest Activity

Jeff of Earth-J replied to Jeff of Earth-J's discussion Post-Crisis Superman
"THE 1988 SUPERMAN ANNUALS: I'm not going to be coving these, either (nor are they included in…"
7 minutes ago
Irma Kruhl replied to Steve W's discussion A Cover a Day
"^^^ @Steve W--that Black Fury cover is one my favorite BF covers (and was in my queue for later…"
10 minutes ago
Jeff of Earth-J replied to Jeff of Earth-J's discussion Post-Crisis Superman
"ACTION COMICS WEEKLY: After the milestone 600th issue, Action Comics became a weekly anthology.…"
22 minutes ago
Jeff of Earth-J replied to Jeff of Earth-J's discussion Post-Crisis Superman
"ACTION COMICS #600: Main Story - Superman and Wonder Woman's date, written and drawn by John…"
54 minutes ago
Steve W replied to Steve W's discussion A Cover a Day
"I like Irma's suggestion. Who would like to set the thread up? Probably shouldn't be me,…"
1 hour ago
Richard Willis replied to Steve W's discussion Comical Comic Cuts
2 hours ago
Richard Willis replied to Captain Comics's discussion Some weird stuff at Diamond (which is not unexpected)
"She just didn't want to be stuck in the store by herself when he goes.     "
3 hours ago
Lee Houston, Junior replied to Steve W's discussion A Cover a Day
"Another winged horse, courtesy of the Grand Comics Database."
4 hours ago
Jeff of Earth-J replied to Jeff of Earth-J's discussion Post-Crisis Superman
"Pre-Crisis Superman: Post-Crisis Superman: ACTION COMICS #598: The first appearance of Checkmate.…"
4 hours ago
Jeff of Earth-J replied to Jeff of Earth-J's discussion Dark Shadows
""Beth orders [a pentagram] from the jeweler..." Remember, Abe Vigoda already played…"
6 hours ago
Jeff of Earth-J replied to The Baron's discussion Movies I Have Seen Lately
"DEATHROW GAMESHOW (1987): "The pretentious host of a gameshow, in which the contestants are…"
6 hours ago
Jeff of Earth-J replied to Jeff of Earth-J's discussion Ultraman Dyna
"THE POWER OF LOVE (with apologies to Huey Lewis): "A meteor falls in Nagano Prefecture. Soon…"
7 hours ago

© 2023   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service