Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The road

Until I was around the age of fourteen I regularly spend a few nights a year at my friends house and he would in return do the same at ours. We did a lot of stuff young boys do at that age. It is part of the process of growing up. You steal a candy bar from a store. You ring some bells and run like hell before they open the door. You break a window. You ride a small motorbike although you need to be sixteen and have a license.
But at some point you decide you won't anymore. Why? Maybe because peer pressure does not intimidate you anymore. Maybe because you develop values. Maybe because you figure all is relative.

My friend however never stopped. He needed all the new toys, the best clothes and lots of money to show off. Without learning a skill set you can understand that to keep this up he needed to turn to crime. Small at first but as it turns out big in the end.

I was talking to my mom yesterday (she turned 70) and she told me she was so glad I wasn't him. That I had taken a different road. As my friend turned into a witness for the state last month by telling all about kills for hire he brokered and went into the witness protection program his mom is now under protection from the justice department as well. It is rumoured she received large sums of money into her bank accounts and she is rumoured to be on a death list. I don't know if any of this is true of course but if so I wonder why she didn't get rid of the money. I've known her to be a law abiding person.

Anyhows my mom was happy I didn't follow his path. I told her that was because I never ever gave any value to material things. Sure I like the good stuff but I only need stuff that works. Sure I like the money but I only need what I need. And don't get me wrong. I've had opportunity to follow the path he took. In fact I could have stepped into organized crime at a much higher level. Something I became aware of years later after a an interview by the economic crimes unit of our FBI and a book that was published about my old boss. But I don't care about money and looking back, remembering the conversations at the time, I guess that is why I got out clean. Had I been hungry for money I would have been vulnerable for temptations from the other side of the 'business'.

I'm glad I took the road I took. Irony is that I now have more money than I need and can do and have most of the things my friend always needed to do or have. Small but telling difference though is that I can enjoy them and he (and his family?) will be in hiding for the rest of his life.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

I'm wondering...

I'm wondering if my 'career' in sports has anything to do with my hernia problems. Back in the day I've been in a few collisions, one knocked me unconscious for a minute,  that left me with pains in the same regions. Of course since my 'career'  I haven't done much in terms of exercise and such, relating to posture, so that hasn't helped either.

Ever since my neck hernia made its presence felt (4 years ago) I've never had a feeling of freedom from it. It has always been lingering in the background. Even yesterday when I was coping with a bad day from the current lower back hernia I felt my neck tensing up. So much so that I was worried I would be dealing with both at the same time. Luckily (for now?) the shoulders are relaxing a little and the back has settled down again.

But I won't be able to go to the office for at least another week. That would make it 5 or more weeks in a row that I'm absent. Four years ago this wasn't as much of a problem. We had a slight surplus of personnel that we managed to re-assign tasks so that my work could be done by someone who knew what I was doing. Not so this time around. Due to the recession we are lean and mean so to say so re-assigning tasks is difficult. Next to that: There isn't really anyone anymore who knows my work.

And thus I've been setting up a direct connection with my office computer. From Monday I will have to instruct those at the office to do small jobs for me there (scanning documents mostly) so I can work from home for the time being. I'll need to practice patience. Not my cup of tea when it comes to work but I don't want to be the boss whose calls get screened either. I'm wondering if it will work.