All I can think is that God must love a hot mess, which is good news for me. The past two weeks have been rather crazy. I’ve had to make some difficult decisions, two of them in saying no to things and situations that would have been desirable- except that the devil is in the details.
I did get to say yes to the car, which I had been mulling about for awhile, and the pieces came together fortuitously on that one.
But I had to turn down taking in a beautiful black Malinois (still a bit despondent over that one) because Jerry insisted on taking in Lucy last October. I couldn’t say no to that, especially since we had lost Sheena last May.
Lucy, while she is a sweet dog, is definitely not a Malinois. Lucy is a hot mess of a willful, disobedient and destructive Beagle mixed with English Bulldog (why, oh why would someone interbreed that combo on purpose?) Clara, my (1/2 Malinois) sweet pleaser, obeys hand commands and head nods (she’s that intuitive) and Lilo, just knows and follows the routine. I am still carrying Lucy to her crate in the mornings. She does not go to the crate of her own volition even though she knows she is going to end up there one way or another.
In the words of the philosopher/theologian Mick Jagger: “You can’t always get what you want/You can try sometimes/You just might find/You get what you need.”
Sometimes what I want and what I need are two completely different things.
I discovered last week that even though I’ve been away from the automotive dealer scene for almost fifteen years, just how easy it would be for me to go right back to where I was before (different place, same type of job.) I was given the opportunity to do that. I really, really wanted to, but again, the devil is in the details. Thankfully I came to my senses and realized that 1. working straight commission is no way to live, because you end up living at work, and 2. it would be so easy to go back to that work-as-a-drug power trip euphoria.
The problem with that is when I live that way my entire identity becomes what (and how well) I’m doing versus who I am being. And that is some scary shit. That’s what landed me in my doctor’s office with ischemic attacks, bleeds in the scleras of both eyes and uncontrolled high blood pressure. That’s what got me the lecture from my doctor (when I was 30) that I wouldn’t live to see 35 unless I changed my lifestyle.
I made it to 45, so I must be doing something right, but in a rather unexpected and unsolicited job offer I learned something about myself that I don’t particularly like.
I like being in control. I really like it, and if I’m honest with myself I find that’s what’s been pissing me off for so long. I don’t like being talked down to. I don’t like having to work within inefficient processes and inane policies that I don’t have the authority to change. I don’t like being held responsible for bad outcomes that I had no hand in creating- and that I don’t have the authority to fix. I don’t like being controlled by people who shouldn’t be in the positions they’re in. I don’t like being in a position where challenging the status quo is an exercise in futility.
The bad thing is that in any environment where one has to deal with people, all of the noxious roadblocks to harmonious living, good business, and successful outcomes listed above are right there, wherever one may go. So it’s better to deal with the devil you know than to buy into a whole ‘nother demon who may be even worse.
I remember reading somewhere that the devil can be in all the things you really, really want. It sort of reminds me of when Satan tempted Jesus with all the kingdoms of the world- that somehow selling your soul is worth all the stuff you get in exchange.
I really don’t want to make deals with the devil.
While it’s not good for me to be the one in charge, it’s also not good for me to play the whipping post. If only I could avoid either extreme. I’ve been doing “whipping post” for way too long, which is what made my out of the blue offer look so attractive.
Maybe somewhere along the line I went from brash hard ass to completely losing my voice (in a figurative way) and that’s another vexing place to be.
2 thoughts on “God Loves a Hot Mess, and the Devil Is in the Details”
It can be tough to make tough choices, but it sounds like you know you did right.
In regard to the auto sales job, like you say, “You can’t always get what you want.” I mean, obviously, you COULD get that if you really wanted it, but it sounds like you prioritize your health and your mental well-being above that. I did pretty well in sales, but if I’m honest, I probably lack that thing which makes a great salesperson–I’m too even keel. When I’d make a big sale I’d be happy, but there was no “high.” Likewise, I’d be disappointed to lose a sale, but I wasn’t crushed. Sometimes I’d pretend to be more elated or despondent just to fit in.
I never sold cars- I only sell them a piece at a time. I sell automotive parts, which takes a bit of technical knowledge. I would have been a parts manager again- a job I love- especially in a Toyota dealership. But I don’t have the physical and mental stamina to do the 60+ hour weeks again, and straight commission without any base salary or guarantee is just too stressful a way to live. One bad month and you’re screwed. That, and the company doesn’t pay anything toward your insurance so you’re using your weekly draw checks just to pay for your health insurance. So if you don’t make draw you end up owing the company money. No way. I’d have done it in a heartbeat under a few different conditions such as a guarantee, some percentage of my insurance paid and no evenings or weekends. Why move backward unless you have to?
Sometimes it’s better to go with the devil you know. Maybe I will get lucky and the guy who has been giving me so much shit for the last year will move out of state when his wife graduates from nursing school. I’d love to see it and since she controls him it probably will. She hates living in Ohio so we shall see.