Just When You Thought It Was Safe . . .

Happy Friday, All!

I’m going to do it … yes I am … T.G.I.F.!!

It’s has been quite a week … quite a run, in general, with this job I’ve had for a little over three years! The interesting thing is that now, I must put into practice what I’ve been preaching. There’s a story behind all of this …

After working in various capacities from teaching at a career college here in Ft. Lauderdale, having some legal issues, then “starting from the bottom” again, I have experienced some challenging situations. Now I know that there are people who have it worse than I do, and I don’t want to compare myself in order to feel better in anyway … better than anyone. I’ve worked for a car wash, as mentioned in the previous e-mail this week, with the now defunct “Labor Ready” job pool. In addition, I have had numerous assignments with the job pool after spending first 3 months, then a year later after losing my appeal, 7 months in the County Jail here for “violation of probation”. It was a journey, but I managed to find housing, more steady employment in debt settlement, since the public and private schools, and colleges here didn’t want to hire anyone with a criminal background. Soon, I worked for a mortgage and lending company until the owners had crossed the line with calling folks on a “Do Not Call” list to offer refinancing, and was fined, shut down and the owners jailed!

So, a few years ago, I started working as a sales agent for a diabetic supply company in a commission only capacity. It was an up and down experience as I “graduated” from a scooter to a motorcycle for transportation to Boca Raton in Palm Beach County where I found the sales job. Now, I had driven all over Broward County on that scooter, which a good friend – Steve McCrea – had helped me to get, and the motorcycle was next! It was pretty much a gift from Peter Zachary, RIP! So, I worked generating leads for this marketing company in Boca Raton until being “promoted” to quality assurance agent there. And the story unfolds …

So, yesterday, there was a lot of “buzz” going on at the job location in Boca … Sales agents had often seemed to be disappearing from time to time though our assignments in “QA” (quality assurance) continued and became less focused and even duplicated within our team members! Just before Thanksgiving, we had had a meeting with “the owner” who stated that the company was now “under” another company’s structure and the top manager would be taking his place. A “red flag” went up for many of us, but us humans like to keep hoping that things are “gonna be alright!” We were each given a turkey for Thanksgiving by the owners, had the day off, but soon found out there would not be a Christmas party for the employees, which we had experienced in previous years! Just before Christmas, we were told that we would have an “on site” party with sandwiches and hors d’oeuvres in lieu of our regular “off site” extravaganzas. I had learned to be grateful for what I had. So, while the red flag was still up from the marketing company’s being “sold” to a larger conglomerate, we all tried to keep faith alive. Then … BAM!

I got an inbox message from a former trainer at the marketing firm asking me if I was still working there. I replied yes. He then sent me another message asking me if I had heard that our firm’s last day would be tomorrow (today!) and I told him that I had heard that rumor before. He then dropped a few names and it unfolded that indeed, today … the doors will be closed. I am going anyway to receive my final check though no information has come directly from our management team! All information had come from outside, and, I soon had learned that this was a directive from “the owner” – don’t tell anybody!!!!! Just when I thought it was safe, the bottom fell out … of THIS situation! Now in my more than a half century of years on this planet, I have learned that “life goes on!” Yet, for my Broward, Miami Dade and Palm Beach folks, I am sending out a job alert. If you know of anyone hiring, send me an e-mail. My bills still need to be paid, and, while I have a few “commission only” options, as well as unemployment and “food stamps”, I really prefer to work … and continue building Educational Excellence to a non-profit corporate status. It is a tall order, once again, but I am submitting it to the universe!

Have a great day!


John I. Cook, Director

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