We all have those moments where we have a choice to make, and looking back, you realize how impactful it was on where your life ended up.
One of mine was a job I got through the Michigan unemployment office.
I had been laid off (because I took off a summer to do the Fischer Troupe, and thus lost my seniority) from my job at Liberty Loan.
I was young, and freaked out.
The unemployment office sent me out to St. Charles Lumber to apply for a job as an interim bookkeeper (their’s was having some surgery), and, much to my relief, I got the job.
It was a hike to get to St. Charles, but it was just supposed to be for a few months.
They loved me there.
I don’t know what their previous bookkeeper was like, but they loved how quick and accurate my work was.
They loved that I could operate a 10-key calculator by touch.
They loved that I could type up a letter quickly with no spelling errors.
Then two things happened.
First, the car I was driving blew the fuck up.
I was driving to Frankenmuth for rehearsal, and the engine just went kapow and a bunch of black smoke came out from under the hood.
I had only had the car for a few weeks.
My stepfather, who had procured the car in the first place, found me another – but now I was a little concerned about the reliability of these used cars. Especially when I was living in Essexville, working in St. Charles, and rehearsing/performing in Frankenmuth.
Essexville to St Charles (37 miles); St Charles to Frankenmuth (27 miles); Frankenmuth to Essexville (24 miles).
You do the math.
The second thing was, Ron and John, the director of the Fischer Troupe and his lover, had opened a candle shop in Frankenmuth and they offered me a job as head sales clerk, and manager/bookkeeper.
Clearly, doing shows and working in Frankenmuth would make the stress regarding my car a lot less worrisome; and I liked Ron and John.
So I gave my notice at St Charles Lumber.
I explained the problem about having to do all that driving and my beater car.
They offered to co-sign a loan for a new (as in not-used) car, if I would stay with them.
I was not prepared for that.
I still quit and went to work for Ron and John, and ended up moving to Los Angeles.
And the rest is history.
But to this day, I wonder what my life would have been like if I had stayed with St Charles Lumber.