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Where I’m Supposed To Be

Posted: April 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: redemption | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

On the actual eve of my graduation from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I sat in the middle of the campus with a few close friends and drank and smoked as we’d done a thousand times before. With no sleep, I dragged myself through graduation and, then, grabbed my bags and went home for good.

Jobless for months, I was lucky to have a sister who allowed me to live in her family’s home until I could get on my feet; unfortunately, with being unemployed, my presence became too much to bear and I was asked to leave. My mother, through a friend, was able to find me an apartment, so I avoided homelessness. However, this only added to the stress I already had become accustomed to, because, now, I would have no choice but to quickly find a job.

I bounced from one meaningless job to another–door-to-door phone-service salesman, temporary post-office work—until I, finally, found a temp-to-hire data-entry position at a reputable company. Not the sort of employment I expected for myself, considering I’d recently graduated, but it was a stable bring-in-money-for-the-rent income that I sorely needed at the time. And because it wasn’t a guaranteed full-time hire, I had to show everything I had in me to prove I belonged…and I did. Eventually, I was asked if I wanted to become full time, and of course, I responded in the affirmative. I was scheduled to take a drug test and was told that, following a negative result, I would be granted an official position.

A few days later, Human Resources called me into the office and informed me a background check had been conducted and that the findings were such that I would not be granted employment. I scanned the report she’d handed me and, in complete shock, I shook my head. I’d never even been in the back of a police car, never even seen a jail’s interior; I tried to convince her that the person on this sheet was not me (found out later it was my cousin’s alias)…but she, simply, instructed me to leave. As the security guard stood over me as I gathered my things, I cried.

At the time, that job appeared to be the greatest thing that could have happened to me. I would be able to pay my rent; I wouldn’t have to accept the occasional–yet helpful–eight dollars from my sister to help me eat; I would have a sense of self again–but, fortunately, even though things had not worked out, I was guided into an opportunity–again, a temp position, with the possibility of permanence–with a company that I would be encouraged to use all of my talents. This media company gave me the chance to utilize—and build on—various skills I’d picked up over the years–writing, proofing, background office work (something I’d done all through high school and college)–and I was happy.

And I remain happy.


3 Comments on “Where I’m Supposed To Be”

  1. 1 Donna said at 10:56 am on April 14th, 2010:

    Great Writer, It’s my pleasure to know him now before he is Off to Hollywood.

  2. 2 Eileen said at 1:14 pm on April 14th, 2010:

    I agree, Great Writer!

  3. 3 Toni said at 7:23 pm on May 2nd, 2010:

    Just…wow!