Saturday, May 6, 2017

Michaela's story

            There is a small group of us who meet at the local coffee shop once a month as we wait anxiously await for the pool to open for the summer so that we can get in our water aerobic workout.  This morning someone had made a comparison of rounded mountains compared to jagged mountains (I personally refer to the rounded as hills and the jagged as mountains) and how different the landscape appears from inside of a helicopter.

            Michaela had come out to clear the dishes as we were taking and casually joined in our conversation.  17 years ago she had been living in the bay area and got to be pretty good at driving around Oakland and San Francisco.  She delivered documents and had earned quite a reputation for her ability to have her deliveries made on time.  But over the years she realized that she was bothered by the amount of time it took to get from point A to point B.

            Here, in Myrtle Creek (actually all of Douglas County) they talk in minutes.  Point A to point B is 5 minutes, not 5 miles.  But in San Francisco, Salt Lake, and Portland, I would imagine, they talk in miles.  Because even though common sense tells you it should only take a certain amount of time, the time is actually not consistent from day to day or even hour to hour.

            Jenna's school was two miles south of where we lived.  Some days it would take me 20 minutes to get there.  For the most part it took longer coming home.  Same distance.  Not same time.

            Michaela decided she had had enough.  Three hours for under 30 miles.  That's not right.  One day she said she had had enough.  She and a girlfriends decided to pack their bags and head north - though they didn't really have a destination.  She said she obviously wasn't taking the "time" into consideration as they had left at 5:00 p.m. on a Friday.  Perhaps just the reinforcement she needed to "escape".

            I can't remember what town she said they were at when she got off the exit and pulled over to the first vacant lot.  It was after 2:00 in the morning and she had to close her eyes - even if it was just a few minutes.  It was longer than that.  She had fallen asleep.  When she woke up, she looked around - not fully knowing where she was but believed she was somewhere in Oregon.  She wanted to continue a little further north.

            When they had passed Seven Feathers casino in Canyonville, she made a mental note of it.  She had worked at the casinos in Tahoe so she had the experience.  They kept on driving until she saw a bridge (I'm guessing the one that leads to the 108 ramp to/from I5.  She said that was the place, and they crossed the bridge and found a place.

            She ended up not working at Seven Feathers because they felt she was overqualified (From what I understand Seven Feathers is not a great place to work for;  almost everyone that I've talked to has labeled them as "too cheap to pay much more than minimum and lay off workers left and right so that they don't have to deal with pay raises" so I believe that's why they told her she was overqualified; they didn't want to pay her what she was worth)

            She landed a job as a bartender for six months, but when she refused to serve an underage drinker who threatened her job, she got let go and so was hired by another who had been watching her and knew that she had been let go unjustly.  She said she's been working at the coffee shop ever since.

            It is gorgeous here.  Clean.  No traffic.  Awesome!


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