summer in the southland especially makes me reach for two things: a cold drink (with or without an umbrella), and some nice rootsy, bluesy rock. and today’s guilty pleasure monday selection, while not well-known, is a special song for me.
all the time in the world, which you can also find on my muxtape as various (since it wouldn’t edit, for reasons i will never understand), is a song by the subdudes, a group from nawlins, looziana (i am learning to pronounce things properly). i cannot claim to have sought them out at first; i actually became acquainted with them, and this song in particular, thanks to a mixtape my best buddy murph made me in the mid ’90s. i never actually listened to the aforementioned mixtape until one fateful day.
i was in an untenable situation at work. i won’t go into details, but suffice to say, i was not in the right place, i was not being given any direction, and i had a lot of responsibility with very little authority. i knew things were wearing me down, and i knew this was probably not an optimal situation, but i didn’t quite know what to do.
one monday, i walked in, dressed in ratty jeans and t-shirt. i was going to pack up my office, as i was told i was going to be moving offices. precisely at 9, i was called into my boss’s office. he was seated there, along with the company’s VP of human resources. not a good sign. i sat down. my boss, who, i have to believe has a good heart in non-work situations, was a bit on the bombastic side, immediately barking at me: wreke: you’ve been terminated!
then, the HR veep interjected, no, boss, wreke hasn’t been terminated. her job has been terminated and she has been restructured. wreke has not been terminated!
what????? i hadn’t even had coffee yet, and i was hit broadside with this one.
the HR Veep continued. you have an interview out at the new campus (about 15 miles away.) have you ever been there?
uh, no, i replied, still completely dumbfounded.
you have an interview there at 11. i’ll give you directions. you need to find a job within the company within 30 days or you really are terminated.
i’ll say it again: wha????
i put some stuff in jo-jo, my little-honda-that-could (theme song: jo-jo was a car who thought he was a honda, but he knew he couldn’t last), and looked down at myself. i wore my worst jeans and an old shirt today. i thought i was going to move boxes. and now i was going on an interview?
i was doomed.
in fact, i wasn’t. i later learned that i could have been terminated, like many other people that day, but my original boss at the company, whom i adore, knew my sorry situation and had arranged for me to have an interview over in the international division. lucky for me, my interview was with a person i knew, albeit onlyÂ virtually and not in real life, a person who had helped me with some tech work remotely while the person was in germany and i was in the US. i wrote to said person and indicated that i owed him a beer when he returned to the US.
little did i know that the person had returned during the year and that he was a she 🙂 and in spite of the fact that i almost talked my way out of the job, she hired me. she ended up being a fantastic boss; a terrific and highly respected colleague; a person my kids call aunt; and a clutch, clutch friend i treasure to this very day. (also, no one sings hong kong phooey in german the way she can.)
but, back to the song, right? well. after i finished that fateful interview, figuring i had blown it, i went to make the long drive home and call BS. great news like this has to be shared, right? i put murphy’s mix for the first time into the tape deck (remember those, kids?), fast forwarded it to a random spot, and started to play. and d’ya know what song i was in the middle of?
yep. all the time in the world. and right out there, in scenic dulles, va, a place that doesn’t actually exist, i had an epiphany: i may be on the job hunt, but after two years of long hours, i had a break. i had breathing space.
and, for the first time in years, i had all the time in the world.
You know I’m hungry when I wake up
I’ll be damned if I’m not sleepy when I eat.
The only time I feel good,
is when I got a little dirt underneath my feet
I don t mind eating fast food,
as long as I can eat it real slow
I’m gonna have me some high times
but I might live them way down low