My friend Dave is a worker . He’s almost always working . He likes to work . He also has an active athletic life ; nowadays mountain biking is his passion . He is a machinist who has owned airplanes , raced bicycles ,hiked , fished , and hunted . He’s been around the world racing motor bikes . He’s one of those guys who’d give you the shirt off his back if he saw you needed it . He maintains on old jeep and when it’s working he’ll take people up on rough mountain roads in search of adventure . He’s passionate about all he does .
When I grow up I want to be just like Dave .
He’s a mild-mannered man ; he lets the frustrations of life go by like , as they say , water off a duck’s back .
Yeah . Until one Friday a few months ago. I saw him on Saturday and he was home on a workday , which is unusual . He’s usually working overtime Saturdays .
” I’ve been suspended ,” he said .
” Suspended or furloughed ? ,” I asked , thinking maybe it had something to do with Covid.
” Suspended .” So he told me the story .
Evidently some younger guy cursed Dave out as the two of them drove their cars into the parking lot at their factory . Dave is sixty-four years old and this guy is in his mid-twenties . Thinks he’s a tough guy . Something snapped in Dave.
” So I stepped out of my car , took off my jacket , folded it neatly and put it on the seat of my car with my keys ,” he said . ” Then I walked over . He was sitting in his car and I told him to get out but he refused. So I started punching him as he sat there , ” he said . ” He flailed his arms . Scratched me under my eye . ”
” Good story ,” I said . So un-Dave , I thought .
” Then three other guys from work got hold of me and dragged me away . This little punk got out of his car then and came up from behind me and hit me in the back of my head . I went down on the ground and got up right away a little dazed . “
” Then what happened ?” I asked .
” Then I went in to talk to HR . I was calm . This other guy was going crazy , threatening to kill me . Said ‘ You’re dead.’ “
” That’s a good story , Dave . Then what happened ?”
” They suspended both of us . HR called me later and told me to come in Monday to sign some papers . I told them Monday was out . They asked why and I said because I have a job interview on Monday . “
Ah . When I grow up I want to be just like Dave .
When I told Ada the story she was amazed , too . She wanted to know if he was suspended with pay and was it all videotaped and on the internet so she could see it . So I asked Dave later about the with pay or without pay question . He didn’t know and said he didn’t care . The company had security camera footage of the incident but no one else filmed it although there had been a lot of witnesses .
” His coming up to hit me in the back of the head while I was being held by three guys is what saves me ,” he said . They want to get rid of the young punk and they want to have me come back to work ,” he said . ” But I don’t think I want to go back ,” he said . ” They did me a favor ,” he told me , ” I have a few days off and I can get another job anytime . I don’t think I want to go back . Anyway , I’m tired of working weekends .”
As it turned out , Dave still works for the same place . He negotiated with the company after the incident. He no longer works weekends . He and a buddy ride mountain bikes on local mountain trails now every weekend. The younger guy still works at the company , too ; but he stays out of Dave’s way . Don’t mess with those old guys .