“I’ve Got a Job Interview Next Week!”

How Does One Go Backwards With Their Life


I don’t get it and I never have.  I attended Head-Injury Support Groups more than a few times at the St. Paul Public Library in downtown St. Paul.   After listening to the others talk about how happy they were and actually sensing their feelings I had to say something.

I was miserable and could hardly bare my existence any longer so I asked, “Why are you all so happy?  Uh, sorry for interrupting.”

But then the facilitator of the group spoke up and said, “This is good and you’re the reason we’re here.  No need to be sorry.  I’m glad you interrupted!  You know, too many times we forget our real purpose and that is to provide friendship and support to a fellow TBI sufferer.  The rest all voiced their approval saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah and clapping.

One of them spoke up and said, “You want to know why we’re happy?  We’re happy because we lived!”  And the chorus began with their yeah, yeah, yeah’s and clapping and showing their happiness, even those in wheelchairs.

I just couldn’t buy that phony happiness, so my reply to them was, “Happy you lived? We can’t do anything.”  Well I wasn’t spoken to the rest of the evening.  But what I said was true.

That only gave way to their propagandized thinking that they were doing something by getting up every day.  Then by even more of the therapist riddled affirmations,  “We take care of ourselves, we shower, brush our own teeth, shave ourselves,  cook our own meals, make our beds and keep the home clean.  And I’ve got a job interview next Thursday!”

“Ok, I’m sorry,” but I was thinking to myself the job must be something mindless and trivial for that was really all any of us were capable of doing.  My dad always told me years before, “You don’t work for somebody unless you can really make a contribution to the outfit or at least help.  Don’t be a token worker…just there to collect a check.”

Well there was no way I would be like that so I went back to school, but I had too many problems with that, writing and vision (unable to see all the words on the page) difficulties.

After an inability to master any of those classes (except for cultural anthropology) I went to a computer school.  I did fantastic on all areas I learned 3.5 – 4.0 and my attendance was


100%, however, I could not get a job.  The closest I came was an interview at a financial office. I went on the interview and passed all computer formatting and design skills but then came the personal interview.  I always aced those before the car accident, but at this interview I replied in the same manner as I would have before the wreck.  If only I would have remembered how poorly I sounded to others.

I was asked, “What would you do if you were on the phone with a demanding person and another at your desk?  They were asking different questions and then one started complaining about the service he’d received?”

Well unable to discern anymore when joking would be appropriate I said (only as a joke), “Well if you guys did your job right there wouldn’t be any complaints.”  I did not get the job even though they liked my computer work.

Then I was at the DOT – Department of Transportation briefly, but I could not deal with the slothfulness that the state job offered.  There wasn’t much talk about work.  The talk when they weren’t eating or drinking something was about where the taxpayers would send them that year for their vacations.

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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