An Unusually Good Day

January 15, 2008
By Jordan LaPorte, Clarkston, MI

“Well I wouldn’t say this about anyone else working there but I kind of hope that they won’t be asking him to come back.”

“What are you talking about kiddo?” My Dad wondered out loud as he entered the house just arriving home from work. He walked from the cramped, poorly lit room where we keep our shoes, into our slightly less cramped kitchen and finally into the dinning room all the while leaving small traces of dirt on the hard wood floor from his black dress shoes. Once he made it to where my mom and I had been sitting, I continued.

“Nothin much, just something that happened at work today, I just finished telling mom but I’ll start over.”

As I began to tell my dad about what had happened I realized how what looked like was going to be a terrible day ended up actually being quite interesting, and it was only because of one event that took place. It had been another beautiful Sunday at the beautiful golf course Shepherd’s Hollow where I was currently employed. What wasn’t so appealing about that day was who I had to work with. I love to earn money but the previous week when I looked on the schedule and saw that I had been scheduled to work with Jon money didn’t seem like such a huge priority. I would have gladly missed one day’s worth of money to avoid working with that self-centered slacker. Luckily I was also working with Jim and even though he is a little introverted and does whatever anyone tells him to, he is still a nice kid and a hard worker.

I pulled up the long driveway into the large parking lot and I could see that there had been only person to arrive prior to me. Their car was a faded light blue with rust which had long been present around the area of the tires and mud streaked across both sides, it was a car that looked the exact same each time I saw it, my boss randy was the only one here at the moment. I parked my truck in about the third row out since today wasn’t going to be incredibly busy. As I entered the door Randy and I exchanged salutations and talked briefly about sports events from the previous night. After punching in I stood behind the counter of the pro shop for a couple moments still waiting to awaken completely seeing as my eyes were still closing against my will about every 20 seconds or so. It really is a pretty ritzy looking place, all the golf bags and clubs set poker straight and evenly spaced in front of the large windows looking out to the path that lead to the course itself. There are all the best brands of hats, balls, shirts, tees, and shoes you could ever want and the outrageous price tags to accompany them. Though it’s not too terrible because I have a 30% employee discount so that makes a $500 item only about, I don’t know around $400. Everything about the place is just begging for rich people to come and blow their cash. Even the bathrooms have marble floors and walls with fake gold urinals, but I guess that is supposed to make people coming there feel special and part of the elite in our society. After several minutes I finally snap out of my daydream, grab a walkie-talkie and head down to the cart barn to start preparing the carts for the first groups that would be arriving in a short time. As I began to open the cart barn door I heard the heavy door leading to the stairs shut, I looked in the mirror on the wall and saw Jim walking up behind me.

“What’s goin on Jim?” I yelled still facing away from him.

“Not much, just really tired” He replied with a sigh.

“Yeah, you and me both, hey where is Jon I thought he was working today too” annoyance clearly present in my voice.

Jim had no need to reply, we both knew he was supposed to work today and he hadn’t forgotten either, Jon would just arrive late as usual with some ridiculous excuse that even Randy knew he was pulling out on the spot. I just shook my head in disapproval and grabbed the first cart closest to the door and drove it out to the range to turn on the ball dispenser. The hitting range is a very peaceful place in the morning before the rush hits, a calm breeze sweeps over the small field and the same group of turkeys can be seen slowly waddling across the range in what seems like a circle which is endlessly repeated throughout the course of the day. I opened the door and tried to avoid being hit by the rope attached to the bottom which always seems to be drenched in water. I drove back to the staging area where the carts are pulled up and parked until a customer comes to take them. Jim had gotten four carts up by the time I got back so after parking the cart I had just been using, I went and helped him bring up more since people were beginning to arrive by this time. About 45 minutes pass and we’re kept busy from more and more golfers heading out to the course.
As I begin to do a quick inspection of the carts up top to make sure there is no blatantly obvious garbage lying around I feel a tap on the shoulder accompanied by Jim’s voice “Hey look who decided to actually show up” he said quietly.

“Wow I thought it would have been another three hours at least before he got here” I replied with a sarcastic surprise.

He looked over to us a tilted his chin up slightly, the silent salutation between guys. As I returned the nod I could not help myself from thinking about how much of a tool he was. He was wearing slightly torn and faded blue jeans, a white collared shirt with the collar popped up, some oversized sunglasses, and the keys to his brand new Saturn compliments of Mommy and Daddy’s endless supply of money no doubt. Its sleek black paint complete with the booming sound system and chrome rims that nearly blind you when the sun reflects off of them are characteristics of a car now kid my age should own. His family also happens to live off the 20th green. He is the definition of a teen who thinks he is the absolute coolest person ever created on the entire planet.

He came over and asked how busy we’ve been for the last couple of hours and I answered his question with one of my own.
“What took you so long?”

To which he said “Oh I was a witness to a car accident so I had to hang around until the cops came and they had to ask me a bunch of questions”.

I had to give him some praise; he was able to say the entire sentence without bursting into laughter. He had to have known that Randy would never believe that excuse, though he did accept it. After about an hour of putting bags onto carts we hit the slow time of the day. Jim and I just sat around and talked about the new rock music coming out and different video games while Jon sat and text messaged people on his cell phone, even though cell phones are strictly forbidden by Mr. Bylen. Whatever you do at the course it better not be something that will anger Mr. Bylen because there will be severe repercussions. Everyone at the course knows that he drives a black Chrysler 300 series and the license plate attached to it. It’s not that people don’t do any work when he is not around, but it is a little more laid back and no one is looking over their shoulder every couple of minutes to make sure they’re not being watched. He is quite possibly the strictest person I have ever met. That is not to say he can’t be a nice guy though, and he is always fair.

After a couple minutes of discussing the new CD by Avenged Sevenfold we were both eagerly awaiting, I went over near the door which led to the stairway up to the pro shop, and began to situate the sets of rental clubs and organize them. Meanwhile Jim went to get the last few carts that needed to be washed and Jon sat in one of the carts texting and giving us orders like he owned the place, we just ignored him though. As I bent down to pick up one of the clubs laying on the floor I could hear someone coming down the stairs. I thought nothing of it since it was probably just Randy coming down to chat for a while of things were really show up in the shop. Once the door opened I realized I was very wrong in my assumption. There stood Mr. Bylen staring right at me. We didn’t see him arrive since all of us were inside the cart barn at the time.
After a couple seconds of silence he said “Hey Jordan how are you doing today?” cheerfully.
Now I had a choice to make, do I talk in my normal voice so Jon can’t hear me and inevitably gets caught, or do I reply to the question in a louder in normal tone so as to alert John to Mr. Bylen’s presence? I reluctantly chose the latter; I am still not sure why I did because Jon is the one kid at the entire course that I absolutely despise working with.
With my decision made I looked up from the club on the ground and cheerfully said “Great sir, and how about you?” I tried to say it louder than usually as if I was trying to talk over the radio spitting out Van Halen’s “Jump”.
From my position I could not see around the corner of the wall to verify whether or not Jon had heard me, but then again I in a couple seconds I found out anyway, once Mr. Bylen started yelling.

I smiled a little to myself, it was like a reflex. I felt like some form of justice was taking place just beyond the corner behind me, for all the times that Jon had been a jerk to the people working with him and leaving them out to try by not even showing up on some of the busiest days. I held my position by the rental sets, there was no way I wanted to be in eyeshot of Mr. Bylen while he was in that state of rage. Mr. Bylen gave Jon the longest and loudest lecture I have ever heard him give. After Mr. Bylen was done talking, he went out of the cart barn with a walk that exuded anger. For the next couple of minutes the three of us just stood there in silence.
Jon was the first one to say “Well screw him, I don’t have to take his c***” but there was a quiver in his voice which indicated to both Jim and I that Mr. Bylen had successfully knocked Jon down a couple notches and took some of his confidence with him when he left.
The rest of the day went quite nicely. Jon spoke only a couple of times and was much less energetic than usual, and he didn’t bark a single order at either one of us, not that we would have followed it anyway.

“Sounds like the kid had it comin to him” my dad said casually.

“Yeah he definitely did, and if we’re lucky he won’t be invited back come spring.” I admitted in a hopeful manner.

It is small events like this one that make me wonder whether or not all things happen for a reason. Was it just a weird coincidence that all three of us happened to be in the garage when Mr. Bylen arrived and Jon was working the same day? Or is there some higher power watching over, maybe not the “highest” power but some entity none the less that saw how Jon had acted in the past and dispensed the judgment it had deemed necessary. These questions could be asked for even the most minuscule of daily events throughout life. The answers to these questions will more than likely never be revealed to any of us until we move on into the next realm. Higher power or not, I am content with the fact that people tend to get what they deserve at one time or another.

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