I washed out.
It's kind of funny to think that 3 months ago I wouldn't have dreamed of leaving the train early. Hell, 3 weeks ago I was still considering staying in Alaska after the summer. Here I am though, leaving for the lower 48 in less than 20 hours.
Maybe I was a little hasty in my decision to leave. Maybe a day off to step back and evaluate my life was a little more time off than I needed. Maybe I should have given it one more run to make sure. But it just wasn't worth it. In having two days off, I realized the sheer weightlessness I felt by simply not being subjected to the hell that is the train. That's all the reason I needed just then. I logged on to cheaptickets.com and found the best deal from Anchorage to SLC, and whadayaknow? a week away. $ka-CHING$
No more placating drooling masses of decrepit geriatrics.
No more subjecting myself to humiliation after humiliation as the face of the organized crime syndicate that posses as a tour company, filching the life savings from the feeble grasp of said decrepit geriatrics. No more succumbing to the fickle will of the most incompetent, delusional, ass-clown manager/reptile ever to slip into existence by some colossal oversight on the part of the Powers That Be. I find myself unabashedly anticipating the long-overdue rectification of that oversight.
No more of The Mole to drive home a perfectly awful day.
I've decided never to work for a company whose ethics sit by the door as a matter of convenience. And with the topsy-turvy atmosphere around the train yard, you can bet that those ethics have been gathering dust for decades, this alleged "Standard of excellence" (which very well might govern the rest of Holland-America Tours, but damn sure doesn't out here in the sticks.) traded in for a facade of genuine concern or effort. In reality, they know these people won't be coming back this way any time soon anyway, so they don't even remotely try to make good on the offers, it's the beauty of prepaid vacation packages.
I could go on and on about what I wont miss. But I'm just about over this whole episode. at least, until next summer when I have a fat student loan to pay off (I don't expect Uncle HAL to hire me back, nor do I ever expect to be that hopeless... but I may try this again someday.)
There are a few things I will miss. obviously number one, the money. While it's true that my life has been living hell these past 3 months, it has brought a better fiscal flow than I could have hoped for back in the lower 48. And I guess what sets me apart from just about everyone else up here, is that I'm not here to dig myself out of a financial sinkhole. I don't have any debt. all the money I've made is mine to spend, so leaving early is a choice that was mine to make. and in the end I no price was worth my sanity.
I will also miss the people, I've met some really great people up here. More of the other variety to be sure, but I will miss several people, you know who you are, and if you don't and find reasonable doubt to justify putting yourself on this list, then good, I'm glad our positive moments outweighed the bad.
I know I wasn't the best on the train. hell, I might have been in the mix at the bottom of the barrel. I'm sure I was running on borrowed time with some of my co-workers, there will probably be some resonating grumbling about my deficiencies... sorry I was slow and disconcerted.
For those of you still plugging away, good luck, I'll miss you. I won't name names. Someone would get left off and be offended. Or else I would name someone who truly hates me and then what?
Peace y'all, thanks for reading.