I have always always struggled with self esteem and self worth. Always. For as long as I can remember. It was always a point of contention between Trey & I…nothing I ever did was good enough. Nothing. And Trey would constantly say I was insane. It all started in…really bad when I started to work at Suncom as a data entry guy.
The girl I worked for drove me insane because all of the data entry I was doing was meaningless. I was basically making a whole new spreadsheet copying all the data that was already on another spreadsheet. I was like ummmmm this is stupid just drag and drop this, re sort everything and there. Done. I basically made my ‘job’ meaningless. I took a months worth of work and finished it in a day. My manager over my supervisor came and got me one day. And I thought well. I’m no longer needed. We went in and talked to the Vice President of finance. He gave me an entirely new position. I was now over all commissions in the southeast for all non suncom owned cell stores. I also had to do all of the monthly financial reporting for the financial Division. Basically I stepped over my supervisor. Went from being a temp…to this new position in two weeks. I always felt like anyday they would realize I was a moron snd fire me. Trey always said when are you going to realize your good at anything? You’ve got to get to where you at least know your good. Just Get to Good. I never have.
SunCom was tightening its belt…trying to slim up to be bought. And Our offices were chosen to go. I remember that day so well. One by one all of my friends were getting the boot. Pack up and go home. It was heartbreaking. My turn came. I walked into the office was told the story…and I no longer had a job in Charleston. But, they’d like to offer me a position in Berwyn, PA. Ummmm what? Pennsylvania? Who the hell wants to live there? I was like uhhhh no.
Trey wanted to know how much money they offered. He was like see. They wanted you. In my head I was like, no they probably offered that to everyone just to be nice.
A month later I got a call from SunCom. Would I please do some contract work for them? Temporarily if I wanted, and I could do it from home. I spent about three months training my replacement at corporate how to do everything. I just did not want to leave Charleston. This was home. That’s the first time I was like well, Okay…so maybe I was good at that.
And then we opened Blooming Idiots…so fondly named by Brenda. We were idiots, selling blooms, so it fit well. Haha. Our little store never got to be much… it was WAY early for this neighborhood. It was a massive learning experience. So not a waste.
After that I started working at Strock. Cleaning and maintaining job sites. It was boring…as mess. Trey needed help so I started estimating for him. Learned all of that. Went to some Job sites with he and Tommy to get out of the office. I used to ride around with Tommy a lot. One thing I really remember was Brenda hated payroll. So, we got paid once a month. It was like a different world for me. I remember asking Trey…when do we get paid? And he said ‘next month’. I was like 👀🤯
I learned budgeting REAL quick. So it wasn’t that bad at all. I don’t know the way things went exactly…but, things really changed the day Tommy went to the hospital for emergency gall bladder removal. It changed real quick. Real fast. I remember picking up Tommy’s Truck at the hospital, taking Brenda checks to sign, and watching over all the jobs for Tommy and Trey. After that I just kept watching over jobs. And I stole Tommy’s truck. He got a new Toyota Truck that he pretended was a bumper car for years - bumping into everything.
I loved managing projects. It was the first thing I really felt like I was good at. I loved the stress, pressure, and the payoff of making people happy. I loved it.
Trey nominated me to be in the nations 40 under 40 in remodeling. I had no clue, and they called me in the middle of the day one day…I thought they were trying to sell me a magazine or something so I hung up. Told Trey about it, and he was like they called you? Ummm yeah. And then he told me he had nominated me. I was the 24th name. So I always said I was in the top 25. 40 wasn’t good enough. I couldn’t understand because I was brand new. I felt like I barely knew what I was doing. They interviewed me, and Trey. They mostly used what Trey said because all my answers were uhh I don’t know I just do my job.
I felt like I was good at what I was doing.
That ‘job’ was a rollercoaster if there ever was one. Holy Lord. HIGH highs, super LOW lows. It was stress. Totally unstoppable stress.
The ‘platypus’ 25 Sothel
Big complicated projects
Little simple complicated projects
The Passing of Mary Ann
Rebuilding a house from the inside out
weekend fishing trip fails
Brendas hospital adventures
Strock without the Strocks
Controlling Trey without Brenda running the ship…learning how to be the brakes
Finally getting it together
Cancer & making it work
2020. The solid block wall that came out of nowhere
Everything was going good. Really good…and then Trey was diagnosed on August 17, 2018. We were determined to make it work. Trey was determined that he was still working. And, he did for as long as he possibly could.
To be honest I took his keys away before he was ready. I couldn’t handle him getting tired, and worn out just from going into the office. I had him a computer made and he stayed home and worked. (Taking a shower, and getting ready wore him out really fast, so he would nap. A lot). It was my turn to tell him to focus on getting to good. And, surprisingly, he did. He would stay home, work when he could - and we made the office go.
I would bring home weekly reports, and the checks I needed to pay. At first, he would be Trey. Very Trey. Get his glasses put them on, and be business Trey. Ask me questions, ask for additional printouts, Question EVERYTHING. In a way those are some of my favorite memories…just very Trey…big business. He would always open the red File I’d bring home for him and he’d be all business man and say ‘well let’s look at these here TPS reports’ … ‘well now see here you’ve gone over budget here, what you need to go here is get a new Flux Capacitator. And fix that.’ …or… ‘you’re over budget here make sure to remove that from your payroll’. He was constantly joking, and picking on me that I was over budget.
And then, he just wanted to hear the bottom line numbers.
And then he would just look and sign checks, and say we good on money? Yes. Okay.
The only thing I refused to ever do was payroll alone, banking, and transfers. I think Trey knowing him, always appreciated that. He was always in charge of that. We both always liked another set of eyes.
While cancer was really really hard in so many ways…it really brought us together in so many more ways. I learned more in two years than I ever have in my life. There was a point I took all the stress onto myself. I learned how to carry it around, and make sure Trey was focused on him. It really was the hardest time ever. But, if I had to, I would donut all over again.
I was feeling pretty good about myself. I was doing everything I could to keep Trey happy, and healthy. I was doing everything I could to keep the business going. I had rose colored glasses on.
And then 2020. I wanted the help out of the hospital. I was supposed to be taking care of Trey. This could not be happening. I was a HUGE letdown. I had failed.
All I cared about in the hospital was Trey. How was he doing? Has he been drinking water? Is he eating? I was in hell. No one could understand me. And no one could tell me.
And then it was time to see if I could go to Roper. Trey begged me to focus on me. To get back to Good. I had to get to good, that’s all I needed to focus on. He was okay. Just focus on me.
I think that’s when I decided in my head that I was getting out of there, and getting back to where I could take care of him. At rehab I totally focused on me. On getting out. On getting to good.
I was determined to be me as close as I could get.
I still am. Now I’m focused on fine tuning everything. And getting to be ‘OK’ with this new life.
The adjustments are insane. The changes are crazy. But, like always I have to get to good. With Benton now about to start School we have been tightening the belt more than ever. The amount of stress is not nearly as manageable as at work, being in a fixed income is hard enough…but now that Benton’s going to school that fixed income just became VERY fixed. But, after months of planning, and getting ready I think we are just about mentally ready for all of this.
Meanwhile, we still work to Get to Good’