After I was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force, I started working for a delivery company as a route driver’s helper and then as a route driver myself. There was this indigenous Native American man who befriended me in the company, and he was the most thoughtful and caring person I knew at that time of my life. He saw me through a very trying and disheartening time of my life. I was going through some difficulties, and although it was self-imposed, this man, without selfishness, made sure my days did not fall too far into dejection.
One delivery we made together when I was under training happened to be on the eighth floor of an apartment building complex. We both went up to the customer’s door and knocked. An older woman answered the door and informed us both that the old refrigerator needed to be taken down before we could bring the new one up to put it into its rightful place. Well, lo and behold, I got all bent out of shape, because it just seemed to me to be too much work, although it was our job. We did the job successfully, and it did take quite a while, to say the least. I didn’t listen to my counterpart but kept complaining the whole while. I even started to swear a bit within the customer’s hearing. At the end of the day, when all the delivery trucks and vans had parked in the compound, I received a long and serious lecture for my indiscretion from the boss. I came so close to being fired. I was friends with a person who knew the boss, so I was spared on that account I believe. “The customer is always right.”
There was another time when we had to deliver a slate-top pool table about five or six stories up. This time I just kept my mouth shut. There was no fanfare that day. I considered myself poor (I was spiritually rich), so I didn’t like the idea that someone was getting a pool table. Now I have few worldly possessions and few worldly cares, and the one care that is absent is jealousy. Back then I didn’t realize yet that covetousness only brings grief.
Another delivery time I learned from this Indian fellow how to get a chest-type freezer down into a basement without a staircase. With ropes and a lot of elbow grease, we successfully accomplished our strenuous task. Of course, in my mind, I resented the fact that the occupants of this new house had to make my life harder by not having a staircase yet. I also resented the fact that I lived in a crummy apartment while they lived in a mansion. I eventually learned to never be jealous of another’s fortune; to be content with what I had.