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Stunning Confession Time
Author: TriSec    Date: 06/01/2024 09:49:08

Good morning. My name is Trisec, and I’m an alcoholic.
Well – perhaps not. Read on.

Not sure we want to go back, but journey with me to four June firsts ago, that cataclysmic year of 2020.

Somewhere around this timeframe, I lost a job that I loved – being Head Conductor at Old Town Trolley Tours of Boston. While there were external factors, the fact remains that I was “COVIDed” out of that job. With no conductors to Head Conduct (everyone was laid off in April), there was not much need to keep me around, either.

So, I took the unemployment too. With nothing else to do, I started a daily routine of sitting in the sun, reading books, smoking cigars – and drinking heavily.

This continued through that summer, and probably accelerated when I left tourism for the first time that August, when I knew the company would be shutting down for that winter.
I went through two of the most miserable jobs I ever had, just in an effort to stay alive. In July of 2021, my friend “Quint” called and said they were hiring everybody back. I went back to trolleys, as just a regular conductor. You may recall that at the time I quipped that “I hope it’s as easy to STOP drinking now that it’s over as it was to START when this all began.”

Turns out it wasn’t.

Like most companies, our post-Covid employee numbers were nowhere near as high as our pre-Covid team. It wasn’t that big a deal in that summer of 2021, or even into 2022, as tourism hadn’t rebounded yet.

But last year it did. Unfortunately, our employee numbers never rebounded in the same way. So a small core group of conductors and dispatchers started carrying a heavier and heavier load. One of our dispatchers flamed out last summer, and I took on most of his dispatch assignments. In turn, this meant that I lost out on driving. I stopped doing school groups, only drove 3 days for Ghosts last year, and except for the BSO charter that always asked specifically for me, I never drove charters anymore, either. This all took money out of my hat. While we get a stipend for dispatching, it’s only $50. I could easily triple that in tips by driving tours all day. Dispatch hours are shorter, too – so much of my overtime evaporated. I did the math – doing what I did easily took $6,000 out of my pay last year.

So my stress levels and unhappiness increased exponentially over the past winter. I had hoped to take some real time off for the first time ever in the off-season, but I never made anywhere near enough money to do that. I know I burned myself out during cruise season last year. I almost quit three times last fall, and I toyed with giving my notice two different times this spring – timed for when I returned from Florida in March, or after Woodbadge weekend 1 back in April. I had put it on my calendar to render a decision no later than July 4.

But that’s all behind me now.

The real news is this. I’ve told no one; not even Mrs. TriSec. I quit drinking hard alcohol for a month, starting back on March 25. I did still sip a little wine and beer over that time. When the weather got nice enough to sit outside and smoke every now and again, I figured I might want some bourbon or a martini, so I did go and get some. But it’s a month later, and I still have those bottles in the house. Unlike the before time, I’m not going through two bottles every week. I also discovered that I don’t enjoy it as much anymore.

As of now, I plan on giving it up entirely today. There is religion involved too. While I dabbled in Islam for decades, I never felt compelled to follow that part of the teachings. I have decided to follow another prophet – Baha’u’llah. I’ll let you look that one up; if you’re lost spiritually as I have been, you might just like what you see. The religion itself is an offshoot of Shia Islam, so alcohol is forbidden. This time, I am compelled to give it a try, as even just dabbling in the fringes of Baha’i has given me some comfort. But I digress.

June 1 is the end of my trolley career. Today, I have no plans to return, despite several of my friends there anticipating that I might come back. One of the dispatch team just got promoted to Head Conductor. I would have liked to have been able to help her out. Another of my team is in line to become Head Trainer in Boston. This one hurts me personally. I hired him. I trained him. He has exceeded everyone’s expectations and become a critical member of the team today. I went so far as to promise that if he became the trainer – I would stay.

But that title never came through, so I don’t feel that is a broken promise. But it makes me sad.

I’m taking today as the beginning of a new life. I will drink the rest of the alcohol I have on-hand. I’m not like a Republican idiot. I bought and paid for it, so I see no need to dump it for political or personal reasons. I am looking forward to getting a little of my life back. I will still be driving with another company. Here is the TL:DR.

The pay is better.

The work is easier.

The hours are predictable.

They treat me better.

I remain somewhat ambivalent about leaving. I will hurt for my friends left behind; as I have alluded to previously, “We’re like a family here” can be a red flag in many industries, but in tourism we wear that as a badge of honor. We are a very close-knit group, mostly because nobody else in this city does what we do.

But in the end – “Duty to Self” is what must come first. I need to get out before I kill somebody, whether it’s a guest or myself. (Yes, my health has been deeply affected. Ask me how much weight I’ve lost and how many medications I’m on now.)

But that’s a blog for another day.

4 comments (Latest Comment: 06/03/2024 21:35:04 by Raine)
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Comment by TriSec on 06/01/2024 09:59:19
As I drive my last, my adjectives are "exhausted", "defeated", and "broken".

Oh! That my body had been severed in twain, my bowels taken out, my remains burned to ashes, those ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven, so that no more remembrance might be had of me among conductors or Dispatchers forever.

Comment by BobR on 06/03/2024 01:10:07
If you don't take care of yourself first, you won't be able to take care of anyone else. We only have this one life on earth, and staying miserable out of a one-way sense of duty is just wasted time and energy.

There is no reason to feel guilty or apologize for self-care.

Comment by Raine on 06/03/2024 21:30:43
I quit smoking on May1.

I had a half a cig on the night of TSF being found guilty. I feel like I am untethered from smoking.

I enjoyed it, but it felt like a nice treat.

I am saying goodbye to a 40-year relationship.

Having said that, My Mom appears to be dying. she's in the nursing home and started to refuse her meds. NYS law can't force her to take them. I am not going to start smoking again when she dies.

I love my mother but she is not worth another stroke. I want to live my life out with Bob. Thanks for telling us, Tri. Know (seriously) we are here for you.

Loyalty begins with self.

Love you, brother.

Comment by Raine on 06/03/2024 21:35:04
The pay is better.

The work is easier.

The hours are predictable.

They treat me better.
you are allowed to self-care, That's how you can remain loyal. Blind loyalty is not healthy. you have a wonderful family, don't hide stuff from them. They are like you, loyal.