Bent Words

Bent Words

June 10, 2006

It's that time of year again -- time for the annual Open House at the motorcycle shop. I'm sure we'll have door prizes and bike sales, free food and discounts on accessories, balloons and maybe even some half naked girls. But this year feels so different. And it's not just because of the brand new building or that weather promises to be only 60 and rainy.

Or that all the women who now ride want something more to look at than Hooter's Girls and our goofy shop boys.

No, it's more than that...

Number one, I'm not nearly as attached to the place as I used to be. Although that was the idea when I decided to take the Office Assistant position, I rather thought I would once again become enamored and passionate. I thought I'd want to see the new place blossom and I thought I'd want to be the one to help that happen. But there's just nothing in it for me when I know I'll just be laid off again for school in the Fall.

Why sell bikes when I cannot follow up with my customers in September? Why organize a ride when no one else there has the inclination to do so? Why get excited about a Grand Opening Open House Celebration when no one told us until last night that we have to come into work an hour early?

Our Finance Manager quit and instead of filling the position with my experienced and excellent self, they decided to hire a middle-aged woman who only knows that motorcycles ride on two wheels instead of four. She doesn't know what GAP insurance is and has never seen our computer systems before. She doesn't even know what financing is beyond the mortgage payments she sends in every month or so. And everyone at the shop is frustrated with the acrid sighs of our indirect lenders when they call to ask us who the HELL is financing our deals now.

It has always been too much work for the measly salary, but now it's hardly even worth the passion that we hold for motorcycles. It's hardly even worth the fact that all we know is the motorcycle biz and have no where else to go. They'll turn to metal fabrication and take in more than 15 bucks an hour -- hating the work but actually having the means by which to live. The means by which to ride their own bikes and race their own events, rather than looking longingly at all the others with their deep pockets and newer motorcycles.

So I suppose that my number one reason for not having such an affinity with the new shop is really the only reason this year's Open House feels different. I no longer feel like an insider, but rather like a distant and curious onlooker -- wondering what will happen in the years to come. Perhaps the place will flourish. Perhaps, when classes are over, I'll be asked to return once again. But I somehow doubt the passion will be present. Within me or place I used to love.

And that's what made the old, shabby run down shop a success -- the passion which was exuded from within those crummy walls and within that crumbling exterior. We loved it, so we didn't mind. We believed in it, so we tried our best. We had a reason to go to work in the morning, so we made it on time. Most days, anyway.

Now, all that exists is a faint memory of what was and what could be. I guess the beauty of the new shop just doesn't equate to quality. Kinda like the Hooter's Girl who show up every year to our Open Houses. Sure, they're cute but they don't give a rat's ass about bikes and they'd rather be serving hot wings in a tepid restaurant than shivering in our unpacked parking lot, whispering about their weekend plans.

So I suppose, then, in some ways, some things never change...

Written at 6:43 a.m.