When you hear the word “scavanger,” the first image that comes to your mind is probably something like this:




…when in fact, this is what you should be thinking of:

The problem with scavenging is that scavengers are disgusting, vile, disease-ridden creatures. I am no exception. Either from the massive quantities of sneezed-on food I’ve taken home, or from eating off one too many dirty plates at the hotel, I’ve gotten sick.

My thoughts: “That old lady probably didn’t cough on her salad. I mean, it looks fine. And her rice and chicken barely seem touched. It would be a shame to see it go to waste, especially since I’m so hungry…”

My last couple posts were pretty upbeat. Things were definitely going my way. I had four jobs (theater, hotel, mover, snow-shoveler), I was in the middle of a well-earned rest week from a solid block of training, my fitness and acclimation to the altitude were going wonderfully, I was scoring pounds upon pounds of free food…life couldn’t have gotten much better. Those were good times. So of course, to keep balance in the universe, everything went to shit.

The snow, while beautiful and monetarily valuable to my snow-shoveling career, shut down my riding at the end of last week. We got dumped on again, like I mentioned, and I couldn’t ride at all on Saturday or Sunday. Not to worry. Just a rest week.

Then I got sick. Just a cold. Not to worry. I’d most likely be over it in a couple days.

Then I got fired at the movie theater because I didn’t want to work while being sick. Not to worry, the job sucked. The conversation over the phone went like this:

Me: “Yeah, I can’t come in tonight cause I’m sick. Can someone else cover my shift?”
One of the 12 managers: “That’s fine. But you’ll have to bring in a doctor’s note tomorrow night.”
Me: “Huh? A doctor’s note for a cold?  Hahaha. I’m not gonna do that.”
One of the 12 managers: “Well you have to, it’s company policy.”
Me: “Well I’m not going to.”
One of the 12 managers: “Ummmm….Okay, well you can call back tonight at 5:30 and talk to the concessions manager, Mr. Cornett.”
Me: “Okay, thanks. Bye.”
One of the 12 managers: “Have a good day, bye.”
Me: “Yeah, you too. Bye.”

Later that day at 5:30…

Me: “Hi, can I speak to, umm, Corrrn…uh, please?”
Drone employee: “Yes, you mean Mr. Cornett?”
Me: “Yeah.”
Drone employee: “Yeah just one sec.”
Me: “Okay.”

Mr. Cornett (now one of 13 managers): “Hello this is Mr. Cornett.”
Me: “Hi, this is Kennett, one of the new employees in concessions.”
One of 13 managers: “Yeah I remember you.  How are you? I hear you’re sick today?”
Me: “Yeah, I was told to give you a call.”
One of 13 managers: “Yeah we’ve got your shift covered but tomorrow you’ll need to bring in a doctor’s note.”
Me: “Crystal told me that that earlier and I’m not going to.”
One of 14 managers: “Well you have to. It’s company policy. Otherwise we don’t know if someone is abusing the system. So you need to bring in a doctor’s note.”
Me: “Uhhh, like I said, I’m not going to do that.
One of 14 managers: “But you have to.”
Me: “What happens if I don’t?”
One of 15 managers: “That would basically mean you’re quitting.”
Me: “Okay. Well I guess I quit then.
One of 15 managers: “Uhhh. Oh. Okay…Well then we’ll have your check mailed out within three days since that’s company policy.”
Me: “Bye.”

I could have worked. It’s not like I couldn’t physically ride the 1 mile there and stand at the popcorn counter and shovel popcorn. I would have lived. But I was sick and knew that being up on my feet until midnight, coughing all over everyone’s popcorn, just would have prolonged the cold and I would have infected about 500 other people. And I sure as hell wasn’t going to go see a doctor to get a god damn note.  I would have liked to have gotten fired for something cooler, but this will have to do.

My cold worsened the next couple days and I didn’t think it would be smart to even go out for an easy spin. The road snow gradually melted away and the temperature began rising, making for some great sunny rides in the mountains had I been able to go train. Torture.  My cold lingered. Then it moved deeper into my lungs throughout the week (the normal routine). I worked real late last night at the hotel and I was up coughing for hours, unable to sleep. I cancelled my shift tonight.  Thankfully the hotel doesn’t require doctor’s notes. Now I’m stuck in my room with my brand new vaporizer spewing steam full blast. This is like the fifth vaporizer I’ve bought. I need to start traveling with one like I do with my box fan so I don’t have to get a new one every time I get sick.  How many blog posts have I written about being sick anyways?

Moral of the story: don’t eat off people’s plates no matter how good the food looks, because that person, more than likely, has hepatitis, leprosy, a cold virus, and acne. Also, don’t shake people’s hands, don’t breath in public places, don’t touch doorknobs, don’t handle people’s dirty plates or utensils, in fact don’t touch anything at all, isolate yourself from all physical contact with people, and never train outside if it’s below 65 degrees.

Sometimes being sick or injured is the best thing for you. Forced rest. At least this way I won’t have already peaked by January.