My dresser drawer made a hollow, clanging noise as I pushed it firmly shut. It was exactly 9:37 pm on a Tuesday night and the room was quiet. The cold and wintery frost bit me through my coat as I trudged out the front door, a cardboard box on my right shoulder. I was the last one to leave the Dealership, which was usually the case, and my Blue Prius was just beside the curb, its trunk open and waiting. I had no feelings, no emotions and no regrets. I didn’t look over my shoulder when I closed the car door, and I didn’t look in the rear-view mirror as I pulled onto Vandiver Drive.
My cell phone yanked me out of a stupor. A now-familiar name and number flashed across the display. I immediately hit the Bluetooth answer button on the steering wheel.
“Good evening Moses,” said a disembodied voice. “This is Mr. Prinkley. I want to let you know that my wife and I are in the market for a new Toyota. We would like to schedule an appointment for this Saturday morning. We’d like to try out the Sequoia, the 4-Runner, the Highlander, and the Rav 4. We’ve also been shopping with several dealerships in St Louis and Kansas City, and although we like you, and would prefer to buy from you, we want to go with the salesman who gives us the absolute best rock bottom price. Just business.”
Instantly, before I responded to him, my mind flashed through the most likely scenario.
I was still three car deals away from getting my monthly bonus, and Saturday was the last day of the month. I would probably spend the entire day with Mr. Prinkley, test drive all the vehicles he wished to see, and not sell a one. I knew him to be a tough negotiator. Even if I did, by chance, luck out and make a deal, it would be months until it was finalized. I wouldn’t make that much money on it anyway.
I weighed all these options, and more…until the reality of my situation suddenly barged into my mind. I’d forgotten myself in my robotic pattern of scripted things I always said. But not tonight. Tonight, for the first time, I had something different to say.
And so I said it.
“I am sorry, Mr. Prinkley, but you’ll have to call someone else. I no longer work for Joe Machens Toyota.”
I rolled over, and, out of habit, glanced at my cell phone to see how many calls I’d missed. How many texts I had to respond to. It was Saturday morning, the biggest day of the week. Then I realized I’d turned the phone off the night before, so I could avoid talking to anybody. Because I was out of a job.
For six years I had sold cars to the best of my ability. For six years I had left my house before my family got up in the morning, and got home again well after they were in bed. For six years I had come home Saturday evenings so drained I couldn’t wrap my mind around my children’s’ television shows. For six years I had slept all day on Sundays, unable to play with the kids, just so I would have the energy for another 6-day week selling cars.
And now my phone was shut off. Because it was my time. I needed to get well. I needed to get back the life I once had.
For the next six weeks I tossed and turned in bed, curled up in a tight ball, my body burning off the prescription drugs I’d put inside of it for too many years to get through week after enervating week. I felt awful, but I knew I was healing, because the black cloud hanging over my head lifted a little more every day. And through it all, I couldn’t help but try and sort out how I, Mose J. Gingerich, ever got into such a state, or to such a place in my life.
I knew that back in 2012, I completed a year of filming for a show called Amish: Out of Order while keeping my full-time job selling cars. Financially, it was a good year. But it took a toll. It’s hard in life, sometimes, to see that you’re becoming overloaded, to see what cost you’re paying for the stress and the responsibility. I paid that cost. For a whole year, I slept no more than four or five hours a night, trying my best to make the show good and to keep my work at the dealership up to my standards. By the end of it I could feel myself beginning to crumble; once all the publicity was over, and people began reaching out to me from all across the country, my own life collapsed in a big heap.
You could say I’d “burned out” or “crashed,” but no matter what you call it, I knew that I needed help. Professional help. Soon I found myself on the steps of a doctor’s office, pleading with him to help me deal with the stress, to help me live up to expectations, to help me get back on track.
That’s when I was diagnosed as having Bi Polar Disorder. He was quick to prescribe me some of the strongest medication available. At first, it felt great.
Unfortunately, however, what seems too good to be true usually is, and I soon became caught up in a whirlwind of changing medications and changing dosages – all in an attempt to keep me stable month after month. I functioned okay, but any creativity I had was gone and I felt like a zombie. Almost overnight I went from one of the Dealership’s top salesmen to barely average.
My marriage crumbled. I moved out of the house and into an apartment in Columbia – 35 miles away from my family. I didn’t feel like I had a choice; I had to fix me before I could try to fix my relationship with anybody else.
So I guess you could say that out of all my decisions, the one I made to quit my job of six years ended up being the easiest. I did not know what the future held; I didn’t even have another job lined up. All I knew was that I needed to clear my mind and get back to the old me. The Mose who had a passion for life. The Mose who wanted to learn and do more with his life.
And I knew that before I opened new doors of opportunity, I had to close those doors at my back.
I am sitting in the parking lot of a Petro truck-stop in El Paso, Texas. I could almost throw a rock into Mexico if I wanted. It is near 2am, and I am tired, but I am happy.
I am writing for the first time in a long while. My mind is free and clear. I feel good. I can appreciate life again. I feel safe; this is the life I have chosen to live. A creative hunger lurks deep beneath the surface of my being.
My rig is among several hundred others; it occurs to me, while listening to those massive engines purr, that maybe, for the first time in a long while, I might be able to answer a few of the thousands of emails I’ve received the past few years. It’s the least I can do. Those people wrote to tell me they liked the show; they wrote to wish me well; they wrote to just make sure I’m OK.
Well I am okay… now. And I really do thank you for asking.
Added and edited May 17, 2016.
There were a lot of people who read this blog, that were unclear on some of the things I mentioned. I’ll try and spell those things out.
I’m not sure if I’m bi polar. I’m probably not. I’ve not felt this good mentally in years, since I quit taking meds. I believe that I just had too much hit me at once, in 2012, and got sucked into a world of prescription drugs, that most doctors are all too willing to recommend.
I did get back together with my wife, after a year of being apart. Changing jobs, and other life changes too numerous to mention, were all a part of trying to get back what the old Mose had. A family and a solid marriage. It was not my intention to mislead anyone on that matter. (End of edit)
This blog was written to update the people that I have come to care about, on where I am in my life these days. It was written to inform that I am now in a better position to communicate with the people who reached out to me after the show “Amish: out of Order”.
I have created a “Mose J Gingerich Trucking” Fan Page on Facebook. I will be posting on it regularly, including my routes. I cover 48 states. I often have down time between drops. I would like to meet people along the routes, and do lunch or dinner.
I have subscribed to an app called Kik. I like the app because it is user friendly, and allows for chat rooms to be created. My Kik Username is Mosemerizer. Hit me up, and I will add you to my chat room, where I post interesting photos of my travels and have conversations daily with members I have added to the room.
I do not yet have a CB Radio Handle name, but am open to ideas…. don’t be shy.