Within a few short weeks after returning to the States, the dismantling and rearranging of our new life to gratify the whims of my dad left us shell shocked to say the least. Dad explained his plan this way. “Well, what I’m going to do is research the going rate of salary for someone like you, coming in to learn a business. After I find out what that is, I’ll deduct your Air Force retirement from that amount, and that’s what I’ll start you at.”
As if all of this wasn’t enough, there was also a family crisis brewing. My parents’ marriage was in peril, very serious peril. At one point, after we returned from Korea, they had even separated and remained that way for several years, even to the point of filing for a divorce, with neither one showing up for the court hearing to finalize it. Eventually, they went back together. They stayed together until Dad passed away.
However, for Scott, this situation made matters worse, because Mom and Dad’s marital problems flowed over into the business. Scott was in the middle of it immediately. There was another, more serious, work related problem for Scott. There were no definite plans in place as to how Scott would fit into the company. There was no direction. Dad was gone a lot. Scott stood around with nothing to do. Some of the employees had been there for twenty or more years, some thirty. They felt threatened. To them, it was as if the son-in-law was there to just collect a paycheck and take over the company, without proper knowledge, experience, or time spent working his way up. This was enough to start resentment with each department head, but added to that was the difficulty of spending time with Scott, which could take time away from their day-to-day work deadlines. Anyone familiar with Scott and his work ethic would have known that his intentions were just the opposite, but they had never met him, so they had no idea of what to expect.
Scott was frustrated and irritated. He came home miserable and full of discontent every day. His morale was low. Understandably, he had thoughts of “what if.” He questioned his ability to learn the business, which eventually caused him to doubt himself. He began to feel like a token employee, and his new job was reducing him to the point of feeling uneasy, unappreciated, and without job challenge, purpose, or satisfaction. He lasted at Metal Fabricators for five and a half years, and finally threw in the towel, with my blessing. Scott’s experience with Metal Fabricators was the most painful and anxious time of our life together.
When Scott resigned from Metal Fabricators, my dad was angry, and unappreciative of the sacrifice Scott had made. He chose not to speak to Scott or me. We were not included in family gatherings, and I had to see my mother when Dad wasn’t around. It was hard for all family members, including Mom, my sister, her children, and our children.
We were resentful.