So my buddy B-dog, my self-proclaimed muse, has suggested that I do a piece that reveals a more personal side. I took some time to think about this concept and the following is what I think will be a personal yet entertaining look at the man, Rich.
I do not subscribe to or even own a copy of the skin mag Playboy. (My mother who has begun reading this, as well as my wife will appreciate that disclosure). But you always hear the joke that "I get it for the articles." Riiiight, the articles. I have decided that though I don't read or look at Playboy, I wonder what the "article" about me would read like.
Playboy: So Rich, you are a social worker. How did you get into this work?
Rich: Well it started back in 1986. I had just returned home from an LDS mission to Australia (hard to believe I know!) I was working at a Sizzler in Salt Lake City. To this day I still struggle to not answer the phone "Steak, Seafood, Salad, Sizzler on South State." I was also taking some classes at the Salt Lake Community College. My mother was working for a program that worked with teenage delinquent girls. She got me a job doing maintenance around the ranch. You know, fixing holes in the walls that the girls would punch, changing light bulbs...that sort of thing. The program decided to start a boys program and asked me to work as a night watch staff. I took the job and got to work with some of the kids a little bit. I found this to be interesting. The kids seemed to like me. I felt like I was helping them by just listening to them when they couldn't get to sleep. I decided to take some psychology classes to see what was behind that sort of thing, and liked what I was learning. Long story short, here I am 22 years later and I am still working with people. Now I work for the State of Utah in the child abuse and neglect realm and really enjoy helping people. I am a supervisor over 7 people. I mainly help them understand how we need to work with these families that have neglected or abused their children. I do a lot of listening like a therapist, but not really therapy. I actually do give advice based on what I believe is the best course of action for them to take in trying to help people. It's funny because I have a couch in my office and people come in and I tell them to sit on the therapy couch. It seems to be pretty effective.
Playboy: You're a funny guy from what we have read in your blog, is that how you deal with such a difficult job?
Rich: What by blogging? Yeah I know that was lame. Actually, thanks! I like to think I have a pretty good sense of humor. Sure it may be warped at times, but in general, you know what they say. Laughter is the best medicine. (Reader's Digest isn't going to sue me for trade mark infringement are they?) I have discovered that finding humor in everything can really help you cope with life in general. I wrote a screen play about this concept.
Playboy: You wrote a screenplay?
Rich: Actually I have two and the beginnings of a third. The one I referred to is one that is kind of a memoir if you will, of my job experiences and how I have found humor as a way to deal with very difficult situations that I have encountered over the years. I also have aspirations of actually making a couple of these scripts into movies. They are a collaborative effort with a very good friend of mine, J-Hi.
Playboy: Have you had anyone read them?
Rich: Other than family or friends no. I dabble in film making and editing. I have done some weddings and personal things that have turned out alright. I think that I could go Kevin Smith on the world and make the next Clerks. Ok maybe that is a bit of a stretch, but hell who knows right?
Playboy: Your 43 and have four kids. How old are your kids?
Rich: I have a 17 year old daughter, a 13 year old son, a 11 year old son and an 8 year old son. I can't believe my daughter is going to be a senior in high school this year.
Playboy: Does your daughter drive then?
Rich: Thank God no! I am kind of lucky actually. She hasn't bugged us to get her drivers license. Hell she hasn't really even been dating anyone. She went to her junior prom this year. That was nice for her. It was a group date thing so I feel pretty lucky that she isn't all infatuated with one boy friend.
Playboy: And your boys?
Rich: They are good kids. They are all really good students and stay out of trouble. The 13 year old is going into 8th grade and made the honor roll each semester last year.
Playboy: Your divorced right? The kids seem to be doing well in spite of such a tough thing to deal with.
Rich: Yes I am divorced. My current wife and I have been able to work well with my ex and her husband. The kids have had some minor things throughout the years, but over all have really thrived. I think we all do a great job of co-parenting the kids. I pick them up every Friday after work and they stay with us for the weekend. We have even done a family trip to California with their mother and step-dad. Talk about out of the norm. It worked out quite well, and best of all it was a good message to the kids that parents can work together despite the pain that can come from a divorce.
Playboy: So you don't read Playboy, you won't be reading this article then?
Rich: Well, you know, if I want to see a naked woman, I can just go tell my wife to prance around the house naked. She probably won't, but I am sure I could persuade her if it was between that or me going out and buying a magazine. By the way who is the centerfold this month? Maybe I will go out and buy it....just for the articles!
4 years ago