The Lineman by Tom Milton
Publication date: June 1, 2020
Paperback, $12.95
ISBN 978-0=1-7320634-4-0

Everything changes for Paola and her family when her husband Danny, working as a lineman for the electric company, falls from a cherry picker onto the pavement and crushes his shoulder. After two major surgeries, and months of pain and physical therapy, Danny hopes that the company will let him resume working as a lineman, which is more than just a job for him—it’s his identity as a man. So when the company decides he’s no longer physically able to work as a lineman and instead offers him a job managing work crews, he refuses to accept their decision and sues them for making him work with faulty equipment. When he loses his lawsuit for justifiable reasons, he loses his job and he loses the compensation that the company has been paying him for his injury, so he must find other employment. Paola, whose father has given her full ownership of Borgatti Electric, the business he built over his lifetime, offers Danny a job as an electrician and an equal partnership in the business. He tries this job, and he does it well, but he doesn’t love it the way he loved his job as a lineman, and unable to deal with the new reality, he gets addicted to a series of things from the opioids he was given for the pain in his shoulder to video games to online gambling. Inevitably, he amasses an enormous debt to the organization that runs the gambling. After using the business without Paola’s knowledge to borrow money to pay off his debt, he continues gambling, and losing, and running up debt, to the point where she realizes that his behavior threatens the survival of her family.