Hard-core unemployable…that is how I describe myself. The number of jobs I have held could fill volumes. Waitress, clerk, teller, cashier, stocker, salesperson, candy maker, data entry, secretary, travel coordinator, office assistant, writer, greeter, historic intrepretor and estate ambassador. Makes me tired just thinking about it.
Because of my previous impulsive need to spend every penny I made and then some, many of my younger years had me working two or three jobs at a time. Some were really bad, some were ok and a few transcended all other experiences. When I look back, I realize how amazing my work life has been.
As a high school drop out, I never expected to make anything of myself. I had no doubt that I would be a failure at everything. I literally knew nothing. I had no real understanding of the world and how it worked. But I did have guilt! That guilt, to this day, makes me work hard to overcome the fact that I believe I have no skills. It is taking a negative and turning it into a positive…I guess.
Although I may not have had a lot to offer, I fell into a few jobs/careers that changed my life. In my younger years, I avoided working because of my crippling fear of failure. Then came my first real job, one I was at for almost 20 years. The people there taught me skills and how to be a decent human. My days were full of anxiety and a lot of fear but I was surrounded by some of the best people on the planet, including my soulmate. Those times and people are forever etched in my heart.
I struggled after that but had some absolutely awesome experiences. I continued to learn and my character built as I saw ways to act as well as how not to act. People helped me at every turn. I was blessed with caring co-workers who put up with my drama. When I look back on all the jobs, I am humbled beyond belief.
A few jobs came along with were just a bad fit. That happens. Those, too, are opportunities to learn…they just hurt a bit more.
Over the years I have worked for myself a couple of times. I enjoyed that but realized I am not a great boss. I tend to try to not let others down but have no qualms about disappointing myself. Got to work on that.
Today is much different from those days previous. Yes bills are still a major tipping point. But now I want a strong sense of purpose. I want to feel as if I can make a difference no matter how small.
During Covid I worked at a large grocery store. I had read what a great company it was and was excited to work there. Suffice it to say that after four weeks I put in my two week notice. I realized without the sense of purpose, not just showing up and doing the minimum, the work is hollow and meaningless.
Today I have the opportunity to help make memories for other people. Not exactly saving the planet or curing disease but important on another level. I hold in my hands the chance to make someone feel welcome, to feel important and to touch their soul just a little. Some people deserve a punch in the nose but most are gracious and funny and curious.
Working with the public is so hard. I dread it every day until I get that first smile or thank you. Or a visit later in the day to tell me my advice made their day. It’s not rocket science, it’s not brain surgery but it is a purpose and I am blessed to have it.