Thursday, April 18, 2013

Day 15: It's a Hard Job, But Someone Has to Do It.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to get all of this blog post done this morning, if this lightning keeps flickering my power.  It's raining absolute buckets of water down on us right now... I know, because I'm collecting buckets of water in the playroom.  Thank goodness we actually got it all cleaned out, or all of Jelly's toys would be ruined.  I freakin' hate this house.

But, it's one of my jobs to make sure that water doesn't run all over the house - so I'm keeping on top of it by changing out towels and replacing pots and pans.  Again, I freaking hate this house.

There are just some jobs that you gotta do, whether you like them or not.  And that's what today's post is all about, my best and worst jobs.

I'm pretty sure the last time I counted, I got up to 13 jobs.  Twelve different places of employment in the 17 years I've been working.  I technically had my first job at 10, when I did a paper route, but I'm not even counting that one.  I had my first, real job at the age of 14 when I worked in my aunt's convenient store.  I cleaned and stocked shelves and stuff like that.  I enjoyed it because it was my first real job, and I felt important getting to "go to work" and earn a few dollars.

After that, my grandfather gave me a job working in his restaurant.  I became a waitress at 15, and that was another job I really enjoyed.  Talking to customers, getting to know the regulars, getting giddy at the tips I received each night.  To a fifteen year old, $5.15 an hour plus tips was a high paying job.  Especially when I brought home anywhere from $20-$50 a night from tips!

I'm not going to sit here and share all of my working memories...that would take way too long.  But, I can talk about some of my best and worst jobs.  That's easy.  I have literally worked over a full spectrum of areas including retail, fast food, customer service, clerical, medical, and manual labor.  It's been a wide array, all of my jobs offered a lot of experiences to my future endeavor - and that was finally going to college.  I'd been around the block, I'd learned a lot of skills, and I was prepared and ready to enter the college life prepared and planned for my future career.

Of all the jobs I've had, there's only one that I really hated.  And that was working in a factory that made pies.  Dessert pies to be exact.  My job consisted of standing next to a line for 12 hours a day, minus a few small breaks here and there, watching as frozen pies went through the line.  My job was to take off damaged pies or throw pies on a cart if the box machine malfunctioned and got a jam. That happened a couple times  a day, but the majority of the time consisted of just standing there... watching.  Talk about the most boring, long days of my life.

The best thing that happened to me at that job was spraining my wrist as I was throwing pies, causing me to go on workman's comp - and then forcing the staffing service I was working for to replace me and find me something else.  Hallelujah!  I ended up getting an awesome job working as a receptionist for a counseling company after that... and I stayed there for a few years.

Other than that job, I've enjoyed all of the jobs I've had.  Right after Peanut was born, I got a job working at a Casino.  I was 18 and finally allowed in to the casino, so my first time in there I applied for a job - and got one.  I sold bingo books.  I thought working as a waitress brought in the big bucks, but oh how wrong I was.  Working at that casino was like striking gold to an 18 year old.  I made $7 an hour plus tips - and my tips ranged from $100-$300 a night in tips... sometimes more if I sold winning bingo cards to someone.  I remember one night, one of my regular customers stuck it big and won something outrageous like $10,000.  He remembered who sold him the books and gave me a $500 tip.  I literally thought that moment was what it would feel like to win the lottery.  A mom trying to raise a newborn and a good for nothing man who sat around all day doing nothing can do a lot with $500.  I was laid off from that job, however, when the casino went through a renovation and did away with the bingo hall.  Otherwise, I'm convinced I might still be working there.  Best money I've ever made.

Right after Butter was born, I got a job as a CNA in a nursing home.  Technically I was a NA - because I had to get certified, but I did and then became a CNA.  I even dabbled with the thought of going to nursing school while I worked there.  I enjoyed helping the elderly, despite the manual labor that was involved.  Cleaning out bedpans, changing soiled sheets, and bathing people didn't bother me a bit.  I worked there for quite a while before moving out of state.  When I returned back to Oklahoma, the first place I went to get a job was a nursing home... but apparently being in an office building while I was away weakened my stomach.  One day back on the job of being a CNA and I blew chunks...literally.  I just couldn't stomach it anymore.  And that was the end of my nursing pursuit.

I've always enjoyed my clerical jobs.  I answered phones for a long distance company and a credit card company - and really liked doing it.  I have some fun memories of being yelled and screamed at for bills being too high or service being cut off or hidden if it was my fault... but that was a part of the job, and honestly... the best part.  Because it always made me laugh at some of the things I could be accused of.

Then, as I said before, I was the receptionist for a counseling office.  That was such a great job because I really got to know many of the clients.  People shared things with me that brought me to utter tears, and that also made me laugh hysterically.  Not at them.. with them.  It was working there that made me realize eventually I would go to school and get my teaching degree - because it was in my blood to help people (especially children).

Before making the move to go to college, however, I got my most favorite job behind teaching.  And that was working for the retail giant themselves.  Wal-Mart.  I started off working in legal, then after a year I transferred to be an administrative assistant for a vice-president.  I absolutely LOVED that job.  I had an amazing boss, I loved the people that worked for her, and I just loved working at the home office.  It's so much different being in the belly of the beast than being in the stores... I know, cause I've worked in the stores too.  And, even though I had already made the decision that eventually I would go to school... it was my bosses that really forced the issue and made me do it.  The VP I originally worked for got transferred to California, and I was left to work for the director that worked for her.  I loved her just as much as I loved my original boss.  Both of them became good friends of mine and it was their pushing and shoving that made me bite the bullet and apply to go to community college, just to get my prerequisites out of the way.

One semester in, however and I realized that I just couldn't carry a full time job as demanding as I had and a full time load at school - so I said goodbye to Wal-Mart and started my career path towards being a teacher.

And here I am.  My dream job.  The most amazing job in the world.  There is nothing more satisfying or enjoyable than waking up every morning and knowing that I have fulfilled my dreams and I'm driving to my dream job every day.

The kids.  The other teachers.  The administration.  The other staff members.  All pieces to the puzzle that makes my career life complete.

Don't get me wrong...there have been days I've been frustrated and cried and wondered what the heck I was thinking... but it only takes a few minutes to be reminded.  When I look in to the eyes of one of my students.  That makes everything better.  I know that there is no job on the planet that offers sunshine and roses each and every day... but I'm in the job that gets you as close to that as you can get.  I have said this many times, but if I won the lottery tomorrow - you'd still see my behind at work on Monday.  Cause I'm not there for the money, I'm there for my students, my dreams, my ambitions.

And anyone that can say that about their job has the best job in the world.


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