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Take this Job and Shove It! A Moment with Bill Reflection

Updated on July 29, 2014

Let Me Take You Back a Few Years

I was two hours into my new job when I turned to my best friend, Frank, and said, “You have gotta be kidding me.”

He was too tired to respond.

It was the summer after our sophomore year in college. I had a good warehouse job lined up for the summer months, but the job wouldn’t start for two weeks, and I need some cash. Frank always needed cash, and he had no job lined up, so there we stood in line at six a.m. one early June morning, hoping that our names would be called at the Longshoreman’s union office. We were hoping to hire on for some temp work, affectionately called “grunt labor” in those days. In other words, we were trying to get the jobs that no experienced longshoreman wanted.

Well, our wish came true. Our names were called, and we were sent to Terminal B, where a tanker was waiting for us. We were led down into the hold of the tanker, given shovels, and told to shovel coal into the furnace of the ship. The furnace was producing heat in the 1500 F range, and it needed to be constantly fed, and our job was to do the feeding.

Oh my God!

We lasted two weeks. We both made five-hundred bucks for the two weeks. I lost twenty-two pounds; Frank lost eighteen. We never returned.

I was thinking about that job the other day as I was frantically trying to meet a deadline for a couple articles that my customers had requested. I was stressing over it, and wondering why the hell I was doing this when all I wanted to do was write novels….and then it hit me….compared to shoveling coal into a blast furnace, I had it made.

Already making money at twelve years of age mowing lawns
Already making money at twelve years of age mowing lawns | Source

My First Job

I had to do some serious remembering to come up with it, but I finally settled on the summer of my twelfth year. I decided it would be nice to have some cash that summer, so I spent a couple week walking around the neighborhood asking neighbors if I could mow their lawns. My little enterprise grew to six lawns that summer, five bucks per lawn per week, so I was making thirty bucks a week. Not bad for a twelve-year old in 1960.

I did one other lawn that summer, but I did that one for free. Our next-door neighbors were the Witherspoons, a lovely couple, both in their seventies, and my dad thought it would be nice if I did their lawn out of the goodness of my heart. I agreed, they were grateful, and my dad was right. I expanded my business over the winter, shoveling snow for those same neighbors, making enough spare cash to buy the latest records when they were released, and to pay for the movies.

My first paying job for an employer was at the Proctor Bowling Alley in Tacoma, Washington. I was fourteen at the time, and it was my job to fix the machines when a ball got stuck or a pin jammed things up. I was paid something like five bucks per hour, but I got free bowling as a bonus, and I thought that was the greatest job ever invented.

I would have taught school for free
I would have taught school for free | Source

And the Years Passed

I’ve been working for a paycheck ever since the bowling alley days, and it would take several pages to fill out an all-inclusive resume, but let me give you an abridged version.

I was a teacher for eighteen years, first at the junior college level, then high school, and finally middle school. Great job no matter where I was teaching, and it was the most rewarding labor of my lifetime.

I’m currently a freelance writer with three years under my belt, and I love every minute of it, but that cannot be said of all my jobs. I was a truck driver, a wine and beer salesman, a warehouse worker, a real estate agent, and I have shoveled pig shit from farm pens.

I was an office worker, a bookkeeper, a lumberyard gofer and a retail clerk.

I’ve owned four businesses and I’ve handed out flyers for other businesses. I’ve worked on farms and I’ve worked in strawberry fields. One summer I cleared brush by hand from fifteen acres, and one summer I unloaded boxcars. I’ve driven forklifts and I’ve driven semi-trucks. I worked three part-time jobs one year just to break even, and I’ve made a six-figure income and not had a dime in savings.

And I’ve been homeless.

Fifty-two years of labor and counting.

I’m a writer, so naturally I have some reflections about those fifty-two years and countless jobs.

Hardest working man I've ever known...my dad
Hardest working man I've ever known...my dad | Source

A Few Thoughts in No Particular Order

I learned a lesson early on in life. My dad worked in a sand & gravel pit for twenty years after he was discharged from the Army. It was hard, physical labor, and it wore him down so that, by the time he was nearly fifty, he looked twenty years older. I never heard him complain. In fact, quite often I heard him say he was lucky to have the job, and he was grateful for it. He told me it was honest labor, and he told me that there was no such thing as a bad job, that a man could learn something from every act of labor.

I have never forgotten that lesson.

Did I enjoy shoveling coal into that furnace? Are you kidding me? Did I enjoy shoveling pig shit? Did I enjoy working three part-time jobs to support my family?

In those situations, enjoyment is not really a consideration. We do what we have to do to get by. Nobody was forcing me to shovel pig shit. I took the job knowing what it entailed. I needed the money, they needed someone with a strong back, and I was paid for my discomfort. End of story, the perfect exchange of needs.

Another lesson…..

The worst job I ever had was better than being homeless. I speak from experience. I marvel at those people who speak poorly of the homeless, and turn a blind eye to their plight. I’m guessing they have never been homeless. On a similar note, if you’ve ever been homeless, chances are excellent that you will never complain about a job again. It’s called perspective, and today I have it in spades.

Another lesson…..

One does not impress others by complaining about their job. I spent a great deal of time complaining about my warehouse job that I worked during summer vacations from college. I complained right up to the day my dad died, and suddenly I needed that warehouse job to pay the family bills, and lo and behold, they wouldn’t hire me back because of my previous complaining. Lesson learned. If you have visions of advancement, or for that matter, visions of just holding onto your job, keep your mouth shut and do your job.

I'm not ready to retire yet
I'm not ready to retire yet | Source

Final Thought

I try not to be too hard on kids these days. It would be easy for me to sit upon the throne of Solomon and judge them harshly. A subtle shift in attitudes toward work has happened over the years, and I’m not sure how or why it happened. I’ve heard teenagers say they would never work at a place like McDonald’s, that it is degrading and not worth their time.

I simply do not understand that thinking.

I don’t think I’m stuck in the past. The value of hard, honest work has not decreased with the decades. Still, today, I find great satisfaction in doing a job well. We are workers by nature. It is imprinted on our DNA, and I can’t see the value in sitting around doing nothing when accomplishments are waiting for us.

But I’m old, and I probably don’t know what I’m talking about.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      Yes, you do know what you are talking about. I also do not understand kids thinking today either. You talk about homeless, I was almost there. One day from it actually and it scared the beegeebees out of me. That is a long story though and may be in another chapter of my memoirs.

      When you talk about complaining about jobs and such, I tend to think of it as Don't Burn Your Bridges.

      Very nice article and another window into your life.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Indeed, Debra, burning bridges can come back to haunt us many times over. It's just not worth it. Thanks for being here.

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 2 years ago from United States

      As much as I didn't like some experiences from the past, I have to remember they made me what I am today. Whether it was a scut job or a primo job- all were necessary as part of the learning process and now makes up this package - me!

      And if you are old, I'm ancient. And I'm not ancient! So cut that craptalk out. For those who know the year in the 1940s we were born, you will forever stigmatize us so when they look at our names they will say "Oh yeah, those old fogies."

      Old fogies have great potential, so don't knock the age factor. Have a great week!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      You just brought me back and then some to my first job and you are right many lessons and jobs later that I do think I totally learned so very much. I admit I probably still have a ways to go, but still I think we are constantly learning and evolving, but that is just me. Thanks Bill and enjoy your day now!

    • profile image

      dragonflycolor 2 years ago

      I think we've all had some bad jobs here and there, but you're right. No complaining. We are very lucky to have a job, even if it's not THE job. Thanks, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...too funny, Rachael. Power to the old fogies!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We are indeed, Janine, evolution is the name of the game. If you're not growing your molding....so sayeth my mother. :) Have a great day my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mari, thank you my friend. I have been lucky. How many people get to do something they love for as long as I did? Not many I'm guessing.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 2 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Ego doesn't pay the bills, that's for sure.

      My worst job was cleaning surgical instruments at a hospital. I didn't think too much of it back then, but it was gross.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gross and possibly toxic and dangerous...glad you survived, Lizzy. :)

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      As Rachel says, those of us born in the 1940s know what we are talking about. I've had some real crap jobs, too, but I don’t burn bridges either. Once I said I would go on welfare before I would go back to a certain radio station, then I ended up desperate enough to go back as their news director. That’s where I met my husband. So never say “never”.

      My friend Bill, you have a very interesting narrative of your resume. As I’ve stated many times, I am deeply into metaphysics, and I believe that you are fulfilling your life’s sacred contract and learning the lessons you came to this wretched world to learn. You have a loving heart and will take much back with you when you do cross over. I hope it is many years from now because you are a great teacher and I don’t believe your work is finished yet. Voted up++

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I have a similar work story, and I have to say that I enjoyed most of it.

      BTW, I just realized that I'm your senior!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      You're old and you don't know what you're talking about. That just makes me cringe. I don't know how many times my son has told me things are different today than when I was young. He's right. We held jobs long before graduating from high school. As a result, we are well-rounded and have gained many valuable skills.

      I started babysitting when I was 12. Then I moved on to presser and counter person for a dry cleaning store. Next move was dietary aid for a hospital, then donut finisher for Dunkin' Donuts. All that by the time I graduated high school.

      During my young adult years, I was a retail clerk and window dresser for a boutique, employment counselor, customer service rep for an appliance service company, A/R clerk for the same company, copywriter for a production house then an ad firm, parts finisher for a motorcycle shop, drywall finisher for an independent contractor, A/P clerk for a subcontractor, office manager for two landscape firms, A/P clerk for a home builder, accounting manager for a construction management firm, and now freelance writer.

      Every one of those jobs taught me life lessons. Every one of those jobs taught me that perseverance and aptitude open doors. Every one of those jobs showed me there's nothing I can't do.

      So, yeah. We're old. Does today's youth have the stamina we did? Do they have the drive? Do they see value in even the most mundane job? With all I've done in my life, tell me I don't know what I'm talking about, you young lazy ass kids who think you're too good to flip burgers!

      Love this rant, Bill. It's catching!

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Bill, do you mind if I make a copy of this and stuff it down my son's throat? Just asking........

      DJ.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, it has been a fun ride, and I'm not ready for it to end. I have so much more to learn and do. Here's a toast that we both experience so much more in the years to come. Thank you for sharing your "burning bridges" experience.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Will, I think quite a few of us who are a certain age can relate to this tale, and if you are my senior it isn't by much. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Sha, I was literally laughing out loud in my studio at your rant. Lazy ass kids....too funny...and in many cases, too true. I wouldn't trade any of it, the pain, the misery, the ugly jobs, I wouldn't trade any of it...and I know you feel the same. Thanks my friend...classic comment.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      I'm really curious at what point did we quit teaching children the value of hard work. I won't bore you with the details of my assorted jobs, but that "Dirty Jobs" guy on TV has nothing on me.

      Great hub Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, feel free...just don't leave any finger prints in case he doesn't survive. LOL

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, that is a question I've often asked myself. I think many parents wanted their children to have it easier than they had it, but they overcompensated by quite a bit, don't you think? :) Thanks, buddy!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan

      I enjoy every single article you write. I've done many things like yourself as well..voted up and shared!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Your inspiring story personifies the very work ethic that many of us hold dear, Bill, and respect. My friends and I were washing cars, babysitting, mowing lawns, weeding gardens, mucking out horse stalls, and other odd jobs from the time we were 13 for spending money. Our folks wanted us to learn the value of a dollar and earning it, and doing a job well, regardless of what it involved. I think of the jobs I held in my early twenties -- and how I hated some of them, but did them anyway. I wasn’t homeless, but I remember a very lean time when I had to wash laundry by hand and hang it on the small porch at the top of the steps to my apartment because I couldn’t afford the change for Laundromat. I was too proud to ask my parents for money. I, too, try not to judge the youth of today and their disdain for working fast food restaurants…when they should be grateful the work is there to begin with. (They should read this hub.) Excellent hub, Bill! Voted way up and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thanks, Brie! I appreciate your kind words.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Your last sentence made me smile. The youth today may not understand our attitude toward work and the privilege to earn; that may be because they do not have the sense of responsibility that children in our generation had. Not totally their fault; but this is just one of the moral lessons we are obligated to pass on. Thanks for letting your light shine.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, thank you for sharing your work experience, and your thoughts about it. This is a tough world, and how is one going to survive it unless they have some tough experiences? I don't regret any of it. Having said that, I sure don't want to go back to shoveling pig dung. :)

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 2 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      I think the worst job I ever had was working in a commercial butcher business, freezing cold room, bloody floors and equipment.... I am surprised I ever ate meat after that job!

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Bill... thought provoking as I reflected as well at some of the horrid jobs I had over the years. At the end of the day good or bad they allowed me to eat and pay the bills. Yes there s a paradigm shift in the way of thinking today but like you when the chips are down and you are without I will always be thankful to the employers who invested in me. The lessons I learned have never been forgotten.... well done Bill...

      Hugs and Blessings Bro.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I love your last sentence...a moral lesson we are obligated to pass on. Thank you for that my friend, and blessings always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, Mark, most definitely. I drove by a slaughtering plant daily at one time, and the smell alone would make me sick. I can't imagine.

      Thanks buddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Rolly. I'm not sure why some people took a chance on me, but I'm damned grateful that they did. Have a heck of a week my friend, and blessings to you always.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great hub and lesson friend. I have never had a job I did not find something to like about.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting hub, Bill. There does seem to have have been a change in attitude with respect to work today. It's quite sad.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 2 years ago from Iowa

      We have several enterprising young neighbors who have started their own lawn services, pet-sitting businesses, etc. Unfortunately, the brother and sister who started a can and bottle recycling business moved out of state. Now I'm back to recycling my own. I love to see those young entrepreneurs learning the value of hard work and I always try to support them.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Eric, but it comes as no surprise that you say so. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, I find it sad as well, but I don't know the cause of it or the solution.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do too, Deb, and that's too bad the recycling business moved. Hopefully someone will step up and pick up the challenge.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 2 years ago from Orange, Texas

      The simple fact of the matter is that there is a lack of incentive on the part of today's youth. They have it too easy. Why work if you can get something for nothing? The Bible says if you don't work, you don't eat. I think we need to return to that mentality.

      Good points and a great hub, Bill.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 2 years ago from USA

      You've had some interesting jobs. I've had a few jobs that I hated and I've done my share of complaining. Like you I was brought up that I wasn't too good to do any job. Some of the younger generation do think they are too good. Oh well, there are still those that don't.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do too, Ann, and the sooner the better. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Barbara, and as long as they outnumber those who think they are too good, our country will be fine.

    • profile image

      Larry Kitzmann 2 years ago

      Again my friend well done. I've loaded long bed trucks for UPS, cleaned out houses for summer campers talk about shitty jobs, picked beans and took down barbed wire fencing between corn and soybean fields. All jobs that I hated at the time. Yet all jobs that afforded me the chance to get a teaching degree and MSW. That allowed me to find the greatest gig in the world teaching kids and hopefully influencing them to see a more positive future for themselves. Now in retirement I can read all I want, travel with my wife and do my own writing. Those early experiences got me to where I am now and I wouldn't trade that for a million dollars, well maybe---no actually I wouldn't trade any of it. But then I'm just one of those old fogies who believes such experiences make us better in the long run.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I did not like it much working as a chambermaid now I work for myself and feel great. Always something interesting from you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Larry, you are an old fogie I can easily relate to, and I gladly call you friend. Thank you, buddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I understand, DDE, believe me. Thanks for sharing that.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan Robert Lancaster 2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      They say, don't they, there's always someone worse off than you are. My Dad grew up in the Depression, his Dad started off as a farmer's son on their own farm (between Stokesley and Northallerton in the North Riding). By retirement he had worked during WWII and in the 'Boom Years' of the 50's-60's at Dorman Long's steel works, he'd dug ditches, built walls, ran other people's farms. The family farm was passed down to the two youngest sisters after their mother's passing.

      Me? I've lost count of the jobs I've had, but the first was helping demolish the local 'flea-pit' (cinema) at the turn of the 60's, the last at Royal Mail on letter sorting machines on the night shift (paid better than late or early shifts). Mostly, though, I'd done clerical work 'in the print' from the late 60's-early 90's.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      I agree with you Billy your accounts not only convey, but make us or at least me.. go hmmm??? thank you for taking the time out to reflect... it is in fact a reflection

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Even the crappy jobs usually have something good to take away from them. Sorry, I just had to get that in with that shoveling pig shit job that you had.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      The value of hard honest work is just the same as it always was; insurpassable. I've had a few jobs, some well paid, others not and job satisfaction was not necessarily in proportion with the pay.

      My later teaching jobs were wonderful; my first a disaster! In between I've done secretarial work, I've driven vans, I've worked on a battery chicken farm (the worst!) but it's all given me experience one way or another so I regret none of it. However, I did moan about some at the time. Now I know better!

      Great points made here, bill. Any job is better than no job. You might meet people who influence your life for the better. You might find openings you never knew existed.

      I wish I could distribute this to a few people I know - not just young ones either!

      Have a great evening, bill. Very late here so off I go to Bedfordshire!

      Ann

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 2 years ago

      You definitely had some hard jobs. I enjoyed my first summer job because I worked as a library aid and got a chance to read all of the new books that came in. And you're right about a lot of the kids these days. I always say I'd never work at McDonalds or someplace like the, but I would if it was the only job I could find.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, I think those of us who had parents who grew up during the Great Depression were raised a bit differently. Those were hard lessons, and they were passed down to us. I don't have to like the job I'm being paid for; I just have to do the job, and if I don't like it I'm free to move on.

      Always a pleasure having you here my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Frank, and I thank you as well.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL..Flourish, it was, indeed, a crappy job.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann! You made a great point. I became a teacher because I hated a warehouse job I had...that was the incentive I needed to go back to college and finally realize that dream.

      Get headed for Bedfordshire and we'll chat another time.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, I'm with you. Times would have to be mighty tough for me to work under the Golden Arches, but I would if I had to.

      Library aid....I would think that was a great job for a future writer. :)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I think enough bad jobs encourage kids to get an education. None as bad as yours but I have had some bad ones I would just as soon not mention! Live and learn. Thanks for sharing. ^

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great point, Jackie. I love using bad jobs for an incentive for more education. Thanks for the smile.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I got a real kick out of this piece, you are so honest and witty. I will admit you've had some jobs that STUNK. Hee...I think it's a completely evolved generation, kids, not all but most, don't want to work or get dirty. I have a grandson who is a genius, ( Really is, it's not just grandma bragging.) He has no common sense whatever and wouldn't get any dirt on his person for a million bucks. Then i have another grandson who is average and works hard. I think the worst job i ever had was when i was twelve, i detasseled corn with a bunch of other kids. I was not five feet, so the air never hit me. I made fifty cents an hour and was glad to make it. Aha times have changed and maybe for the good. Thank's for sharing. I enjoyed!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I'm glad you enjoyed this. Heck my son couldn't spell hard work with a dictionary, but he always thinks he's overworked in his job as a clerk. Oh my goodness, where did this dad go wrong? LOL

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Kept private 2 years ago from Northeast United States

      Voted up and awesome ! :). Different jobs make us stronger and many stories to share in :). It improves our outlook and makes for some interesting characters. Thank you for sharing I really enjoyed your story of perserveirance.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Wonderful read, dear Bill. I learned early on that anything I wanted in this life, I would have to work for myself to get it and I did and still do. Nothing was ever handed to me on a silver platter. One of my first jobs was a cashier at the A&P Grocery store, where I saved up for my wedding and paid for it myself. It was a small and sweet wedding and I would not go back, if I could, and change it for a million dollar wedding.

      We certainly appreciate much more when we work for it. It is true that we do learn something from each work experience. Perseverance certainly builds a lot of character.

      Blessings always

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. That last line brought a wry smile. It is all so very true. A very refreshing hub this one Bill a little different from your recent hubs.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Carrie....I'm not sure if I'll ever retire. I love the feeling of accomplishment that I get from working.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, you are speaking my language. Working hard for a goal like your wedding made that wedding more special. I love it.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Graham! I have to do some real writing once in a while so I remember how to do it. :)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Excellent article and great lessons to learn. Never mind about the kids. Character dictates that even in current times some people still understand and their input is phenomenal!!

      Nice mention and tribute to your dad. I liked that.

      You've covered so much of your life in so many of your Hubs. An autobiography, perhaps?.

      I've worked for about 44 yrs Bro. I'm catching up! Love to you both.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, one day you will overtake me, but I won't be here to congratulate you. :) Thank you my friend.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      No matter what we do, that feeling we get after we have received the merest reward - even only a thank-you - because we have finished what we have started, that feeling of accomplishment, is very precious and worthy to treasure. No lazy bum will ever get this feeling, and therefore they will live forever with an empty soul..... and without even realizing it. We, who know the wonderful feeling of accomplishment can but only feel sorry for them.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      True words, Martie. I always feel good about finishing a job, no matter what that job may be. I agree with you all the way my friend.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      The work ethic as we knew it seems to have disappeared. It's so difficult to explain to kids who look blank at the concept. I once had a job washing dishes in a restaurant and somehow graduated to cook. ( I couldn't bring myself to use the word chef) Poor patrons.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL Travmaj, I understand about the cook vs chef labeling. No, work ethic means something much different today than it did five decades ago.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      The value of hard honest work has not decreased and we should be proud of whatever we do and do our best. Great hub.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

      I can ass ure you Billy that you ceretainly do know what you are talking about. This hub once again brilliant and I agree with you 100%. I agree that to work is indeed in our DNA and I am sure that if the many in our country who do not work and brag that they never will because they get all they need from benefits did drag themselves to work they would most certainly feel better about themselves. However maybe also Billy I am old and I know what I talk about . Great hub and thanks once again for sharing.

      Eddy.

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      Suzanne Ridgeway 2 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      What an enterprising youngster you were at 12 Bill, I was totally captured by your account of jobs. Such a journey, such a wealth of experiences all with lessons to be learnt. That is what I loved learning in the assortment of jobs I have had through the years.Looking back I like to think they have helped shape where I am today. There was always something to learn from each and every one of them. Thank you my friend for another look into your life which has been an extraordinary one. Love to you as always. Hug and kisses to Bev xx

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally agree, vkwok! Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Eddy, your next to last line was brilliant. I love it and yes, you do know what you are talking about.

      billy

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Irish, I like to think of my life as an extraordinary ordinary life....it doesn't seem that special as I look back, but maybe it was. :) Thank you, Suzie....now, when are we going to see a new hub from you?

      bill

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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Totally agree with your dad that there are no bad jobs. I would follow that up with there is only a bad fit between job and worker. As well, from serving some of the often less aspirational fields such as plumbing and manufacturing, I think there is dignity is ALL forms of work. Again, as you note, it's all in the perspective.

      BTW, I did work at McDonald's for one of my first jobs, surprisingly after I had already worked in a more cushy office environment. I learned a lot about people and process in the short time I was there. Every experience expands your experience and expertise.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, I totally agree with you. I am partially the person I am today because I was humbled on several occasions in the workplace. :) Have a great weekend and thank you.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Bill,

      As usual, I am playing catch up with my responses, but this hub is very special. First of all, I can relate for I have had many jobs. Most of them were full-time with no benefits or interim positions. Yet, the part of this piece that really grabbed my attention was the fact that you mowed the lawn for your next door neighbor for free. I can't help but wonder if these folks may have been distant relatives. My mom's maiden name is Witherspoon. It is indeed a small world after all. LOVE THIS HUB!

      Kim

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      How strange, Kim. I doubt that is a common name....Sam and Delores Witherspoon to be exact. Check it out, and thanks for the fly by. :)

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

      You are not old at all. Bodies may age gracefully but souls always burn as brightly as in youth. Inside I am still about twenty years old but obviously with the knowledge I have picked up over the years. You are a youthful soul to me and you definitely know what you are talking about.

      I liked the personal nature of this. As you tell us, allowing the reader access to the personality of the writer, makes them real and pulls us in much closer to ALL of their writing.

      You are the real deal.

      Anna :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Anna! That was sweet of you to say. I try my friend. I've made mistakes, but hopefully they have made me a better person. I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

      bill

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 2 years ago from Great Britain

      You are not OLD and your values are those we all should have.

      l lost count of how many different jobs you've done, but good for you.

      l just can't understand how someone so hardworking could ever become homeless..? Glad you came through that anyway.

      You are to be admired..

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dim, the homelessness was due to my mistakes and misplaced pride....nobody else's fault but my own. :) Thank you for the kind words.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 2 years ago from Great Britain

      l'm not being kind. I think you are brilliant. A fighter and a good honest worker. Values we've tried to pass on to our children and grandchildren. So far it's working.

      See ya.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dim. I respect you and I'm honored.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Doing work pays the bills, and that is what it is all about. If you don't pay the bills, you have no place to live, THEN you will be homeless. What will one complain about more? All it requires is a very short amount of thought.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I think you summarized it all perfectly. Thank you for your Buddha wisdom this morning. :)

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      Jennifer Arnett 2 years ago from California

      Bill, this was such an encouragement to me. I have worked at the same job, doing something I love, for the last 8 years. I get to help other people pursue their outdoor passions--it's a dream job. However, the pay is pretty low, and I have been ridiculed that I am wasting my life. People wonder why I am still there, even after obtaining a BA degree. Work is work, I wish more people saw that.

      I have always thought that the measure of a man is found in how diligently he does his work when no one is looking. I have given my job all of my might and I hope that counts for something.

      I see others at my work slake off because they only see it as a stepping stone and not the destination. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that apathy can quickly become a habit. I really do fear for my generation.

      I'm carrying over my work ethic to my writing. Never give up, never surrender! Only onward into battle.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jen, I love it. I would gladly work side by side with you at any job. The reward for many jobs is in doing the job well, and knowing that you are building a legacy, which is part of how the rest of the world will see you long into the future. Carry on my friend, and thank you.

    • laidbacklady profile image

      Linda 2 years ago from Plumsted Township, NJ

      This hub is so great, Billy! I had to laugh when I was about a little over halfway through. I have had so many jobs, from babysitting when I was 10 for my drunk neighbor while she worked as a barmaid at a local dive bar--I always tried to stay long enough to make sure she was in bed asleep before I left as she tended to smoke in bed--to a waitress on the graveyard shift where the clientele in the area were pimps and hookers (I was 16 and the tips were huge!)--to fountain girl at Ho Jo's, to home health aide (manual enemas anyone?) to fork truck driving and warehousing (which, by the way, was my favorite job EVER!), to housecleaning, to chamber-maiding, to the Postal Service, to Wawa, to another warehouse, and on and on and on. But that is not what has made me laugh.

      I had to laugh because I work at a medical practice now, about 15 miles from my house. It is a straight shot to work each day, and I can usually go in when I want and leave when I want. The pay is okay for what I do. But almost the first thing out of all of our mouths in the morning is something like "Another fine day in the core!" or "Welcome to Hell" or other such. It occurs to me that it has become such a habit to complain about one's job that it almost requires no forethought. Almost as if you are not "in" or you are not normal if you don't do that. The funny part is, this is probably the cushiest job out of all the jobs I have had, and the best paying. It is a mostly clean work environment, little in the way of noise and distraction, and my coworkers are funny and easy to be around. I have been with this company on and off for around 16 years now and I have always done my job well and been proud of it. Usually we all realize at about the same time that we should not be complaining because at least we are employed.

      As for the younger generation, they seem to want to scope out everything before they even begin to apply for work anywhere. I have heard enough of them say that they will never work for McD's or would not be caught dead at BK. blah blah blah. I have done many jobs, maybe not as many as you (I'd probably be dead now if I had!! lol!) and no crap shoveling, but I have taken something away from each one. How to work hard, how to drive a fork truck, how to tear down a mail inserting machine and reassemble it, how to listen to people and be understanding and caring and compassionate, how to get along with basically everyone anywhere. I do not think I would be who I am today if I had not had all that diversity throughout my life.

      Youth today would do well for themselves to read your hub, which I shall have my daughter read when I am finished here. I have voted you up and everything across the board! I will be reading more of you as I am woefully behind on everything here on HP. You Rock!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      laidbacklady, thank you! I don't know about you, but I loved driving fork trucks. I don't know why exactly, but that was one of my favorite jobs, even when I dumped loads. LOL

      For God's sake, don't tell your daughter my name. She might hire a hit man to snuff me out after reading this. :)

      Seriously thank you, and thanks for sharing your experiences and reflections.

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