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What do I want to be when I grow up?
I wanna be a Princess!
As a young person I was asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My response was usually the same “I don’t know”. From time to time I’d have an idea that maybe I’d like to be a Teacher or Nurse, I really wanted to be a Princess but I don’t think there was too many openings for that! If you weren’t born one then you’d have to marry one, since I lived in the United States we don’t have Royalty, so you could see my dilemma. It just wasn’t going to happen.
I'm not smart enough?
As I entered my Junior year in high school, my visits to the Counselors office increased with serious discussions of a career path being the topic. I felt like a fish out of water. I had never really given any serious thought to what I wanted to do. In 1978 there weren’t a whole lot of options open to me as a female. My little school didn’t offer many choices, if they did I wasn’t informed of it.
My Dad had told me “Computers are the way of the future”, learn all you can. My school did not offer anything in the way of computers, we didn’t even have any in the office. In my Senior year whenever there was a paper jam in the copy machine, they called one of us from the Secretarial class down to figure it out. We didn’t even have a copy machine in our class, but we managed to figure it out.
There were the standard careers - Secretary, Teacher, Counselor, Nurse etc. when I mentioned to her that I’d really like to be a Veterinarian she looked at me and said “You aren’t smart enough to be that“. Well heck, that blew my idea right out of the water. All I wanted from her was to point me in the right direction, not tell me I was stupid.
Don't tell me I'm stupid!
There are some people that you can tell that to and they will do what they can to prove you wrong, becoming a huge success. There are others who will sink into themselves and do nothing, failing at life. Then there are those who fit into my category, we spend our lives learning everything we can. Not one thing, but everything. Our minds are a sponge, absorbing everything possible, all because one person told us we weren’t smart enough.
When I tell people some of the jobs I have held I am either looked at with amazement or disbelief. Each one I had, being a learning experience for me. Out of all the jobs I have had I’ve discovered the one I liked most, was to some would seem the most menial. To get there I’ll have to back track a bit.
List of jobs... yep, it's long
In order of sequence, here are a list of the jobs I’ve had throughout my working life beginning at the ripe young age of 16.
Dairy Delight - An ice cream parlor making a whopping $1.75 an hour, I was allowed to keep my tips. I think I made a whole .16 cents during the entire summer working.
Bell Ringer - Emergency job in my senior year with the Salvation Army.
Herriman’s Dairy - I learned to like washing dishes at home (after 8 hours of washing a never ending steady stream of dishes you might be able to understand this)
Coney Island - I was only at this place 3 weeks as a line cook
K-Mart - Ladies Department (women can be SO gross in the changing room, they didn‘t even bother asking for toilet paper)
Black Hawk Securities - I was that aggravating person who called at dinner time asking you about a Burglar Alarm, which accidentally led me to my next job since I had a nice phone voice.
Sanders Mfg. - Secretarial duties along with answering the phone and typing. During this time I held 3 jobs K-mart, Black Hawk AND Sander’s, all part time.
Advance Shoe Factory - I learned that sewing machines in a factory go 100 times faster than a regular ‘at home’ machine. After ruining about 100 pairs of shoes they decided to take me off the sewing aspect of it.
Avon- I really stink at selling stuff.
K-Mart - Back again, this time as a cashier.
Then off to college to become a Nurse - That didn’t work out so well when I had to write a research paper on Nursing. I didn’t much care for everything a Nurse had to do. Taking Psychology was real eye-opener and I truly enjoyed that, taking much of what I learned into use within my own life.
I had a few years off from working after that, raising a couple of kids.
Since I was so good at the phone sales thing, I thought I’d try my hand at working for our local Cemetery, making those annoying phone calls. It went great listening to the funny answering machine messages and such. The day came when I made the phone call to a lady who was in the middle of a funeral dinner after just burying her husband. End of that job.
Tupperware- I really stink at selling stuff (Oops, I already said that)
Nursing Home - I was 23, come on!! The old man with his pants down around his ankles and shirt under his arm pits cured me of ever wanting to do this work again. Men - Take a tip from me, WEAR TIGHTER UNDIES!!! Remember Grandma’s boobies hanging to her knees? The same thing happens to men…only lower.
Gas station - 3rd shift, that was Ok, till I got a better offer to work at another gas station.
Diner- Waitress, that was fun I got to hang out with people, made fairly decent tips.
Publix- Grocery store, was fun working in the bakery. I learned a lot about the people in the Jewish community. Egg bread is Delicious!
K-mart - In another State (Florida) Infant Dept. really boring.
Home Depot - Cashier, great except for the hour bus ride there and back each day.
Adult Foster Care - This job is not for the faint of heart. Taking care of young men whose brains are not developed is challenging. I quickly learned to love them and still hold them close in my heart. Doug, Randy, Wes, Mark, Bill and Danny I will carry you with me the rest of my life. I know that God has a special place just for you.
Amway- Did I mention I stink at selling stuff?
Convenience store - 2nd shift. When my son called to ask me “Mom why isn’t the microwave working?” upon arriving home, discovering that an uncracked egg will blow the door off the microwave, that job went by the wayside.
Back at the same convenience store for 3rd shift Supervisor - I sold more pizzas than anyone ever did!
Factory- First Denso then Tokia Rika - My first night there I went into a panic, thinking that I would be spending the rest of my life putting those screws into those radiators. After getting hired in at Tokia Rika and working with those who felt their free time should be spent drinking I decided the factory life was not for me.
Burger King - This was great, it was fast paced and kept me busy, I was quickly promoted to Shift manager. Upon discovering that every manager was stealing, including the Store manager, I found another job.
Dollar General - This was supposed to be a temporary job, setting up a new store I ended up being Asst. Manager then becoming Manager of another new store in another city. It was a lot of responsibility but I was up for the challenge. When my mother broke her hip I left that job to help take care of her.
Night dispatcher/security guard - My husband worked for a trucking company and they were looking for someone to sit in the guard shack and log all the trucks in and out. Boring, but I did get in a lot of reading. That job ended 9/11/2001.
Convenience Store - Cashier. 2nd shift. My Dad got to see my paycheck for 1 week, he said “Is that all you made?” It really wasn’t worth my time for the pay, I was never going to get a raise, they didn’t believe in raises.
Melaluca- I should have known, I stink at selling stuff. But if nothing else I am persistent!
The Most fun job - legally
Strip Club - This was actually the best job/most fun I ever had and kept it the longest as well. I started out as a waitress moving up to bartender. The only thing that was required of me was to bring drinks to the customers. I was allowed to keep my clothes on! I got to see the best of people here, they were all on their best behavior, most trying to impress the girls. Occasionally some would come in to see me, much rather tipping the bartender. There was the occasional jerk who thought because it was a strip club it meant we were all hookers.
All of the girls were there to earn the money. There were a couple who were taking classes. Those that did leave for what they thought was a ‘better’ job always returned. Unless you were a Doctor or Lawyer the money here was better. There aren’t many places that can net you $1,000 a night for dancing, particularly in our neck of the woods. None of them paid taxes, so what they earned was theirs to keep. The only downside to this was looks, they only last for so long, after that you need some sort of talent.
Some of the girls had boyfriends who had a blast spending their money, these girls didn’t see that. Until it was too late. They’d come in empty handed, car gone, clothes gone, money gone, needing to work. Someone would loan them an outfit or two for the night, until they made enough money to buy their own. Usually 1 turn on the stage or a private dance was enough to do that.
For some women this was a career, for some it was just a stepping stone to a better life. Some thought of it as a last resort, until the money started rolling in. Then they’d take it seriously. Some of the women had been doing this for over 20 years.
The last few years
School Bus Driver - For this I had to get a special license, a Class B CDL. This was a great job, until I got shot at.
Insurance Sales person - This job paid fairly well and I did get to meet a lot of people. I kept this job until I got my next job.
Grandma- This job is hard, but fulfilling. I get to spend time with my Grand children while their Mother’s work. At times it’s frustrating because my time is not always my own. Just going to the store can be a major under taking. This job allows me the freedom to do what I love.
Writing - This has become a full time job for me, all the other things I have done in life have prepared me for what I am doing now.
There were a few other jobs that weren't mentioned, but not really important to this Hub.
You can Be a Rodeo Clown if.. you sleep at a Holiday Inn Express!!
What is your Career Path?
So you may be asking yourself - “What should I do with my life?” “What is my career path?” Only you can answer that, not a counselor nor a writer. You could set yourself on a path and never veer from course or you can take the path less chosen. Whatever you do, make sure that above all you are enjoying what it is that you do. Life is too short to be miserable in a career that you have chosen.
The world will always need Ditch diggers, I have been a ditch digger (not in a literal sense of course), doing the menial jobs that don’t pay a lot. Some I have enjoyed, some not. Those that I didn’t enjoy, I left quickly. I have found that I can do anything I set my mind to. I haven’t even tried getting a job as a Rodeo Clown but maybe if I sleep at a Holiday Inn Express…..
Live without Regrets
What will I be when I grow up? I’m not sure at this point. I may end up being the next ‘Grandma Moses’, taking up painting in my aging years. Who knows? Maybe I’ll become a great Author and receive the Nobel Peace Prize for writing something life altering.
Am I success? Absolutely! Why? Because I have no regrets. There is no job that I have done that has caused me regret for not staying, even though I left each one for various reasons, each reason was valid at the time. If you live your life regretting, then you are not really living, you are regretting not living.