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Working for a Living

September 21, 2008

I’m sure you’ve all had enough of my self-promotion lately, and quite frankly I have too. I mean, I kept meaning to say other stuff too, but what with being sick for the last week, actually having two jobs, and never having quite enough time to even work out the lyrical ideas in my brain (which, as you should probably assume if you don’t already know, definitely comes first) coming up with real blog content didn’t really fit into the picture. It sounds like one big excuse, but when I actually start prioritizing life and not just doing what I feel like doing, blogging isn’t the first to go… but it does go quickly. Sad, right?

But for tonight, anyway, I figured we could talk jobs.

First of all, I’m working retail again, and while I could certainly be making more money at the Applebees across town, I just couldn’t see myself serving in another sports bar. I was miserable the last time I tried, and I know that could have been management and the people I was working with, it could have been that life in general wasn’t so easy (because it definitely wasn’t) but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was doomed to repeat feeling all of that if I went back to that kind of job. So, need money as I do, I decided to take the retail road for the next few months, hoping it would work out for me.

And you know what? I’m not making astronomical amounts of money (does astronomical even work there? probably not…) (and HELLO, my little brother basically fell face first into a job that’s paying him FIVE MORE DOLLARS AN HOUR than I’m making) but I have been very surprised to realize that I LOVE MY JOB. It’s true. It has nothing to do with the incredible employee discount I get, nothing to do with the fact that I’m folding clothes and unlocking fitting room doors and standing at the door saying “Hey! How are you this afternoon?” over and over and over again… it has everything to do with the fact that (and I completely lucked out on this one) I work with really fun, incredible people who are open, interested, and interesting. It’s a fairly small staff, no room for clicky behavior, everybody is an ADULT (no one under 18 can even apply. SCORE) and I seriously feel like I belong there already. That’s never happened with me at a new job… jobs I went back to after some time had passed? yeah, but never a new job. Also, the managers are all basically my age, so it’s really easy to see them as girls just trying to make money and live their lives, rather than old scary people watching my every move. And they all seem to really enjoy what they do… which makes being there a much more enjoyable experience.

What makes me a bit sad is that I can see myself working where I work indefinitely, but I won’t be able to afford to work there once I move. It’s fine for saving money while I don’t have rent to pay, but it just doesn’t pay enough for me to move across the country and live on my own.

Unless I apply to manage.

When I was younger, especially once I started working retail, I’d look at retail managers and wonder how miserable their lives must be. I imagined them to be bitter people who weren’t intelligent enough to find real, fulfilling jobs. I realize now that part of the perception I had was the store I was working in, the actual bitterness of certain managers, the actual dim-wittedness of a few others… but I was stereotyping them all. I thought that because that store was wildly mismanaged, all retail stores must be.

It’s not true.

And, okay, I would never want retail management to be my life’s work. We all know what I want my life’s work to be. And while I will start applying for “real jobs” in my field in the Nashville area in November or December, if I can’t find anything, I will talk to my managers about opportunities in that area. I’ll have a degree, I’ll have retail experience, and it would be REALLY nice to pull in 20-30,000 a year. I used to look at that number and think it was nothing, and considering what my parents make now, it still seems like nothing… but I can’t expect to live like this right away. And I’m fine, as long as I can live, and I have time to do my own thing, my music thing too.

I do have more to say on the job front– I mean, we should talk about the internship, right? But it’s late and I’m tired, and this is long already.

So, has a job ever surprised you?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Hazel permalink
    September 21, 2008 2:20 pm

    The summer after freshman year in college I worked at a golf course as a beverage cart girl and banquet server. I was mostly looking forward to the tips, which were amazing, but I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy being outside, riding around the course, meeting different members or the course, etc.

    It was seriously the best job ever! If I could make as much money as I’m making now, I’d go back in a heartbeat.

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