…Or is it?
My Dad always told me, “Find a job that you love and the money will take care of itself.” Dad is a very wise man. I found lots of jobs, some of them I truly loved, some of them I just liked, but all of them were a challenge in some way. I’m sure this is mostly because of the employee (me), rather than the employer or the job itself.
Recently, one of my Blog-challenged friends shared her job life experiences and asked if any of us had anything to share. I’ve shared some of my job experiences already, but there are a few that got me thinking, so, here you go…
Job Number One ~ I was 16 and Burger King was hiring so my girlfriend, Laura and I applied. We both got hired. We were both excited. And then, we saw our uniforms…
Laura and I are both redheads, though our shading of red is very different. She is of the strawberry blonde, blue-eyed variety, I am the auburn, hazel-eyed type, both of us are fair-skinned. I guess you can tell, neither of us looked good in this. By the way, this is not a picture of either one of us, but this was the uniform of Burger King workers in the 1970’s. We only got one uniform, after a few months, it didn’t look very good.
But, another thing Dad told me, “Stay at a job for at least a year, and have another one in place before you give your two weeks notice.” Of course, I listened to Dad. Adorning myself in polyester for a solid year, I felt I had done my time and moved on. Just as a side note, I can still make a Whopper if anyone wants to know.
Job Number Two ~ My first and only year of college, I worked Saturdays at The Hamburger Train restaurant. I did not make Whoppers there. I was a waitress. I started at 6:00 a.m. and was done by 2:00 p.m. I got $1.00 an hour plus tips. Fortunately, my tips were enough to fill my gas tank and pay for my school books. After a little more than a year, I saw an add for a Proofreader. There was a test involved. I had no idea how to be a proofreader, but I like words so I thought, “Why not?” I applied and took the test.
Job Number Three ~ Proofreader for FLM Datagraphics. I passed the test. I’m still not sure how. But, they hired me. I read for 8 hours a day. I’m pretty sure this job had a negative affect on my eyesight because this is when I started wearing glasses. I worked there for 6 months and they asked me if I’d like to transfer to another office of theirs in Parsippany, which was much closer to my house and brings me to…
Job Number Four ~ Receptionist/Proofreader/Secretary for DataCom. My boss was Wally Braunstein, a married, late 50-something year old, heavy-set, grey-haired man. Wally had never had a secretary that lasted more than 6 months. Wally was grumpy most of the time. Wally was a mumbler, a grumbler, and a yeller. Wally was my favorite.
I made it my mission in life to make Wally smile at least once a day. It was quite the challenge. I made his coffee every morning and cheerfully greeted him when he came in.
“Good Morning, Wally!”
So began and ended our daily morning conversation.
Wally liked to stand over my shoulder when I was typing things up for him and say, “Hurry up!” at least three or four times with gusto. I didn’t like this, but I figured he was just nervous and let it go. Until one day.
One day, Wally was in a particularly bad mood and breathing down my neck as I typed up a letter. He yelled his quota of “Hurry ups”, added, “Can’t you go any faster??!!!” and ended with, “DID YOUR STUPID PARENTS RAISE YOU DUMB OR SOMETHING!” It was then that he ripped the finished letter out of my typewriter and stomped into his office, slamming his door.
I am a fairly easy going person, but that last statement sounded the death knell for Wally Braunstein. Wally was slightly shocked when I entered his office and slammed his door. He was flabbergasted as I stood in front of his desk, and said fairly loudly and not very cheerfully, “DON’T YOU EVER, EVER, SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT MY PARENTS AGAIN. EVER. DO YOU HEAR ME!” And then I left his office and went back to my desk.
Anyway, as you can imagine, my relationship with Wally was never the same after that. Wally apologized to me and he greeted me every morning with as much cheerfulness as he could muster. Wally sat by my desk and talked to me. He shared stories of his life and his understanding of the rich Jewish heritage that was his and seemed to listen as I explained to him the new Christian faith that was mine. I loved Wally. Truly. I worked at FLM for 2 years right before and a little while after Cliff and I got married.
After we had two of our children, I went back to visit Wally. I was told by one of the other secretaries that Wally had passed away. I cried. Sometimes jobs are more than “just a job”. Sometimes a job is a very big deal.
What a story! You know how to win people over. That’s a big deal.