Work. It’s literally a four-letter word, isn’t it? My first ‘job’ was when I was 12 years old. You guessed it, as a babysitter. The family that I babysat for was conveniently located just across the street from our house, so that made life easy for them and my parents with no one having to drive me back and forth whenever they needed me to sit for them.
It was an experience, that’s for sure, particularly since it started as babysitting for their three kids (ages 5, 3 and 1) and morphed into kids ages 6, 4, 2 and newborn. It did make me realize that I enjoyed taking care of children, and looked forward to years down the road having some of my own.
During High School, when I became the ‘legal age’ to work (16) my introduction to paying taxes on my income was as a cashier for a store called Pay’N'Save (in the Pacific Northwest – they’ve since shuttered their business). When I was hired they even sent me to downtown Seattle for a 3-day Customer Service Training program. That was back when Customer Service meant something – you know, where they emphasize that the customer is always right, even when they’re wrong.
A concept that seems to not be the case anymore, or at least there seems to be no ‘training’ for people in Customer Service to actually serve the customers.
It was an interesting job, especially when some girl rode her horse into the store in protest. Yeah, fun times.
After I graduated from High School, my parents had decided us kids were going to be responsible for our own college education, since they had paid for our private schooling for our primary education. The only problem was that I knew I wouldn’t make a good waitress (can you say accident-prone?), and I definitely didn’t want to work at a fast-food place. Many of my friends were doing that, and they were miserable. Misery was not an option.
Of course the brick wall I ran into looking for an office-type job was that you couldn’t get a job without experience, but you couldn’t get experience without a job. Thankfully my childhood dentist was willing to give me a chance, since he mentioned, while I was in his dentist chair, that he heard I was looking for work and he happened to need a part-time Office Assistant in his office.
Six months later the Office Manager mentioned that the Electronics Distribution company her daughter worked for was looking for a receptionist. She said she hated to lose me since I was such a great worker, but she knew I needed to find a full-time job in order to pay for school. I set up the interview and was hired on the spot. It was there that I was educated on the fact that sometimes titles on business cards mean nothing. My title on my business cards? Communications Manager.
Over the many years I worked hard and worked my way up the ladder, so to speak. Doing everything from Secretarial Assistant, Executive Assistant, Inside Sales, Outside Sales, Branch Manager, Marketing Manager – in various types of industries, which makes for a very diverse background. I worked while going to school and worked non-stop until the arrival of Princess Nagger.
That’s when a different type of ‘work’ commenced.
While I was on Maternity Leave, the hubby and I talked long and hard about should I stay home or go back to work – at the end of the day, since I was working a lot more than 40 hours per week, staying home seemed to be the saner of the two choices. Plus I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss all the milestones by not being there for them. Or these kinds of moments:
Of course me being who I am, I had to add more to my plate by starting a mixed bag business of Web and Graphic Design, Custom Barbies, Custom Gift Baskets, and my all-time favorite, Winemaking.
I thought working 60+ hours a week in the Corporate World was exhausting. Little did I know leaving that world would be even more so.
Hard work? Oh yeah. Worth it? Definitely.
This Work Spin Cycle was brought to you in part by the lovely Gretchen at Second Blooming, who always has a lot on her plate, too. Check out what the other Spinners are Working on – let’s meet up for drinks after work – I’ll bring wine.