Worse for Work

So there may be an opportunity on my horizon. My old boss, Chris, has a wife who works at Ingles (grocery store for those of you in other parts). She talked to her boss about me and I am going to go in and talk to her on Monday. I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity. I need a job and I need money. The money I have saved up in my bank account will only get me so far.

Not to mention my overwhelming boredom, the failure of the YWCA to return my attempts to contact them about my volunteer application, and the tension that can rise between my boyfriend and I about the fact that I have been out of work a month tomorrow. A whole month! Ugh!

And while I am thankful for the chance to possibly get a job. I am wary of working at a grocery store again. My first job was at a Food Lion 9 years ago. And it was mostly a fiasco. It does not help that my manager was kind of nuts or that the store was located just off of an island and completely slammed all the time. People could be rude or on drugs (seriously) or stealing or trying to scam you. If your drawer wasn’t right you were shouted at and accused of stealing. Maybe I just had a bad first experience and I’m a bit gun shy now…

I also remember next to nothing about the job. I mean…take the thing, run it across the scanner, someone bags it, take money. But there’s the whole WIC, food stamps, checks, cashier’s checks, traveler’s checks, and all that to deal with. I’d have to get back into the swing of remembering all that. Although if I just shove all the old and useless ice cream information out of my mind I will probably have room for it. And it might be easier with the newer cash registers. When I was working at a grocery store we were using the older technology. No touch screens or anything like that.

Then there’s this, here. Anna Sam is an inspiration! And I have such a similar story. I took that job at the ice cream store to make money while I studied literature and then just sort of got stuck doing it. Of course at the end of working at the grocery store, she has a best-selling book. Whereas, I’m jobless and considering taking over her old job as a grocery store check out girl… She gives me hope. But mostly a sense of dread. Especially because I’ve lived those customer service stories so many times before. Women chucking money in your face because they don’t get free things on their birthday. Men having their 6 year old daughter call and cuss you out because the product you sell is too expensive even though you’re just a peon in a corporation that decides how much money you have to make for themevery year… I was really hoping to move away from that sort of thing by this point in my life…

I also sort of feel bad because the second I could get something better I would be out of there. That could be a week and it could be two years. Who knows? I know it was annoying when I was managing when I would ask a potential new hire how long they wanted to stay only to be let down. Of course the person would always respond with “Oh, at least a year!” and then a month and a half later out the door they went. It was annoying because training costs a lot of money. Someone, usually some sort of manager unless you have certified trainers, has to take the time to train the person for a few days up to a week. And while they are doing that the business has to put someone else on the schedule to cover the job that person would normally be doing. Then, on top of all that, training is paid these days. So you’re basically paying three people to help the same amount of customers one person would help. To have that person you just trained walk out is a total loss of money and time.

I’m sure it is silly to feel bad about that. A job is a job and money is money.  They can always hire someone else. I think it mostly stems from the fact that I am getting a recommendation. I feel like that sort of puts even more pressure on me to do well. Or not screw them over, regardless of how good my reason for doing so is. My success and actions would reflect on me, but also on this other person.

It would be minimum wage, probably part time work no way related to what I want to do with my life. It’s depressing that money is so important that we end up doing something we don’t like or even hate just to get things we need to exist until we retire. Or die.

Yes, it is better than what a lot of people have in the world. A friend of mine was telling me how she has a number of homeless children in her class. How horrible! Kids living in shelters and hotels with their mothers, still trying to go to school so they can hopefully do better for themselves. But that’s my point. Jobs don’t just get thrust at you. There is always competition. Always someone better or cheaper to hire in your place. So when anything at all comes along we have to launch ourselves at it and hold on for dear life, no matter what it is. Just to survive.

If I could figure out a way to live a self-sustaining lifestyle with some like minded neighbors that would be amazing. We could all grow and raise different things. And trade for what we need… right…. let me use my several million dollars to buy acres of land, the crops, animals, machines, buildings, and materials necessary… In the mean time I would really just appreciate the chance to prove myself in the field of my choosing so I can maybe enjoy my life’s work as opposed to dreading my waking hours.

This post has taken a slightly morbid turn. It has just made me think about how silly life can be. When we are kids we are told to do what makes us happiest and reach for the stars and we will succeed no matter what. And here we are.

It’s exciting to have the possibility of work so close to my grasp. No need to turn your nose up at any sort of job when you’re getting desperate for money. Yet I can’t help feeling that I am taking a few steps back at the same time.