Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Workin' for a Living

I would like to discuss the subject of jobs today.  Jobs are on my mind specifically because I highly dislike mine.  Don't get me wrong - I'm extremely thankful to have a job in this economic climate, and I will work there as long as I need to in order to contribute to my family.  However, I still really don't like it.

It's not that the people are bad.  Actually, I like all of my coworkers except for one specific woman, who thinks she's really special because she's worked at Costco for four years.  Hi-five, lady.  You rock.  And you are ever so much smarter than the stupid new girl, so you totally deserve to treat her like crap.  The work itself is mostly fine, except that a monkey could do it.  If my goal in life was to find a job that required little to no intelligence, I have succeeded.  Hurray.

What I really hate is the hours.  I go to work sometime in the afternoon until around 10pm.  I used to think it would be great to have a job where I could have mornings off to get things done and run errands.  This was before I got married and realized I like making dinner for my husband and eating it with him.  I don't get to do that anymore.  Also, everyone I know works during the day.  Should I ever choose to call someone or visit them, I remember they're working and won't be available until I head off to my own job.  Insert sad face.  Also, I'm very much a morning person and not so much a night person.  Really after 8pm I'm worthless anyway, so my employers aren't getting much for their money either.

I know we all have to pay our dues.  I know sometimes we have to suffer through jobs we don't love.  The problem is that I'm one of those weird people who thinks life is too short to waste it on a job you hate.  Yes, I'm very much a dreamer.  I think if you're going to spend the majority of your time doing something, it might as well be something you enjoy, or at least something you can tolerate.  Poor Sam has tried to convince me that some people go through life just doing a job and they don't like it and it's just the way it is.  My dad used to try to tell me that, too.  "That's why it's called 'work'," he'd say.  Much as I'd love to adapt to this way of thinking, my mind refuses to cooperate.

There are just tooooo many cool jobs out there, people!  I know - I've had them!  Just for funsies, let's go through my list of employment.  Bear with me; this could take awhile.

  • Cleaning my uncle's house and the office building he owned, once a week (pretty swell job, just cleaned every Saturday while performing entire musicals for my mom, who cleaned with me.  Some favorites were Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Les Mis, and Bye Bye Birdie.)
  • Cleaning the lodges at Hume Lake (pretty much the same as above)
  • Lifeguard/swim instructor (SUPER fun!  Played with kids, laid out in the sun, hung out with all my awesome friends, didn't have to go inside once.  HIGHLY recommend this position to any 16-20 year-olds out there)
  • Student assistant, CSULB (got to do my homework when there wasn't work to do, worked with one of the coolest people ever, Kidada)
  • Lifetouch Portraits, JC Penney (loved taking pictures, hated how fast and non-creative it was)
  • Main St. Coffee Cup (got to deliver coffee to businesses on Main St. in Porterville, one of the cutest streets around - great times!)
  • Fashion Network (wasn't so good at putting together outfits, but basic retail clothing store, working with one of my best friends)
  • New York & Company (clothing store in the mall, HATED this job, mostly because I hate malls)
  • Rainbows Florist (delivered flowers to crazy expensive houses in Seal Beach, assembled bouquets - toooo stressful)
  • In-n-Out corporate office (temp job with my cousin.  Worked in the accounting dept. Good money and a free burger, fries, and drink every day!) 
  • Christmas Tree Lot - (HANDS DOWN BEST JOB EVER!!!! I sat at a cash register all day surrounded by Christmas trees and Christmas music.  Did nothing but hang out with my aunt, eat candy canes, knit 50 scarves, and drink hot cocoa allll day.  GREAT money, too!)
  • Forward Advantage, Inc. (pretty sweet job working for a medical software company, got to do some marketing as well)
  • Starbucks (flexible and loved all my coworkers.  Tons of free coffee and hung out with friends all day.  Only drawback was the hours and the fact it was open 365 days a year)
  • Bank of the Sierra (LOVED counting money! Sort of stressful handling so much cash, though)
  • Mt. Gilead (bomb people, free food, and in the middle of the redwoods in Sonoma County)

I think that's everything, though I'm probably forgetting something.  I also think the only person who can rival my list of the most random jobs would be Sam.  But most of these jobs had some great things about them.  Even though there were difficult things with each one, the pros outweighed the cons.  This is one of those jobs that I'm finding difficult to tolerate.  I've tried everything I can think of.  I try to be as positive as possible, have as much fun as possible with coworkers and customers, and try to focus on why I'm working - for Sam and our family.  But for some reason I'm having a hard time not dreading each day I go to work!

So help, people!  How do you all deal with jobs you can't stand?  What little sayings do you repeat over and over until you can make it?  I don't know how long I have to be at Costco, but I don't want it to be this miserable forever.  Help me make the best of it!

I do know what one of my dream jobs is (believe me, I've got at least twenty).  I would LOVE to be a freelance writer.  Sitting at coffee shops tapping away on my computer, creating my own schedule (or maybe following one set up by my editor).  That sounds like heaven to me.  Maybe someday...I can dream.  Insert smiley face.


  1. Hey Kibbers! I can definitely relate to this post as I feel I have had several jobs that I loathe since moving to Houston. I went from an awesome job at Starbucks with the most amazing co-workers living in a city I loved near my family TO living in Houston far from my friends and family, a city I hate, with jobs that don't fit me at all. I have told Jared that with some of my jobs I feel like someone is trying to cram me into a shoe that doesn't fit or something. So I get it.

    For me, I would pray, pray, pray for God's strength to get through it and for Him to help my attitude be positive (SO HARD). I would also pray that God would show me why He has me here: what am I supposed to be learning, who am I supposed to be witnessing to, etc. Sometimes when you know there is a purpose to your misery it can help. Also, having an incredibly supportive and loving husband helps too and I know you have that in Sam, so that is awesome.

    Over the summer I took a class called Servant Leadership and I loved it. One of the books we had to read was called The Congruent Life. In it the author discusses the difference between a vocation and a job. A vocation is your passion/God's calling in your life, while a job simply pays the bills. He includes a whole section of Frederick Buechner's writing and within it is one of my favorite quotes of him talking about a vocation as the place God calls you. Buechner says, "The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet" (p. 41).

    Personally, I am still searching for my vocation...God's calling in my life. I hope I find it soon because just working to pay the bills is not enjoyable (although I must admit I am really enjoying teaching this semester - so who knows, maybe that will be my calling - we'll see).

    If all else fails at least try to have tons and tons of fun with Sam. Get ice cream, go on walks, dates, laugh together, focus on your blessings together, etc. It will help a lot. :)

    Love you Kim!!!

  2. Hi Kimmy,

    How fortunate you are to have had so many jobs that you liked! I've seriously disliked most of mine. My first job when I got married was by far the worst ever! I hated Burton because I hated half my students and literally could not stand being around ignorant-but-thought-they-were-oh-so-cool 8th grade boys who had no respect for any authority. Sometimes Mike wonders how he stayed married to me that year because I was so miserable to be around. I did the same thing you are - looking for ways to improve it but still dreading work every day. The only thing that made it tolerable was my one class of good kids - kids I have again this year as seniors and who I still like. Most of the time, it wasn't enough for me to call it a good day. And on those days, I remembered that I had told Mike I would try it for one year and if I hated it, I would quit and look for something else. Conveniently, I got a much better job at the end of the year.

    I'm sorry that you have a crappy job, but I know that eventually you'll be where you feel at home. Maybe in another department or maybe at another place, but it's usually when you're not looking for it that the perfect opportunity comes along. Keep your eyes open! And when you're not at work, do what you love and make your day great :)


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