Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wasting my time, in the waiting line- Zero 7

"If this were my career, I'd have to throw myself in front of a train"- Jim Halpert

I think I just had an epiphany (or as Michael Scott would say "epiphrary"). I was doing my daily blog check and one of my favorite blogs that I aspire to be like, http://galadarling.com, had an entry on how she got to where she is (I know, I'm referring to the blog and the writer as if they are one, get over it). In this post, she had a link to an article that made so much sense to me.

I'm 23 years old and I'm burnt out on the work world. I've been out of school for a little over a year and already I'm ready to retire... but not so fast, I don't have any money. Let's trace back my work history, shall we?

When I was 15, I started working at the rectory of my church. It was 2 blocks away so I walked there before I got my license. I'd only work at few hours a week and the pay was ok for what i was doing. Basically my job was to answer the phone and greet visitors. The occasional homeless person would insist on coming in when I was there alone so a frantic call home would be made and sometimes, a 911 call. Other than that, the job was cushy. I did my homework, watched tv on a tiny portable tv, and listened to the radio (I can only imagine the fun I would have had if I had a modern laptop back then). There were quite a few times when I would curl up on the floor and nap- seriously! I usually wore pajama pants and comfy clothes so working at 9am meant it was time to go back to sleep. I worked there on and off until I was about 20.

When I was a freshman in college, my Mom told me to try applying at a pizza place. This was not a neighborhood joint- it was a world famous Chicago pizza, uh, joint. I worked there for a little over 2 years. I made some awesome friends there who I could commiserate with about how suckie our managers were and how horrible it was to not be 21, HA. I found out someone less qualified than me, who frankly, did not speak very good English, and who was only working at the restaurant for a few months, was making more money than I was. One day, Tarah and I visited our manager's office to ask for evaluations and hopefully raises. We were basically shot down which caused me to break out into a speech about how "I've tried to help you out in so many ways over the year. I've gone out of my way and this is how you repay me?" to which the owner/manager responded saying "Well if that's how you feel, then maybe you should go work somewhere else". We left and I was upset to say it nicely. I worked again that evening and spoke with another manager who supported me in my decision to think it over but most likely stop working there. A few days later the owner/manager tried to apologize to me and I told him I put a lot of thought into it and that I know this is how things were always going to be and that tonight was my last night. He said that if I was sure then I could just go home- sweet! A saturday night off!

While working at that lovely restaurant, the maitre'd from a popular, fine dining restaurant down the street came in one night to book a private party. One the night of his party, he was super nice to me and even went as far as tipping me when he left. I jokingly said "wow, I don't get tipped here, maybe I should come work for you". He told me to come by and apply. I did while I was still working at the pizza place but there were no openings available. A few months later, Vince called me to see if I was still interested. I thought, "yes! here's my chance out". He continued to say that nothing had opened up but he just wanted to make sure I was still interested. About a week after I was fired/quit the pizza place, Vince called again- there was a job available! Yes! I went in to "observe"- I liked it, they liked me. I was hired on as a hostess. This is the job I left for a year and a half, and am now back working at. This is also the job I had when I made some really dumb decisions but that's another story for a whole other blog.

College graduation was sneaking up on me and every class I went into was greeted with more stories about who has a great new job waiting for them after college. I really felt the pressure. I responded to a listing on craigslist for a telemarketing position with some restaurant website- it was a desperate attempt at a job. They called and said I would be more qualified for an outside sales position they had available. Interview, training in L.A., company trip to Vegas, and about 9 months of work and once again, I was burned out. I had a boss who basically told me at our christmas party that one of the main reasons I was hired was because i was "hot". I didn't want a job like that. There were plenty of other reasons for leaving as well, but I knew I wasn't going to last too much longer. I sat down with my boss in a starbucks one day and explained to him that I think I'm going to take a new job as a marketing account executive with someone who he introduced me to.

The marketing job was ok. It was me and this other woman who started her own company. Here's the deal with a marketing job: it has to be full time with full time pay or it's just not worth it for me because my brain is going 24/7 with ideas. This was full time with not even part time pay so I needed to find something else.

I applied for a restaurant manager job just to kinda see if I was offered the job and how much they thought I was worth. Well I was worth a lot more than what I was making so I took the job. Moved to Arizona for what was supposed to be 6 weeks but ended up being 4 weeks. Came back, helped train the staff for the new restaurant, and started to realize that 70+ hours a week was not a life. I had 2 days off a week, if I was lucky, and all I wanted to do was sleep. It wasn't a life and I decided to call it quits. I got so much experience out of that job so even though I really did not like it the majority of the time, I learned a lot and made so many friends.

So here I am. I quit the manager job about 3 months ago and am working as a hostess. I also have another marketing job with a local restaurant, which I LOVE and am working with them on a new business venture. While I'm not making a lot of money, I'm happy. I like my job for the most part. Our manager is a moron- I work more hours than he does and I could easily do his job. The great thing about this job is that I have time to do what I like doing. I have time to cook and make things. I haven't felt this great in a long time.

I don't want to be another drone working in an office. I really don't want to work for anyone. I want to be my own boss. If a friend wants to go to dinner, I want to be able to go to dinner. If I'm not feeling good, I want to lay in bed all day. I don't want to hear that I can't have pink hair or I can't wear what I want to wear. I don't want anybody telling me to get a job. I would love to make money on my own terms and I know I can do it. I have no problem taking chances and making mistakes. I can and will do what I want to do.

I'm selling stuff on Etsy. I ordered business cards. 2008 is going to be a good year. I know it.

Here's some songs from my "positive reinforcement" playlist:

in the waiting line- zero 7
hello tomorrow- zebrahead
i'm moving on- rascal flatts
move along- all american rejects
better part of me- house of fools
all i really want- alanis morrisette
18 wheeler- pink
a praise chorus- jimmy eat world
something real- american hi-fi
nobody's fool- avril lavigne
everyday- bon jovi
true to your heart- 98 degrees and stevie wonder

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