Ever since I was 14, I have held the same job. I started this job for the same reason many kids that age do. I wanted money. I wanted to buy toys, gadgets and candy, candy, candy… I worked at the same store for 10 1/2 years. While I enjoyed what I did, I felt like it was time for a change. Not just a change in scenery but a change in job duties. I stopped doing the whole cooking things and switched it up to stocking hot dogs and cheese. A pretty lame and monotonous. I switched back over to doing what I started out with. It was fine. It was like I never skipped a beat. I was back to doing what I was familiar with and something that I can take pride in.
Work can always throw a fast one your way. Sometimes things just don’t go right and while you try your hardest to play nice with people, things can get a little unruly and just go sour. It happened once before but since then, things went back to normal. Maybe it was the heavy burden we put on ourselves. Maybe we weren’t ready for such a feat. Things were better the next year. We grow comfortable in our new shoes and we did a damn good job to turn the turmoil around and became a team again. My job isn’t the hardest. We aren’t the only place that gets into this sticky situation. I am just basing this off of experiences I encountered. Flash forward a few years and what was a thing of the past, started up again. Not cause of the job we took on but a more personal issue. I feel wrong for writing about this. I don’t want to come off as a bitter person about my job but with how things have switched gears to being like it is now, I feel like getting a few things off my chest. Besides, this is about my escape from what could have been possibly the end of me and the career I picked all cause I wanted to buy a crap load of candy.
I am not going to make this into some rage filled post but with all that has went on over the last few months, I felt like there was a bounty on my head. I am not dumb. I know the games people play. I know because I play those games too. I am well aware when I am not wanted. I will take my business elsewhere. Your loss. There is only so much a person can take before the passion fizzes out. I didn’t dread going to work. I like work. I like what I do. I like the people I work with (okay, some). I was finally tired of the constant barrage of being told that I am a lazy mofo who gives too sheets about work. How does that motivate you to work? How and why would someone want to show up to work when this is the thanks you get for the work you do? How can you give any effort and do your best when all you get it negativity? While I kept my head up high and struggled with the days of being watched like a would be thief. I watched what use to be a fun and enjoyable place to work as everything and I mean everything, began to crumble on one Wednesday afternoon. It was then when it was apparent that the camaraderie we had was about to take a serious 180. After that day, nothing was the same. It would be only a matter of time before those left standing were forced out or taken out. It’s our choice. Get out before they take you out. I decided with jumping ship. Took a while but finally a chance to start fresh once again fell in my lap. I hope that this is a wise choice. I rather not wind up in a line with others looking for a job when there isn’t any to spare. This is my story. This is what started as a glimmer of hope that turned into a crazy and unexpected week of fun, headaches and money that could have been used to feed and fuel my thirst for alcohol, that is now being spent on
more less important things.
It was a few days before Labor Day when I took it upon myself to finally try and see if another store would welcome me in their arms. That isn’t a physical type ‘welcome in their arms’ thing. I don’t like germs and hugging people is not my repertoire of basic human interactions. I applied. The closing date for this position was Friday. It was my day off. I had just arrived home from eating a delicious breakfast at Bob Evans and that meal was so filling, I had to sleep it off. So I napped. The nap was amazing. I can not be for certain how amazing it was but naps usually make me happy. The only time I get enraged because of a nap is if I work the following day. Those naps send me over the edge.
During my nap, I received a phone call that set in motion what will be a change that I see being a great one but still could forecast some sort of impending doom my feeble mind cannot understand. They were calling back to request an interview. How happy I was. I danced. I leaped for joy. I was filled with what something strange. I think it is called hope. I was also getting an interview at another store. It is nice to feel wanted. It’s a nice feeling to have when people want you. I felt like I was the rope in a game of tug of war. These two fantastic stores, battling over who will prevail and who will suffer when my greatness doesn’t fill their store. Sure I am talking a big game right now. Sure my ego is bigger than the breasts on a wanna be porn star. I like feeling cocky. I like having this feeling of knowing that my work is appreciated somewhere else and I am not what others see as just a slacker with a ho hum attitude. Yeah, I am awesome. There is no doubting that. My awesomeness is well worth telling people about.
I went in to the interview with the idea that the job is mine. I was sure it was mine. I mean, I could have waltzed in there and done anything, be it obscure, obscene, or normal, the job is mine for the taking. They can just hand it to me on a silver platter and tell me when I need to start. I don’t do very well in interviews. I tend to get nervous and stumble over the answers. I mean we are being tested of our knowledge and how well we present ourselves. I answered every question to the best of my ability. I am sure that some answers were not what they were looking for but I had to be truthful. If I don’t know the answer, I shouldn’t pretend that I do. After it was over, I walked out and thought to myself on the drive home that I messed it up. I kicked myself and regretted saying some of the answers I gave. Still, I had some thought that maybe, just maybe, I might pull this off and be hired on. They were to call me and tell me their decision on Thursday.
I had already set up another interview with another store as a precaution. If I wasn’t to get one store, I had a fall back plan. I had a great opportunity to get hired on at either store. Biggest problem would be if they both said yes. Then what? How the hell would I make a choice like that? I was just about to head out for the other interview when the store I first interviewed at called me. I got the job! I spoke with the manager for a bit. I informed him about the second interview I was having. He understood and told me to go. I let him know that I was going to listen to both and make a decision by the next day. First thing in the morning I would call each of them and tell them my choice. One will be happy and the other will be upset. The second interview was pretty laid back. I was comfortable and didn’t sweat like I did before. I left with a job offer. I told them that I was offered the other job and had to really think about it. I really had to decide which one will make me happy and be in the best interest of me. I left the other store and made my way home. I had this weight come off of me. I felt like what I’ve been wanting for many months was about to happen. I was about to get myself away from the constant hovering and ridicules. I was ready to finally put an end to putting work first and finally put me in front. It was about time to finally think about me for a change and not work.
When I arrived home, I pulled out a paper and pen and went to work. I wrote out the pros and the cons of each place. I nursed a beer and contemplated which store to pick. They both had great pros. They both had cons. This was a very tough decision to make. But I promised them both they would receive a phone call the next morning. They did get their call. After the list was wrote and after I looked it over for a while, I had a pretty good idea which place I was going to pick but I still wasn’t 100% sure. I still had some doubts in my mind about whether or not, is this going to be the right move for me? Am I going to make a big mistake if I do this? Will this benefit me in the long wrong? Later that night friends came over and we talked over a few drinks. I dragged myself to bed and within minutes, I was asleep. What a fantastic sleep it was.
It was a peaceful sleep. I didn’t wake up. I didn’t toss and turn. I was out like a light. I am sure the booze played a very big part in that. I woke up the next morning. I stepped out of bed and at the exact moment my feet hit the floor, I knew instantly what store I was going to. I know why I picked the place I did. I’ve been asked why but rather not say. I want to keep that to myself. I weighed the options and one just out weighed the other. I called up both managers. I told one the good news and I told the other the news that I am sure ripped a hole right through his chest.
It was then that I called my work to tell my boss my decision. I had finally done it. I had finally put work second and finally, after so many years of playing second fiddle to my career, I put my life first. And you know what? It felt effin’ great! I am to start on the 26th of this month. That’s not too far away. The worst part of this whole thing is waiting. I had another full week of work to survive. After that, I was to be free. I was ready to start a week vacation to relax, to refresh, and to maybe booze it up
a little a lot. I know I can survive. I know this week wasn’t going to be anything new. I was ready to give it my 100% and after that, finally do a ‘mfs’ and say good bye to some of the greatest memories I made in 6 1/2 years.
Keep watching for part II of this post. See how it all played out this week, from the first day to the final hour.