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May 31, 2011

Obvious vs. the-Not-So-Obvious!

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/obvious_vs_the-not-so-obvious_20110531/

Lately I’ve been thinking about the many jobs I have had, all through my teenage years and adulthood.  The reason I started thinking about them is simple: every time my children talk about what they want to do when they grow up, and it changes daily, I usually have a funny anecdote about the many jobs I’ve done and why I’ve had so many.

Here is a list of all of them:

- Nanny - actually did this for a couple years, only God knows why… I hate kids, but the money was good and for some reason the kids loved me…  Go figure.

- Assistant/File Clerk - did this for about a year, was fun until one of the Managers started hitting on me.  Sexual harassment was an unknown behavior then, it was just something you put up with, kind of like a creepy old Uncle who your family insists you “have” to give a hug to, even though you know it’s lasting way too long and way too tight.  After professing his undying love for me, in the form of a three-page letter to a then-sixteen-year-old me, I quickly realized that this Manager wasn’t going to stop trying.  Having an on and off boyfriend didn’t help either, so I hired a senior football jock from my high school to pose as my boyfriend, which worked for a while.  After a couple months the jock kept showing up to my work, even though I had already let him go as my pretend boyfriend.  To make a long story short, I lost one 30-year-old stalker but gained a new one.  At least the jock was of decent age.  I had no choice but to quit this job for two reasons now…

- Dental Assistant - did that for one day, once I had to place my hand into a patient’s mouth, it was all over for me.  Does not require much explanation.

- Sales Associate at Lechter’s Housewares in the mall - remember that store?  I left due to heavy recruiting from my next job, see below. And a promise of a fifty cent raise!

- Sales Associate at Robinsons-May - was a fun job, loved talking to all the customers, not sure why I left…  Oh yes, I did more talking than selling.  I had the lowest sales of pots and pans in the whole department, but I gained many friends and various kitchen appliances.

- Front Desk Receptionist at YMCA - loved having this job, and letting people in that haven’t paid for a membership in years, great feeling until I realized that YMCA is a non-profit Christian organization…  But what non-profit Christian organization charges people $50 per month to work out in an old, mold infested basement without air conditioning?  I credit myself with the new electronic system that YMCA geeks installed after an old guy got hurt on my shift.  Turned out he lied about being a member of the YMCA, and didn’t really forget his card at home.  Really, I had no idea!

- Assistant Chef for a Catering company - worked there for three months, just because I love cooking and thought I can have a career in it.  The company went under due to Health Department finding out they consistently cross-contaminated work stations, left raw meat soaking in sinks overnight, used the same cutting boards for chicken, meat and vegetarian meals!!!  How do you think they found out?

- Various stints as a receptionist which I sucked at.  Who the hell can remember a name like: Kramer, Smetzel, Spaulding and Steinberg?  Not only remember it but be able to recite it every single time the phone rings?  So what if I a few times throughout the day instead I answered the phone like this: “Good Morning, thank you for calling Seinfeld, Sandler, Stiller and Kaufman.  How can I help you?”  When the President of the company came by to find out why he hasn’t had any calls, I was just as shocked as he was since all I kept getting were hang ups.  It probably didn’t help my case when I chatted up every person that called.  I just wanted to understand better why they were suing McDonald’s…  It must be frustrating to have an idiot for a child that drinks an accidentally left bottle of liquid bleach on the table.  Even more frustrating is to be that Mother who raised the idiot that doesn’t stop after one gulp and realize that it tastes like crap…

My point of listing all the mindless jobs that I’ve done over the years is this; do we ever truly know what we want to do for the rest of our lives?  I realize that there are some of us who, from the time they are five years old know what they want to do when they grow up, and sure enough end up doing it.  There are also those of us that have some kind of an inkling about what interests us, and in what direction we might go.  But what about those like myself who even at thirty-five-years-old still don’t have that “one thing” that we want to do?  Are we supposed to stick to just one thing and continue doing it, even if we are not that interested in it, however society telling us that we can’t jump from one thing to another, and need to pick just one job or field and concentrate on it…

What if I am interested in everything?

The one constant has always been writing for me.  I have always loved to write, and imagine will continue to do so until I am no longer able.  Then, I will recruit and pay some kid to do it for me.  Besides writing, I have tried so many different things and professions and feel better knowing that they are not for me after having done them.  I don’t understand how kids in their freshman year of college are supposed to pick their Major and stick to it having known absolutely nothing about it!  How can you know for sure that you want to be a Dentist when you’ve never stuck your hand into another person’s mouth and fixed a tooth?  How can anyone know for a fact what they want to do for the rest of their lives having never tried it?  Its only my opinion that parents throw away thousands of dollars on children’s college education before letting them “test-drive” their chosen profession.

Every high school graduate should take a couple months to go work in the field that they are interested in, before starting college in the fall.  I guarantee that half of those kids are going to change their minds, but better right then instead of four years down the road.  Maybe I got it all wrong, but somehow it makes a lot of sense to me…  Again, just my opinion…

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