Unless you are one of the fortunate few who is born into world knowing what you want to do, at some point in your work life, maybe more than once, you will feel stuck. Whether or not this is simply a rut takes some looking into, and sometimes individuals find that what they thought they were dissatisfied with has nothing to do with their inability to get out of bed and get going each day.
One of my favorite jobs in the world was my first job. I was a bonafide “sandwich artiste”. It was when I was fifteen and I was working with my two best friends and earning five bucks an hour. At the time, Subway was really popular with the skateboarders at my school, who begged us to bring them stickers for their “decks” and stamps for their cards.
When I look back, some details of the job were less than stellar. In those days, no one wore gloves so after handling onions and hot peppers for three hour shifts, friends and family were happy to let me know that I stank. To this day, I flash back every time I walk by a store and smell the bread.
Secondly, people can be real jerks, especially if they are ordering food to sop up the copious amount of bevvies just ingested at the pub across the street. It is amazing how many people can make lewd comments when it comes to bread, pickles and um…sauces.
I could have looked at that job and thought I was way better than it. At the time, many of my other so-called friends wouldn’t have been caught dead working there. But if I got to work with either of my best girls, the shifts flew. We knew how to make a MEAN u-gouge (for those who can recall, we didn’t slice bread across in those days. We made a gouge and nothing would fall out. Gone are the good days of sandwich making…) We laughed together and got chubby off of free food.
For some reason, I decided that if I was going to do the job, I was going to be kick ass at it. I had the art of making a fully stocked sandwich down to 45 seconds. Those who will contest it, can ask many witnesses. (Recently I went into a subway for lunch and the process was painful. My friend perked up “can you PLEASE get back there and show them how it is done?!”)
I think that job taught me about true customer service and the difference it makes working with people you genuinely enjoy. At the time I had the luxury of living at home. My parents allowed me to spend what I earned. Back then, when you aren’t worried about money, you make your job fun. You can laugh at yourself and not be as serious, and when everyone is wearing a uniform, you are getting to know the people inside the hideous green visor and stinky brown apron. Unfortunately or fortunately we gain responsibilities that require us to make more money.
You may not like your current job (I can help you with that!) or know where you want to go (that too!) or even how to get there (yup…we do that as well) but while you wait, isn’t it worth having fun with your peers and upping your game? Be bold or italic, never be regular. In the words of my colleague Andrew Ward, celebrate your weirdness.