If I’m still calculating correctly in my ripe age of twenty, I’ve been working since I was twelve.
It started out incredibly simple, babysitting two young boys that were absolutely and totally rambunctious, but their sweet souls made up for their rowdiness. A couple years of that and it finally came to a sour end, but I have a sweet spot for that family still to this day. And it taught me to always be on time, never a minute late, but always a minute early.
I then had the incredible opportunity to work as a Mic Person at Shoe Carnival, where I called out the deals, decided the deals, and was able to override coupons and discounts. It was cool, to say the least. I met some good friends there, and even a boyfriend. I also jumped into Amway, direct sales company, for a couple of months, and had incredible experiences with friends and trips to North Carolina and Georgia. I can still feel that old microphone in my hand and the nerves in my stomach, telling me “you can do it, but I’m still going to aggravate you until you finish up!”
Around that same time I was also volunteering a great deal at Meadowbrook Church. I was quickly asked to be on staff to watch children in the nursery a couple of nights a week. It was a lovely experience to be around such bright and loving children for a while. I still miss it to this day. I miss the hugs of the little babies that are just so confused by the bright lights and loud colors on the walls. I miss the sweet love of the Walkers when they sing and clap their hands during worship. I miss the animal crackers and goldfish, too.
Late summer, right after graduating high school, I was blessed to join the team at Victory Solutions. We called at least 400 people a day to ask how their experience was at various Harley-Davidson dealerships, Suzuki, Yamaha, Sea Doo; you name it, we probably had a connection with the dealership. It was lovely to meet and work alongside the young women that worked there. I admired the owners for who they were and how they always tried to improve the business. But honestly, talking on the phone all day just wasn’t the job that I wanted.
So, I jumped at the opportunity to work at Plato’s Closet. I feel like this is the first job that I was literally put through the ringer. It held incredible moments and some pretty dark ones. I was quickly bumped up from associate, to buyer, to keyholder in less than three months. I stepped on toes, I argued, and I can remember the nights I would go in to close the place down with a bitter word anchored on my tongue, ready to set sail whenever it could. It took me a little more than a year to decide to stop being a keyholder. The week that I decided was a rough one, but the week right after that was the most free traveling I had done in months and I can still see my golden tan and Zana’s, a close friend, smile during the sunrises on the beach.
I cut down my hours at Plato’s Closet to a maximum of twenty hours, but when I heard my favorite coffee shop, Chelsea Coffee Company, was hiring, I knew that’s where I needed to be. I remember believing I wouldn’t be able to do it, especially after the second day of a whirlwind of information. I remember feeling under-appreciated and slightly on the fence (almost daily) about staying there. I mastered coffee; customers came in and asked for me to make their drinks, which was an incredible pleasure of mine, but the money just wasn’t there.
So, soon this incredible opportunity to work at a hotel just ten minutes from my home opened up. I jumped at it. I asked the assistant general manager for a job, saw him at my favorite breakfast place just days later, had an interview on Saturday and was hired on Monday. It was all an incredible work of the Spirit, of Life, and Fate. I now work there five days a week with a smile on my face and a name tag planted on the right side of my chest. I’ve become completely and totally immersed in customer service and hospitality. Its been a lovely ride thus far.
This is simply me appreciating every opportunity I’ve had so far. I don’t think I would be able to be the person I am, and the worker I am, without all of the fantastic places of employment I’ve had the pleasure of being an employee at.