Looking at my previous post, I realise I’ve portrayed my job and the world of work in a pretty bad light. I mean sure, there are definitely days when there are a whole host of things I’d rather do than clear tables and sort cutlery, and it’s not what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.
However, that doesn’t mean that all it’s given me is stress and a few entertaining anecdotes. So here goes my second, more mature and hopefully more insightful attempt at writing about what working had taught me.
1. As anyone who knows me will tell you, despite my strong aversion so gushy romance and everything soppy, I’m actually a bit of a romantic at heart. And one thing I’ve definitely noticed working somewhere with a wide cross section of the public (with a slight emphasis on the older generation) is that you don’t have to look very hard to find people in love. You’ll find elderly couples still enjoying marital bliss, young parents doting over their children and each other despite the ever obvious exhaustion, and my particular favourite, even the odd toddler distracted from his lunch by a pretty girl – it’s like witnessing the first time he deals with a dilemma he’ll have to struggle with for the rest of life! My point is, seeing these kind of people can remind you of the important things, even when you’re having a really crappy day.
2. Sometimes we get so bogged down with the everyday that we forget to see past what people look like, and I’m not going to pretend I’m not guilty of this too. But the fact is that every now and again people can surprise you. Case in point, I was working a few weeks ago and spy a man sitting at a table suited to the nines, serious expression, fancy briefcase, designer phone, the works. You know the type, everyone does. Or so I thought. I figure he’s just sending boring business type emails to his equally serious colleagues in their equally monotonous city suits.
Turns out he was actually playing Tetris on his phone. Granted, it’s not a mind-blowing twist or revelation, but it’s probably not what you were expecting right? At best this is a whimsical way of demonstrating that you shouldn’t judge people. At worst, it’s the kind of anecdote thing you put as a Facebook status. In fact I think I actually did use it in a Facebook status, unlike the story about the man in similar attire eating Haribo sweets, but that’s a topic for a different blog entirely.
3. This one’s pretty short and straight to the point. Everyone has things they don’t like about how they look. Compliments are free. So go ahead, make someone’s day.
4. Same goes for this one: Sometimes a stranger is the best person to talk to about your problems. They have a different perspective on things.
5. So my theme so far seems to have been things I’ve noticed and picked up from working with the the public. This final point is based more on what I’ve learnt about working as a whole. I’ve never been particularly ambitious. If motivated, I’ll work hard to achieve what I want of course, but I suppose because I was never very interested in wanting the big house and the fancy car, carving out a dream career has never been very high on my agenda. Obviously this applies to most teenagers, but it wasn’t until I found myself in an everyday job that I know what I want.
I won’t bore you with the specifics. The understanding I’ve come to is that doing a job you don’t enjoy doesn’t have to benefit you financially. It can provide you with useful skills you can apply to a job you do want to do (although I feel this is a valid point, I also feel that it is slightly undermined by the fact I sound a lot like a secondary school in making it…), for example, I now have experience of working with the public; keeping a cool head in stressful situations; using my initiative – it’s all about how you spin it (and now I can’t tell if I sound like a teacher or a motivational speaker, or which is worse for that matter). Furthermore, nothing motivates you to chase a dream you do enjoy than doing something you don’t.
I’d like to round it off a bit better than that but I think I’m in real danger of sounding like an after school special. So until next time kids, safety first!