For some reason it’s always around St patricks day that I am reminded of my student days.
Perhaps it’s that my student days were the only time in my Iife that I celebrated the occasion with a full day of partying (sorry Mum) alongside my friend Holly and our four male housemates.
It also happened to be the time of my life when I held down an incredible amount of jobs.
Funny really as one would assume it it impossible for a student (!) to find the time to hold down any job at all with all the work and pressure they are under…
One would wonder…
I often wonder myself, did I study at all?
But then again it was art college I attended for seven full years so it’s fair for anyone to question whether “studying” happens within those paint splattered walls at all.
As I am now in a position in my business where I need apprentices to work with and further my career, it got me thinking.
Frankly, I have struggled to find anyone as ridiculously (and embarrassingly) enthusiastic and willing to work as I know I was in my teenage years.
My husband played hockey to a very high standard in his youth,
and as a result managed to never acquire a job until his first teaching post at the grand age of twenty three.
“HOW CAN YOU NEVER HAVE HAD A JOB!?” I used to say to him.
My little entrepreneurial mind boggled.
I am not saying I was forced out of the home by my single parent mother, on the contrary.
But I kind of wanted a job from a young age.
I loved having my own money and I wanted to buy things.
Regardless of his reasons, I am thrilled my husband has a consistent income now and holds down his current job as it is the reason I can be self employed with a fluctuating income and also care for our kids.
Nonetheless, I feel that I learned significant life lessons and people skills from my jobs. Albeit of a vast and varied nature.
It’s good to look back and reflect on these paths of our lives, you should try it tonight over a glass of wine.
Keeps the mind fresh.
Not all of my jobs serve me directly in today’s daily grind .
Like my very first job as an egg collector and egg buffer at the local chicken farm.
It was short lived after I was “attacked” by a rooster ( it clung to my knees and flapped it’s wings aggressively) but I do now appreciate a decent batch of clean buffed eggs when I open my egg carton. What you’re looking for is no feathers or poop. You’re welcome.
My babysitting days were busy and fruitful.
I lived in a quiet part of the countryside which relied heavily on teenagers willing to spend weekends vegetating on a comfy sofa eating chocolate and drinking fat coke.
I was always willing,
especially as one of the people I babysat for had their own tanning bed… I KNOW!!
I learned from babysitting that it is only fair to leave treats for the babysitter.
Apologies to all the babysitters I have hired so far and failed to do this for.
For many years, I worked one to one with young people with downs syndrome, mainly in a friendship capacity.
I have great friends from this experience.
To be honest this role taught me that the world is a pretty horrible place at times with people who are ignorant to what Down syndrome is.
It also meant that I learned from an early age how everyone is equal. No matter how able bodied or how clear our speech is- the Cinema, the cafes , the swimming pool and park walks are for everyone.
My summer of cleaning toilets at the golf club where I waitressed showed me that
I can pretty much do anything well if I have music to listen to.
I also like to beat the clock pretending I am in a time trial which crosses over wonderfully for getting my kids out to school every morning. Nothing like a bit of time pressure to kick you up the arse.
And my waitressing job. I had two longstanding ones.
From the age of sixteen I waitressed and loved it. I quickly learned that if you smile at anyone no matter how angry they are, they can’t help but smile back at you. Kudos to Diane (the boss of my first waitressing job) for this tip.
More importantly working in restaurants meant I found a love heavily devoted to chips with peppered sauce.
If I got to the end of a full day shift and I hadn’t devoured at least two plates of this mucky gloopy heaven, I was clearly ill.
Gloopy goods brings me nicely onto my Summer delivering Chinese food in Charleston North Carolina.
My main delivery spots were to the well known and named “ghetto” but I made friends, crashed the car I borrowed only the once, and again learned that chinese food eaten hot or cold is good stuff.
Community arts has taught me how to relate to the masses whether this be running festivals or in areas where people have very little and tend to use or take away every little scrap of art material you provide.
This made for a quick tidy up if you wanted to get home in time to see Eastenders.
Other jobs included a horse riding counsellor at a camp in America and giving out flyers for a night club.
Again this featured my friend Holly and we definitely hid or binned over two thirds of the flyers so we could finish the shift early. Shameful behaviour.
So what did you learn from your jobs growing up?
I know working weekends and nights is not for everyone and can eat into proper studying hours for the more studious amongst us.
But I somehow juggled both and still managed to study which thankfully got me to where I am.
So this post is a simple nod to jobs 1 through 8 for their help to get me here.
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