Saturday, July 21, 2007

Work


Before I became a pastor, I did a lot of different things. I know my experience is not as varied as some (I never waitressed, for example, knew I would be bad at it). But I did learn some things.


During college... Iworked for two temporary agencies, Employers Overload and another, smaller agency. I took a typing test, typed fast but with lots of mistakes (because I was nervous). The smaller agency took a chance on me anyway, assigned me typing jobs (more money). EO assigned me to other kinds of jobs, including 1) serving coffee and cold drinks at the exclusive investor's lounge in a bank, and 2) filling little plastic bags with pieces of jewelry. I re-took the typing test the next summer, did better, and got better jobs.


Someone scolded me once at the Bank because they didn't think I hustled fast enough to get coffee and cold drinks for the ritzy people who had a lot of money in the bank. They were probably right. I am not a good hustler. I felt contrite, beat myself up, vowed to do better.


I had another job, typing invoices all day, at a company that turned out to be owned by the uncle of a classmate of mine. They didn't ask me back after one day, because the boss thought I was "too slow". My classmate informed him that I had gotten the most invoices done of anyone they had hired. But somehow I didn't look fast.


I once had a job over a school break, where I sat in an office and typed on little index cards of different colors, all about meat. Pink was pork, blue was chicken, green was steak. They didn't have a typewriter desk or chair, so I sat at a table on a chair stacked with phone books. At the end of the week, they asked me if I wanted a job. I guess they thought I was fast enough. I was grateful to be able to tell them I was going back to college.


Lessons: sometimes when you are criticized, it really is something you did. We are not all good at everything. Nobody's perfect. We can all do better. Sometimes, it's just perception, or they are crazy. And sometimes, we do a really good job, really rise to the occasion, doing something awful. And, a variety of work experiences gives us a realistic assessment of ourselves, not perfect, but not awful either, both falling short and excelling -- in due season.

8 comments:

Barbara B. said...

I also never attempted being a waitress... I would have been awful at it! :)

Marsha said...

Diane, your posts are always thought provoking.

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

if you like mysteries & a wise-crackin' author... read the "dead-end job" mysteries by Elaine Viets... usally too many memories but lots of laughs as I remember those days!

Diane said...

thanks hot cup, I do like a good mystery, particularly at this time of year (or, in the old days, when snowed in)

mompriest said...

...and sometimes a bad job is just a bad job, and no reflection on us what so ever. no matter what.

I however did waitress, and was pretty good at it, but I hated it. I always wanted to be the one sitting, eating, and enjoying, not serving. (See I'm really not a very good Martha...and, well, I may not be a very good Mary either..hee hee)...

RevDrKate said...

Oh, Diane, the memories that brought back of all the temp and other "fill in" jobs...most of them boring at best and awful at worst, but looking back, mostly not wasted...learned something handy in many of them, even if it was just, "I NEVER want to do this again." I skipped waitressing too!

Kievas said...

I've had a few jobs, but fortunately liked all of them. may favorite, though, was a work-study position at our college library in grad school. Of course, it also paid the least...

more cows than people said...

diane, you rock! you've inspired me to post... but... later...