I was at physical therapy today and we were talking about past jobs. I was interested first of all to learn that my physical therapist first got a degree in agriculture. He enjoyed that work also. But then went back to school to become a physical therapist.
Anyway, I was telling him about some of my past jobs. There was my most favorite job to quit - that was the one I quit when I was pregnant with Elaina. I had hired in as a quality manager at the ripe old age of 21 in a manufacturing plant. In retrospect, maybe they thought I'd be a push over and that's why I got the job. Turns out I actually was knowledgeable and researched the things that I didn't know so that I would be competent. That made some people mad and the company decided to eliminate my position. My employment there was saved by a very nice man in the production department. In whose department, I wrote a program to track their inventory - they were always losing parts. It was nice to have a boss who appreciated me. And it felt good to know that the old jerk boss had to use my program every day :) But it was even better when I quit! I did feel bad quitting to the nice boss. There were some health hazards at that facility that I was not willing to be around while pregnant, so I was done. And as nice as the nice boss was, the place was tainted after the ridiculous meetings with the jerk boss - I actually laughed out loud in one of the meetings. Career tip - bosses don't like to be laughed at. But I'd do it again in a heartbeat, the man was a joke.
Anyway the part of the conversation about old jobs that made me reflect the most was my first full time job. My first week after high school graduation I worked full time in an engineering department, cleaning up old CAD files. I went away for my first year of college. And when I moved back home to finish college, I hired in to the same place full time in the quality department. It's funny how things in life shape a person. I made some good friends while I was there - a couple that I still talk to today. I learned some things about life, and myself. I didn't realize it towards the end of my employment there, but I was finding out how easy it was to become someone other than who I wanted to be. I was there just reacting to things around me. I was becoming petty, and whiny, and honestly I was losing my work ethic. I was laid off after almost three years there. In retrospect I'd like to say, not a moment too soon. Now, owning my own company, if I had an employee with an attitude like I had back then, I would have laid myself off too!
And now I'm thankful for these times. I'm thankful my first experiences were going in as a 18 year old girl in to a mostly male dominated field. I had been learning not to be shy anyway, and those experiences definitely helped with that. I'm thankful for being laid off because I had some time to look at some recent choices I had been making, or rather not making. I'm thankful for having the opportunity to work somewhere where I did make a difference; and where I could hold my head high knowing I didn't let myself get walked on and I didn't let anyone intimidate me.
Tonight though, thinking back at past jobs, I'm very thankful for the job I have now! Some days it seems to be too much trying to be in three different places at once. Some days I think of how nice it would be to have set hours and clock out and be done with a job at a certain time. Some days I hate the thought of answering my phone or checking my email. But on those "some days" I remind myself how I have gotten to be here for my family. I remind myself to be thankful that I can work at 10pm or 2am or whenever I can find the time; because that means that during the 9-to-5 or the 7-to-3 or whatever - I can be elsewhere if that is where I am needed. And to be completely honest, 99% of the time I'm thankful that my office consists of me and my animals! Sure the cat lays on my paperwork and the dogs randomly bark for no reason - but there are no games here! No drama, no back stabbing, no second guessing the person at the next desk. I could make a very good hermit most days! And this job makes me leave my office so I don't give in to those hermit temptations!