Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Dignity of Labor

WARNING: Tonight's post is long on soap box and short on photos... but it's my blog and I'll post what I want to (insert Leslie Gore music here...)  Oh yeah... and it might ramble a bit in spots... bear with me on this one... getting my thoughts organized is the reason I'm just now writing it!

You know what's weird... having one job for 10 years.  I mean really!  One Job.  One Employer.  For a whole decade!  How many people can say that they stayed in their first real job for 10 years!  Part of the reason for my decision to move was a desire to try something different.  I figured that I could parlay my diverse skills as an ag teacher (you know, travel agent, fundraiser, therapist, paper pusher, babysitter, educator...)  into some sort of gainful employment.  


Turns out, 10 years in one job makes you slightly over qualified for a lot of jobs.  And, under-qualified for a whole lot of others!  During the job hunting process, I looked at positions for all kinds of certified technicians.  (I would say that all of those predictions by CTE Teachers abut semi-skilled careers being where the jobs are were VERY correct)  If I had a CNA, I could have applied for tons of jobs!  (not sure I wanted them, but they were out there!) I saw positions for sales jobs that I'm not sure I was qualified for... even though I sold my program, turkeys, advertisements, etc, on a consistent basis for 10 years!  And I saw jobs that I had no desire to apply for... but the point is... there are jobs if people are willing to work!  

A couple of years ago, I became a fan of Mike Rowe after I heard him speaking about the dignity of work.  The fact is that in our society, we seem to feel that some jobs are BELOW us!  Hello! Really??  Work is honorable and beneficial.  Ever worked so hard during a day that when you fell in your bed that night you don't remember even rolling over all night long?  I don't know about you, but those were some of the days I was happiest.  Ecclesiastes 2:24 says "There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his work."  

Before you think I've totally chased a rabbit, I want you to understand that during the time I was hunting a job, I put out 10-12 resumes for all different types of jobs.  The last time I had to hunt a job, I applied for 2 and was offered both.  As I was waiting to hear something back, I had a lot of time to think about the benefits of work in my life.  (And I mean beside a paycheck)  Work gives us a schedule and a purpose.  It gives our lives structure.  And it brings us a sense of accomplishment.  When we lack these things, we (or at least I) tend to get depressed. The whole process made me very appreciative of a job when I finally got one.  It also made me more appreciative of the benefits that come with having a network of acquaintances.As much as we sometimes complain about the Good Ole Boys System... there are benefits!   I can't even begin to imagine how bad it would be if I had moved somewhere where I didn't know absolutely anyone!  

After a couple of weeks of putting in applications, I finally got a call back from Cracker Barrel.  By that point in time, I was just ready for any job, so when they offered me a position cashiering, I jumped at the chance.  I spent the next 4 weeks standing behind a cash register.  Was it lucrative?  Not Really.  Was it the most fun job I've ever had?  Probably Not. Did it make me feel like a productive person again?  ABSOLUTELY!  

About the time I started getting comfortable with the schedule and routine of Cracker Barrel, I got a call to interview with one of the other companies I had applied to.  The call came on Tuesday, I interviewed on Wednesday, and was offered a position as a customer service specialist with Montana Silversmiths on Friday!  During my interview, the HR director for the company asked me what I had been doing since I arrived in Montana.  I'm glad I was able to tell her that I had found a job and started working... even if I was going to quit it to come work for her!  I guess the saying that its easier to find a job when you've got one is truer than I knew!

So, now, instead of driving 25 minutes into Billings every day to work, I'm driving 35 miles to Columbus to work.  Does it bother me?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  If you could see the sun come up on my morning commute, you'd understand just how much I love the drive! Two weeks in and I'm really enjoying the work I'm doing.  The days are busy, the work is mentally challenging, but at the end of the day, I get to leave it there and go home.  And the people I work with have been great as well!

Totally unrelated, but something I have thought about several times lately-  John Magnusun, a guy I worked with right before I started teaching, told me once to live east of my job, That way, the sun would be at my back during the drive to and from work.  When you're not fighting the light in your eyes, its a whole lot easier to enjoy the views!
Yellowstone River Outside Columbus, MT

I told you it rambled... and maybe it didn't make very much sense, but I got it out... and you know where I'm working now! I'll leave you with a picture of Mesa & I from this weekend... It was full of fun, and hopefully I'll share more about that soon!  

The first & last Clark Granddaughter!

Until Next Time!

1 comment:

  1. Yay!! I'm so glad you love your job!!! So happy for you...and a bit jealous of your scenery!!! :)