In the realm of work-life balance there are several classes of opinion ranging from [My job defines me - I love my job - I am a work-a- holic] to [I hate my job and only do this for the paycheck] with all shades of gray in between. I got to thinking about this when skuh posted awhile back and said: "I still am having trouble believing that people can like what they do for a living." Do I like my job? I wondered. Now, I will begin the investigation!
My first Job: Babysitting
(1) This job provides chance to earn tax-free money when you are under 16.
(2) You get a candid glimpse of what someone else's family is like.
(1) Your job security may depend on the whims of children.
(2) It was hard for me to stay awake that late at night.
To sum it up:
Being an awesome babysitter takes lots of energy, hard work, and slight manipulation. Getting paid 5 to 8 dollars an hour seemed great at the time, but I am glad that this is not my job now.
My first "real" job (ages 16-18) Hostess at a medium sized pasta resturant:
Summary (and Pros):
I totally loved this job. Here are the reasons:
(1) Working let me escape from my parents during the thunderous teenage years.
(2) I was "the favorite hostess" mainly because I wasn't an idiot like most of the other hostesses, and I worked hard.
(3) The (college boy) servers were constantly flirting with me.
(4) Working let me have some income that I could spend on important things like diet coke and CDs.
(5) Being a hostess means that there is lots of social interaction with minimal intimacy. Having a set script to tell people while I was seating them was about as much intimacy as I could handle at 16.
(6) I got to color with the children's crayons while I was waiting for people to come into the restaurant.
(1) Sometimes you have to work with really dumb and obnoxious girls that are also hostesses.
(2) Sometimes servers will direct the anger they feel towards their table at you because they lack emotional maturity.
Next job, age 18 into college: Server at various resturants
(1) Waitressing gives social interaction with limited intimacy.
(2) I had an inner desire to wait tables, and this was a realization of my dream.
(1) Your income depends on the mood of the people you wait on.
(2) If the restaurant isn't busy, you might not make any "real" money.
(3) Most other servers are not people that I would choose to be friends with.
Every time Jips and I go out to eat I am thankful that I am not working in a restaurant.
I liked this job while I was there.
College age: Student Worker
This marks the begining of my distaste for Academia.
College age: Farmer's Market Checkout Girl
(1) If the people in line get pissy, you don't have to worry about them leaving you a bad tip.
(2) The girls I worked with were awesome.
(3) The uniform consisted of a t-shirt containing dancing fruit. I still wear them today.
(4) You get to shop for fresh fruit and veggies after work. You know exactly when the fresh strawberries arrive.
(5) You work in fresh air surrounded by fresh produce. This is a beautiful environment.
(1) Working outside in the middle of winter means wearing 3 pairs of pants and 5 layers under your jacket.
I have fond memories of this job. I had a nice retired navy grampa as a boss. I loved the fact that I didn't have to care about moody customers.
Grad School age: Grad school, Teaching Assistant / Research Assistant
(1) Being a TA made me more compassionate.
(2) I am getting paid to go to school. Yes, they pay me enough to live while I focus on my degree.
(3) I split an office containing four desks with just one other female grad student that I like. (That means I get TWO desks!)
(4) I have met some awesome graduate students in my program.
(5) I actually enjoy learning and studying and researching.
(1) The pay is much less than my B.S. degree would allow me to earn in the real world. I earn less than a high school teacher.
(2) Most professors act like rich spoiled 6th graders. These "6th graders" have control over if I get my degree or not. Dealing with this has been difficult.
(3) It is hard to have any sort of relationship with your husband or "friends" when you work constantly.
I like research and playing around in a lab. But once I get out with my degree, I am never coming back.
Currently, I guess I do like what I do for a job on a daily basis. And I have even learned how to manage my boss!
If you didn't yet respond to Skuh's post, do you like your job?