Future, Past, and Present

Everything I’ve ever done with myself has been a complete waste of time. No – I take that back. It’s just that very few of the things I’ve done have had a positive contribution to who I am now. And most of the things I’ve done that sucked have been highly significant parts of my life, like full-time jobs.

I liked working at a pharmacy. I enjoyed when I could help customers decide between different over the counter medicines and I enjoyed a high level of responsibility for people’s health as I became more involved and started learning how to be a pharmacy technician. I should’ve stayed there so I could do that without having to go to school for it.

I never really liked working in a bank. I enjoyed some things, like learning about how different financial accounts work and stuff like that. But who really enjoys being a teller? Or calculating people’s amortization tables? I will say that I was young and immature when I was doing that. Perhaps now I could take a financial job and make it into something with purpose. I’ve been interviewing for Personal Banker jobs, and I do sort of feel like I could use that to make myself feel like I’m doing something worthwhile. Humor me, for a minute. I’ve definitely had helpful personal bankers who got me approved for loans when I needed them and helped me navigate the bank system. That’s good stuff. Personal bankers can have a profound impact on a person’s life. Maybe I could help people.

I quit banking to go to school and school made me feel alive. I tried, after graduation, to focus on getting a job that would enable me to sustain that “alive” feeling. I looked in the nonprofit sector and in publishing. Neither of these markets are very big in SE WI. That makes finding a job in one of them extremely difficult. And with only some volunteering experience, there were other people who were easily more qualified than I was. So I ended up at Barnes & Noble, which is not a bad place. But retail, in general, is not where a person wants to build a career. And that’s what I was starting to do. I was in management – thankfully I was at the bottom of the management totem pole. But I was enough “in” to be able to experience the depth of the many divides. One was between corporate and store. Another was between store management and employees. Both of these were enough to drive me insane. I hope I left the place in okay order, though. I would hate to hear that I left a mess for someone else to clean up. The one person who deserves to have to clean up any messes is the one delegating.

This brings me to the present. I’m enjoying what I’m doing now, except for the anxiety that comes from having no income nor health insurance. Other than that, I’m perfectly content – but in a perfect world I’d skip looking for a job and start in on the things that really matter to me. We’d get rid of a few of our luxuries (don’t laugh at the word – we all have them if we live in USA) and buy our own health insurance and I’d go to town doing something meaningful. Writing, working in the nonprofit sector part time, and keeping my home would be my my job. And I’d be free to have children without trying to “check out” of a workforce that I wouldn’t be a part of to begin with. I don’t even want to start on how child birth and rearing can interfere with the most hard-working women’s careers.

But for now, I trudge on looking to get a nine to five with good benefits so that within about a year I can (hopefully) check out for six to eight weeks to have a baby, then go back and maybe do it again. Is there any meaningful corporate work out there at all? Oh, maybe if you work for Patagonia, Working Assets, or other similar companies. Are any of those in SE WI? No. The closest we’ve got is . . . I give up. I don’t know if we have anything comparable. We’ll see.

Hey, if anybody’s reading and has advice, I’d appreciate hearing it.

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