Most of my adult life I have worked in a cubicle, behind fabric walls and answering phone calls. Working these jobs are what helped me pay bills through my undergrad and even through my masters degree. Were they what I wanted to do? What I liked doing? Absolutely not. Instead they were there to fill a purpose and help me life (relatively) comfortably.
When I was laid off in 2009, for the second time in a year’s span it shook me to the core. I had no income, no where to go and – well, nothing to do most days. It didn’t take long until my days were filled up again with freelance projects, and doing things I loved.
Even in my industry, working at my internship I was behind a desk and in a cubicle. But I made it my own, had artwork, decoration and even a plant or two. In a creative environment I didn’t mind it as much. But jobs before that, oh.. those were horrible.
We all have bad jobs in our past, and remember these are jobs – not careers. I worked everything from at McDonalds, video stores, movie theaters, retail, customers service desk to phone systems. You know the whole gamut that you do when you’re in high school and college. I was never any good at serving or working in fast food. I knew quickly that wasn’t for me. But that by far wasn’t my worst job.
As the years went past, and my focus turned to school I found myself in more in the desk positions. The hours were flexible enough to work and go to school full time and I could easily work on my homework on breaks. For over seven years I worked behind a desk and answered phones in one capacity or another. There are days that I think one job was worse than the other, but without a doubt I easily can point a finger at the worst job to my early years of college, close second was my last phone job – but I wont go into that.
When I was 18 I got a job at an answering service. We worked in small pods (not quiet cubicles) on antiqued computer systems. Phone calls would come in 24 hours a day from car service centers, doctors offices to legal centers. The job was simple, you take a phone message, relay it where it is suppose to go. Boom! Done! Just that easy! What I didn’t expect was some of the calls coming in, dealing with catty women and even worse, working midnights for almost two years. Side note – never volunteer to cover the shift until they find someone – they never will… Even now, my industry is primarily women. But the level of cattiness is no where near what I experienced in my last two jobs. I worked on old machines, in a space full of glass windows in a bad part of town locked in by myself. Some of the calls I dealt with still bother me today.
Looking back on all the obs I’ve had in the past, I consider myself lucky that I can do what I do now. It’s not easy, it’s not always what I want to do – but it is what I love to do. Running your own business can become stressful, especially when clients don’t always act how they’re suppose to. But I can retreat, take a few minutes, instead of being stuck in a cubicle doing what someone else tells me to do. My business is one passion, my blog is another – together they keep me sane and allow my artistic side to grow and keep my (shred of) sanity. I just hope I can do this for years to come.