As my mind skimmed through the plethora of occupations I've had over 4 decades, I briefly considered not giving ANY advice.
Bean picker: Had a darn good tan that summer.
Red & White cashier: Worked here about one year, ran away from home.
Waffle House: Two days, poured coffee on jerk and quit.
Manager at horse ranch tour farm in Florida: Two years, that was a fun job.
Carnie: For one night, on a hitchhiking trip down the Florida panhandle, let me tell you when the Ferris Wheel turns off, get the hell out of there.
Tomato picker: One day, I was slow... can't remember if I quit or they fired me.
Shrimp boat mate: 3 years, my favorite job ever.
Wal Mart Inventory Receiving: About 1 year, manager was a biatch until she found Jesus, after I left…naturally.
Check printing factory: 6 monotonous months, I think I fell asleep while standing.
Sewing room: 6 monotonous months as well, put a needle through my thumb.
Country store clerk: Loved this little store, until a crack head robbed and tried to kidnap and kill me.
Waitress: 6 years, love..love...loved customers, management and co-workers. Still do!
Restaurant manager: Same restaurant, new location. Loved these people here too!
Herb shop owner: Second favorite career, unfortunately I was 15 years ahead of the alternative lifestyle curve.
Self employed start up answering service: Had 6 line switchboard. Before mobile phones. Too tied down.
Secretary auto brokerage: They went bankrupt and tried to tell me there was no money to pay me, I started packing their office equipment, they found money to pay me.
Group Home Hab/Tech. Job was great, pay and management not so great.
Artist: Floor cloth painting, love this. Starving artist.
Residential Paint Contractor: NC, economy wiped us out.
RSFH Mt.P: Food & Nutrition: I worked with some of the best people to this day I have ever met.
Starbucks barista: You can teach an old dog new tricks. 87,000 variations to be exact.
Residential Paint Contractor: I enjoy the cabinet painting, the paperwork gives me a reason to drink.
Artist: When I want to be.
Why all the jobs? Work really wasn't that important, living was. A good friend and employer had a term for my malady. "Damn gypsies." he'd spout. Note: This philosophy does not a pretty retirement portfolio make. I may be living in a van by the river in the end, and actually, that may suit me fine. Although I may have walked a crooked mile with a crooked stick, I’ve seen a lot, met a lot of wonderful people and had phenomenal experiences.
So what do I wish for my granddaughter's career? Considering my own illustrious list above, should I even give her advice?? Let's see, what are some of the old standby's....
- I just want you to be —Happy? Nope happy is overrated.
- Content? Well...sometimes.
- Adaptable? No, too flighty and non-committal.
- Everyone starts at the bottom and works their way up. Uggh. I hate frig magnet philosophy.
- You have to start somewhere...hmmm. I kind of like the last one, but let's just re-define somewhere.
So, I told her "You have to start somewhere, but don't let other’s expectations of age, sex or life circumstances define your starting point. If you feel like you have the capabilities to do better and KNOW that you CAN do it, bypass the protocol and start on the rung a little further up the ladder. Be true to yourself and aware that this is YOUR path and YOUR time spent sojourning here."
I was elated about a month later to get a text from Abby. “Grandma, I applied for a job at the veterinarians office nearby. They didn’t have a sign up or advertise. But, I knew that I would like to do this, so I went and asked them if they needed help. I start next week.”
Ummmm…proud grandma, mopping keyboard here.
Advice is a tricky thing. But, I don't think a good lick of confidence and individuality ever hurt anyone. Plus, I'm grandma...I'll catch you IF you fall.
Now, about me? What do I want to be/do when I grow up? Let me get out that kaleidoscope and look through it again.