I have been a waitress many places and many years. I have been a hairdresser many places and for many years. I worked in 2 banks for a total of 5 years. I worked at a bowling alley and also at a company that made awards and sold bowling equipment. I never 'worked' as a waitress or as a hairdresser. They were jobs, but I enjoyed doing each of them so much that I never considered them work. The bank positions were work. I never really enjoyed working at either of them. I enjoyed the bowling alley job and I loved bowling. The awards company offered me a chance to learn to engrave both on machine and by hand. I really loved the art of hand engraving. I created some beautiful things while working at that job. I also learned to do screen printing. Not something I either enjoyed nor was I very good at that. What I liked best about that job was that I made a few good friends who are still in my heart. One of them has been my very best friend for over 35 years.
I have always had to have a job. I feel blessed to have had to work only a few years out of all those that I was earning a paycheck. Working at the banks was not ever a terrible thing, it was just work. Being responsible for all that money that belongs to everyone but you, is a lot of pressure. I made deposits of millions of dollars everyday at one job. Money someone was moving or adding to someone else's trust account. In some cases, I would be walking to the teller's window with several million dollars. It terrified me. Before depositing, I had to balance the funds moving through the entire trust department which would amount to millions everyday. Once everything was balanced and properly accounted and sent to data processing, I had to physically walk the deposit from my building across the alley into the main branch and give the teller my cash, checks or vouchers. I never relaxed while making this walk. A locked leather bag with several million dollars in my hand does not make for a nice laid back stroll. I have not ever thought of returning to that position. Every day was work.
I was a teller at the second bank. A roving teller, actually. I went from location to location to fill in for vacations and sick leaves and was stationed at the main office when no one needed a replacement. I tried really hard to like this job. I never did. Again, walking into the vault and signing out a few thousand dollars to put in my cage and then being responsible for that until 4:30 PM, was very stressful. I stayed at this job until I was given a proposition which I couldn't accept. If I wasn't interested in "having dinner and desert" with my direct supervisor, I would no longer be needed. I wasn't interested. I was 22 years old with 2 babies and a husband that I loved. I was no longer needed and when I went to the VP to report this. I was told, "Tellers are a dime a dozen. Good men like ***** are hard to find." I understood. This was long before sexual harassment had been labeled. It was just a good ole boys world and I was expendable. I never looked back.
With those two exceptions all my jobs were pleasurable. How lucky am I? Doing hair was never a job, either. I could never believe people got paid to do what I was doing. I went in every day excited to see who would be in my chair and what I could do for them. It was a new challenge every day all day long. I never felt like I was doing a job, though I loved that I had such an incredible one, it was always my pleasure. Over the years, I worked for a private salon being paid commission, a corporate salon being paid a salary plus commission, I rented chairs and I once owned my own salon for 4 years. Each was a different experience and I honestly loved every opportunity I had behind the chair. I retired twice from this profession, but I will always be a hairdresser. It was never what I did, but who I am. Creativity and loving people were my draws to this business and they are who I am. I made a decent living doing hair and I made lifelong friends. Does it ever get better than that?
Waiting tables was originally just a way to make quick money and get cash every day. It turned out to be such joy that I sort of forgot that it was a money making proposition. I continued to wait tables after I could easily have moved on to other things. I really enjoyed interacting with the staff and mostly the diners. Here, I also made some lifelong friends. It was not a job, it was a good way to pay my bills and make friends.
Now, however, I am retired. I am staying retired unless finances deem that I need to return to the workforce. If that were to happen, I would probably go find a chair to rent or a corporate salon that's hiring and once again, make money just doing what I love.
The time I now have for projects and writing and hanging with Momma is absolutely
wonderful. I have no regrets about hanging up my license, but I did renew it this past fall, just in case!