Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Beginning

Here we go, delving into the history of my career, or lack of career more accurately.... 

I began, as many 16 year olds do, working at a grocery store. I was a cashier at the IGA.  If I must be truly honest, this has been one of my favourite jobs.  I loved scanning and chatting with people.  I was quick with processing orders, and was sometimes even allowed to work on the express check out lane.  I liked memorizing vegetable and fruit codes.  4011 was bananas, 4060 broccoli.  I started refering to them at home by their numbers instead of their names.  Occasionally when trays of cookies were broken they were brought up to the front for us to eat.  My best friend worked in the deli and would make me delicious turkey sandwiches.  Yes, life was good at the IGA. 

But this is not how I started working there.  I had been at camp for the summer volunteering and came home to look for a job.  My Mom knew a manager and got me in at the IGA.  Although I had been home in August they wanted me to start in September.  They scheduled my first shift for the second week of grade eleven, to start on a Monday.  Unfortunately, that morning I woke up with a raging fever, horrible, awful couldn't get out of bed, too woozy to stand.  Absolutely no way I would be able to go into work.  I pitifully had my mother call me in sick, and then crawled back into bed with a bottle of advil, a carton of orange juice and some sad little tears.  I felt foolish for missing my first day of work, for having my Mom call me in sick, for getting sick.  Little did I know, the universe had a plan.  The universe wasn't satisfied with me starting work on that particular day because it wanted to use the most ultimate foreshadowing this side of the globe has seen in a long time.  Horrified by current events it would be years before I saw the connection between my first day of work and the rest of my professional life.  But once I made the connection, it was clear my fate had been written.  I was destined for a long and uphill battle to build my career.

That's right.  If you haven't guessed it yet.  I called in sick to work on Monday September 10, 2001.  Tuesday morning I went to school for just the morning so I could rest up in the afternoon to start work.  We know how the rest of this story goes.  Needless to say I did not rest that afternoon.  I sat alone, with the rest of the world, in my basement watching the towers crash and the people and the ash and rubble.  Then I cleaned up, put on my brand new green IGA shirt and headed in to work. 

I read a book where the main character makes the big move to NYC to have a glamorous new start and instead ends up moving in to her new apartment on Black Friday and watches the entire world collapse around her.  At the time I had felt badly for her as she tried to navigate her uncertain future and find work in a world where there were no jobs.  Little did I know, I started work on the very day that would work as a catalyst for an economic downward spiral for our American neighbours and ultimately for my own career.

I have no conclusion.  I am here to state facts.  You, my wonderful readers, are the ones to draw conclusions from my stories of employment and help me to determine where I went wrong and how to right my wrongs and lead me to the path of success and vacation time and sick days and weekends and pay that is high enough to buy me groceries.

As an aside, I also had a book review for you.  If you are fascinated by the events of September 11, and are interested in a look at how the survivors started the huge task of rebuilding their lives and families and their own jobs, there is a fantastic book called, The Woman Who Wasn't There by Fisher and Guglielmo.  It is also a documentary which I am having a hard time finding but would love to see.  Here I leave you to enjoy the rest of your Wednesday.

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