1. What kind of work do you do? I work in a call center doing technical support for various clients of the clients who pay the company that pays me. When people call the IT Help Desk for their organization, they get me and often don’t realize I’m not only not an employee of said organization, but I’m at least a few states away.
2. During the course of your lifetime, which job or career has been your favorite or most fulfilling? The short time I was a receptionist for an OB/GYN was the most fulfilling. Unlike selling someone something or helping with wireless bills or logging into websites, I was a small part of caring for the patients health and pregnancies. It was easy to express genuine concern and compassion in a way other customer service positions don’t inspire. And babies! Can’t go wrong with a steady stream of newborns to cuddle and coo over.
3. Do you think it’s necessary in your life to have a day-to-day “career” that is meaningful and service-oriented or do you function better in “just a job” with a steady paycheck? So far I’ve been on the “just a job” end of the employment spectrum. As long as I am respected by management for the job I’m doing, I’m pretty content being a cog in the machine. I find meaning in my personal life and hobbies. Work needs to be pleasant, but ideally, it is left at work when I clock out.
4. Was there ever a time in your life when you wanted to stay home with your children instead of working, even if it meant less money in the household? First of all, I don’t have children. If I’m lucky enough to have a child or children in the next few years, I would like to be in the position to not have to work full time. If we can afford it, I would consider a part time position to get myself out of the house a few days a week. I’d spent the last nearly two years working part time up until a month ago and while I kept busy at home, I got stir-crazy for lack of regular human interaction. Two days in a row wasn’t bad. Three or more was horrible. I can’t imagine, say, four years of not having a regular place to go. On the other hand, I would prefer not putting my child in daycare for forty hours a week. Scheduling opposite shifts from Chris so one of us is always home isn’t a pleasant thought either. I covet the time we have together even now. It is certainly difficult to say for sure what our needs and options will be when the time comes. I know it will be a challenge, but a wonderfully rewarding one.
5. Tell us your worst boss story. My second manager at Payless Shoe was awful. I still don’t know what the heck he actually did around the store. We would have two weeks worth of shipment still boxed up in the backroom no matter how hard I worked. He didn’t like me because I didn’t think his flirting was cute like the girls he liked to hire did. After I moved away, one of my part-time girls put in her notice and reported him for sexual harassment.
6. Have your ever been the boss? Do you like this this role? I held the title of assistant manager most of the seven years I worked for Payless Shoe which simply meant I had most of the responsibility and none of the privileges of being as store manager. If the manager didn’t want to do something and the part-timers couldn’t, I was stuck with it. It was like being in the valley of the saying “shit rolls down hill” getting crap from both sides. At one point, I was “acting manager” of my store while my manager was out on maternity leave. It was hard because I still didn’t have access to everything a manager did and would have to get managers from other stores to help me. The worst part for both of those positions is the fact it’s so difficult to motivate people who don’t have work ethic in the first place. You don’t have to do much at all for those who come to the table with a work ethic. I had a girl who complained every night about what we called “straightening” shoes. All you do is ensure each pair is in their proper place. It’s tedious, but it’s what you get paid for and we would always work back to back in the store so we could keep each other company. Whining about it simply made it that much more unpleasant.
7. What is your dream occupation? I always assumed I would write for a living. I never doubted I would be a novelist, because journalism didn’t appeal to me. Today, I don’t know if I have fiction in me. I have personal writing and commentary along with an occasional poem, but I’m not sure about anything else. I don’t have a drive to make money writing, but I am open to the idea. I am happier when I simply keep up with blogging. I guess, when it comes right down to it, my answers to questions 3 and 4 have more to do with the reality of my dream “occupation” or work/life balance and what I choose to invest myself in.