1.84 – My Job(s)

In the previous post, A Crappy Lie, I mentioned just one of the two things that irritated me on New Years Eve. This post is about the one I did not clarify.

For the first time, in a really long time, I am taking the bull by the horns and persistently working to make progress. Whether that be at work, in my writing, as a mother, friend, sister…I’m putting in the blood, sweat and tears to get where I want to be.

I am proud of that. I am proud of my two bedroom apartment, despite the use of the word “ghetto” by anyone I may know to describe my area. I am proud to provide EXCEPTIONAL customer service. I know what I am capable of. I know my strengths. And I shine in those moments of thinking quickly, multitasking and problem solving.

So what annoyed me?

A conversation in which someone referred to my job as if it were worthless, insignificant, not worthy of respect. A conversation in which I was told I “just work at a bookstore,” I “just serve coffee.”

Let me correct that statement right here and right now. I don’t JUST do ANYTHING. I do what I love with passion, conviction, ambition, integrity and enthusiasm.

Quite frankly, your tax dollars could be paying for my sons food, the apartment we live in, the medication he requires. I don’t make crazy dough. I could be on welfare swiping my WIC card at the grocery store, on your dime.

I could be hustling; selling drugs, selling my body, working under the table, scheming on guys to pay my bills. I could be doing many things I’ve witnessed all too often in my upbringing.

Instead, I work at a bookstore. I pay my taxes. I buy my groceries at discount supermarkets. I pinch my pennies. I haven’t bought myself clothes in well over 8 months. I haven’t bought a new pair of sneakers in well over 3 years. I don’t go to a salon to get pretty. I spend my spare money on my son, coupons in tow.  I work diligently to help others in my workplace and diligently to help my son in my home life.

No, I’m not an accomplished writer. I simply work toward my goal of honing my craft one blog post, one revised page, one reading session at a time. I am slowly, but surely, pursuing my dream as I bust my ass to pay the bills.

Yes, I work at a book store. I serve coffee. And I am proud, no matter how much anyone wants to look down on me for my work choice, that I am making it. And at the heart of it – I like what I do.

For the first time, IN A REALLY LONG TIME, I don’t need the validation of others to tell me I’m the best at something. I may never be the best. I’m not trying to fill those shoes. I work at a bookstore. I serve coffee. I write with conviction in my words. I give every ounce I can spare to show my son that you can work to beat the odds. I work to show him that for for mommy – it’s not about being THE best but being MY best.

I work at a bookstore. I serve coffee. I am a writer. I am a mother. And I’m damn good at what I do. Period.

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2 comments on “1.84 – My Job(s)

  1. Keep on going! I am right there with you, I am a substitute teacher, and I often hear that I don’t work at all… but hey, I do my best! And I too clip the coupons and skip new shoes for myself to make sure the kids in this house have exactly what they need, and then a little more! I respect anyone who isn’t just sitting back letting society pay their share… It’s cool to have food stamps if you’re working and doing you’re very best, but to those who just cash them in and do nothing with their lives, I find no words worthy of posting on a blog because my words to those folks are what you might call a little bit harsh! Nothing wrong with pouring a little coffee, it’s a honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay… not a hustle! So hat’s off to you!

  2. I greatly appreciate your comment. It’s amazing to me, how someone can look down on my work, when I am working hard toward something better without asking for hand outs. I enjoy what I do and thats more than I can say for a lot of people who make more money than me. Not everyone is going to be a big-wig. Someones got to do the grunt work. I just happen to like what I do. And kudos to you for being a sub. That is not an easy job, AT ALL. But if it wasn’t for you, who would the kids learn from when their teacher was gone. No one. So the education system needs you just as much as any full timer.

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