One week after my sixteenth birthday, I drove myself over to Outback Steakhouse and applied to be a hostess. It was my first job ever, minus camp counseling, and I continued there on and off for four years. It took me awhile to get the hang of things – understanding how to keep the restaurant equally weighted by customers, making sure there was an even balance of customers to servers, etc. I loved it though.
That just started my years upon years of employment. I have worked on a pretty regular basis for sixteen plus years. Retiring or quitting from being a pharmaceutical rep was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. Almost two years later, I’m completely convinced I made the right decision.
I have decided, however, this is the hardest job I have ever had. This whole parenting thing comes with no training, to reference manual to refer to and no guidance from a supervisor in times that you get yourself in a jam. I also find myself under payed, under valued and I work WAY too many hours.
Having my mom around in recent months has given me a little validation. When she looks at me and says that she doesn’t know how I do it, it makes me feel a little compassion for what I go through. I had hopes that Mother’s Day would be the day where my children rallied together, put on costumes where they pretended to be well-behaved and cooperative young lads, and really experience a day of gratitude but I realize now how ridiculous that was of me.
This is the job I always dreamt of – in some ways I always knew it, in some ways I wished for it and in some ways (I recognize now) I had no idea what I was even talking about. Now that I’m here, now that I’m working myself to the bone, I can see that this is my most favorite job. And in some ways all my jobs prior prepared me for this colossal job I am tackling. I used to feel stressed when all my tables at Chili’s (as a waitress) needed something at the same time. I had no idea what that really was like until I now have three kids with three needs at the exact same time. I used to think driving around all day visiting doctors and bringing lunch made for a chaotic day of shlepping. Now I KNOW that was a vacation compared to getting three kids in and out of the car for their variety of activities.
The thing I miss the most though, not the days off (although I miss that), not the bonus money (which I definitely miss too), is the chance to have my boss tell me I’m doing a measurable good job which is obvious due to x, y and z. I want someone to pat me on the back and say, look at this…evidence of a job well done. Maybe some day when they are graduating college, gainfully employed and married with children I will get that. Then again, probably not.