J was another tough letter for me, but after kicking a bunch of different J words around in my head, I started thinking about jobs and all of the different jobs I've had over the years. So, jobs it is.
My first job was working at Arby's when I was 16. While fast food is definitely not glamorous, I actually loved this job, as I worked with a great group of fellow teenagers, and I made a lot of friends there. In spite of dealing with grease, dirty tables, and rude customers, we had fun while working, and I have fond memories of the job. I also loved having my own money for the first time. I made $3.35 an hour, which seemed like a great deal back then.
While I was in college, I spent one Christmas break working as a "perfume girl" for Elizabeth Arden Red Door perfume. I had to wear a red dress and walk around area stores asking customers if they would like a sample of Red Door. I never sprayed anyone without their consent, but regardless, some people ran from me as if they feared I was going to douse them with perfume. I couldn't really blame them as I would hate that if someone did it to me, but I still couldn't help but laugh sometimes at the expressions of horror on their faces. Some reacted as if I was carrying a machine gun instead of a bottle of perfume. Regardless, I enjoyed that job, as it was fun to be at the stores during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas shopping season. And I had graduated to $10 an hour by then, so I felt like I was rolling in it, and one step away from buying a penthouse on Park Avenue.
I worked as a social worker throughout most of the 1990s, and moved from one job to another quite frequently. I was a case worker for children's services, an emergency clinician at a psychiatric hospital, and a medical social worker for a dialysis clinic, and two different hospices. I changed jobs so often as I was always trying to find one that suited me, until I finally realized that I just wasn't suited to be a social worker. I still learned a great deal from these experiences though, and particularly from my time working for hospice. It sounds odd, but I learned a lot about life through seeing so much death.
I've now worked as a librarian for a small college near my home for quite a few years, and I've been lucky to have a job that allows me to explore my love of writing by researching and writing articles for academic journals. I've also found volunteer work to be extremely rewarding, and I've enjoyed writing for Best Friends as much as anything I've ever been paid to do.
I'd love to say my next job will be as a full-time writer, but I know I've got a long way to go for that. Still, I'm glad to have taken the first step, and I've learned to never say never!