This is one of a three part series, but they all revolve around the same event. Therefore, all three articles will go live at the same time.
As of right now, it has been exactly one week since I left my job as a keyholder for Circle K, a job that I held for a staggering 8 and 1/2 years. As stereotypical as this sounds, I walked in there a lost boy and walked out of there a man with a purpose. And as it stands at the moment, that purpose does not involve me working what they call a “steady” job. It involves me doing copious amounts of writing, whether it is in this blog or getting paid for writing or formatting blog posts or other stuff involving writing. From this day forward, writing and creativity will be my livelihood because I have a whole bunch of awesome things to say to people who may not consider themselves awesome at the moment. Helping those who don’t think they can be helped, and doing it my way will be what I do for a living from here on in.
I was not thinking this way nine short years ago. The only things I was thinking about back then were:
-How many sleeping pills is it going to take to knock me out for four hours tonight?
-What exact bowling stats do I need in order to get on the college bowling team next year?
-What exact grades do I have to get in order to not get dismissed from school? (I was already on academic probation because my grades sucked)
–What kind of “lines” do I need to learn in order to get with college chicks, and how can I teach my buddies to do the same?
It was quite clear that I was not concerned with getting the best results, and there’s a reason for that. In the second installment of this series, I will explain how that became a pervasive and perpetual mentality of mine that held me back for years.
Nonetheless, back then, in 2008, I was running out of money (I was living off of a combination of student loans and my dead father’s savings that he passed on to me) and needed to get at least a part time job.
Before working at the store, and before returning to college, I had taken a number of different jobs. Most of them involved telephone sales, where I had to sell stuff over the phone and get death threats 1/4 to 1/3 of the time. Or I was taking customer service calls, and getting similar treatment. I was also severely micromanaged, often with my day completely planned out for me against my will. I didn’t want a job like that; those kinds of jobs are legitimate slavery.
My first ever job was in the retail industry. I enjoyed the work and it improved my social skills, but I did not like how overly micromanaged I was in those workplaces. Again, my day was planned out for me even before I came in to work that day, and I still considered it slavery. After that, I was a server for a few months at a sports bar. The money was actually alright, but it was hands down, one of the most stressful jobs I have ever had. The money was not worth the stress at all.
No, I wanted something similar to the job that I had on my college campus before I took time off…A security guard for select dorms on campus. This job was amazing: All I did was just sit at the desk of certain dorms, and call in emergencies etc. I did TONS of homework, introspection, watching wrestling, gaming, and in most cases all four whenever I worked there.
And best of all: My schedule was almost completely up to me. What you had to do was log onto the network of your job, and select which days you wanted to work. Because this was a work-study job, I was only able to work 24 hours a week. I could have worked a job like this my whole life (only without a set max of hours, of course) and I would have been fine with it no matter how bad the pay was. There were some mandatory meetings, but they lasted an hour tops. My work-study job in my early years of college remains my favorite job ever, for the simple fact that it fell completely in line with my values, freedom being at the core of my values.
I knew a job like that was extremely rare and not likely. But I knew that there were jobs like it, where you could be (mostly) self supervised. When I came back to college and switched schools, I often shopped at a Circle K right outside of one of my classrooms. In the summer of 2008, I saw that it was hiring. I walked in, said to the clerk “I saw the sign and see that you need some crew. Who should I speak to about getting a job here?” I filled out the application, was interviewed on the spot, and the rest, as they say, is history. I got the job within a month or so in October.
In the next post, I will talk about the history surrounding this job, and how it went from a place where I grew leaps and bounds as a person to a place that I didn’t know (or rather knew but didn’t care) held me back as a person. Stay tuned.