7 Days Removed From Being Removed #2: How my job Helped and Hurt me

This store represented the longest period of my development as a person, but it also represented the longest period of stagnation.

Read part 1 here.

In this part, I will talk about how the first four years at this store helped me develop as a person, as well as resulted in a long drought of stagnation, specifically with my financial/monetary development. And then I will talk about how it made me complacent with the 9 to 5 jive. during my last four years there.

Before I began working at what I affectionately called “Club K,” I was on a very fast road to my own demise. I would continue down that road even after I got the job, but the job itself assisted in my road to recovery. Before Club K, and even for my first few years into it, I was still stupidly studying pickup artist materials and trying to solve everything with “game.” When I started at Club K, I also was hopelessly addicted to sleeping pills, which caused me to have nasty mood swings which effectively pushed away a number of friends for awhile.

I was also in school when I started at Club K, and although I had a decent purpose for going to school at the time (I wanted to be a schoolteacher which would hopefully open the door for me to be a college professor or guidance counselor or some other academic authority), I was struggling very badly. My love life was also non-existent as well, although looking back I was more lazy and depressed/stressed out than anything else.

A number of things happened to me during my first four or so years at Club K. So allow me to highlight these and talk about some epiphanies that I had when these happened.

-About eight months in, on March of 2009, I finally stopped taking sleeping pills. Not only did my childhood friend move out of the place we were sharing, but I also nearly got fired from Club K for threatening to fight one of my female co-workers. I said, and I quote, “don’t think I won’t kick your ass just because you have a vagina!” Said co-worker was barely 18 years old at the time, and was also at the store for eight years like I was. Her and I have not had much of a relationship since my mood swing, and I had failed to tell her that the sleeping pills caused me to have that mood swing. I haven’t touched a sleeping pill since.
-In Fall of 2011, three or so years in, I took time off school to refocus, vowing that I would come back when I had the money for it saved up. In what I called “the most passive suicidal act I’ve ever performed,” I took out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. When my cat died, I vowed that I would not kill myself. That’s when I made the decision to take time off school. At about the same time, I had received a promotion offer to go to another store and be an assistant manager. Knowing that I might be sacrificing my return to school for that, I refused.
-Roughly four years into my time at Club K, in the summer of 2012, I had a major epiphany about a number of things. In between the last event and this one, I had went to a number of counselors and even experimented with antidepressants (which was not a good idea). By the fall of that year, I had broken a 5+ year sexless streak and was finally ready to focus on returning to school.

In my other four years and some change, I experienced a completely different host of epiphanies.

-On my fifth year anniversary at Club K, in 2013, I received another promotion, this one putting me in the same store. That was the position of keyholder. The only added duty was that I perform inventory audits. So although I was still more or less self supervised, I now had weekly assignments at Club K now.
-A year after that, I had returned to school with a brand new purpose: Writing. I took classes in fiction and creative nonfiction (autobiographical work). With writing quickly taking over as my newest hobby (which had never not been a hobby, only now my love for it was completely unleashed), I started dabbling into reading blogs. I also discovered online dating around this time, realizing that if I only relied on talking to chicks at Club K to get on dates, it wouldn’t give me nearly as much success as both approaching chicks at Club K as well as “e-approaching” chicks online.
-Sometime during 2015 or 2016, a bowling buddy told me that I was “wasting years of my life” at Club K. He wasn’t wrong, and I had another epiphany: I was settling, complacent with what I was doing, and most importantly, I felt like I wasn’t “good enough” for a better job. But I was also curious about writing blogs and doing other writing related things for a living. And more importantly than that, a chick who I met online who was also a writer introduced me to freelancing websites. From that day forward, I got a little more and more interested in freelancing.
-In February of this year, my grandmother passed away. I saw it as an opportunity to move. Only days before, I got paid for my very first article that I wrote as a freelancer. About a month after that, I received my very first full time freelancing contract. Now realizing that freelancing was possible, I realized that I didn’t need my job anymore. But I wasn’t completely convinced yet.
-Sometime in April, my boss at Club K came in, apparently got an email that he didn’t like, left and said in a rage that he wasn’t coming back. My co-worker and I thought he was actually gone for good, but he came back eventually. However, that was all I needed to be convinced that having a regular job was not what I wanted. That, combined with the fact that I was freelance writing, was exactly what I needed to walk away.

And to be very honest, even if I wasn’t moving later this month I would be making this decision. It is a decision that I knew I needed to make ever since I heard my bowling buddy tell me that I was wasting years of my life away. And allow me to be honest about one more thing: Even if I had the perfect job I was talking about in the last part, I would probably only take it as a part time job to get me out of the house at most.

What I realized was that I was being very complacent. And although the ability to have enough discipline to maintain a full time work schedule without calling in (I called in exactly once at Club K, because I had a stomach virus), it should only be part of a skillset, not a lifestyle.

In the third and final part of this series, I will list off 8 (and 1/2) specific lessons that I learned during my time at Club K.