In my life, I will probably never learn about myself nearly as much as I learned at Club K. I walked in a lost boy with a sleeping pill addiction, a mediocre performer’s mentality, a lifestyle that revolved around meaninglessness and nihilism, as well as an intention to “passively” kill myself by going into insurmountable debt.
4 or so years in, I kicked the sleeping pills, and for once I had an actual purpose to continue with my college career. But I still led a life of meaningless, and still had a mentality dedicated to mediocrity.
I would commit to challenging my ideals during the last 4 or so years at Club K. Instead of aiming for the bare minimum in things that involved performance, I instead aspired to be the best. I did away with my life of meaninglessness and decided to work towards improving myself.
And this all culminated with me leaving. I walked out of Club K as a person who wants more than just some job. As much as I can help it, there is no way that I will ever go somewhere 5-7 days a week and hang out for 8-12 hours. Maybe I will do such a thing on a part time schedule, just to get myself out of the house or to create a way to meet friends if I need to do such a thing (although bowling leagues would do the same).
I was at Club K for 8 and a half years, from October of 2008 until May of 2017. In that time, I learned 8 (and a very powerful half) huge lessons that have made me more powerful at my age than many others my age. I already made a list like this, and it can be found in this video. This is a complement to that video. Some things may be different between the two but the general idea remains.
Lesson 1: The ability to be an “ethical narcissist.” I’ve talked about ego management on this blog, and in many ways, I learned how to form what I call “ethical narcissism” from my experiences at Club K. Most of the patrons at Club K were partying college kids, homeless people, and other degenerates who had few manners. I would resist the temptation to react emotionally. But I didn’t let it affect my self esteem negatively at all. Instead I would think highly of myself because I was able to not react emotionally from being mistreated by patrons at my job.
Lesson 2: Reaching new levels in social skills. I had always been able to socialize and invite people places and other stuff, but my time at Club K enhanced my social skills even further. Working there gave me tons of confidence with the opposite sex, allowing me to interact comfortably with chicks who I couldn’t even approach before.
Lesson 3: Ability to bend the rules. As I mentioned before, many of the patrons who shopped at Club K were partying college students. Many of these individuals didn’t care if they got change whenever they bought things. Most days, my drawer would run over by a few dollars. I would keep a running count of how much money my drawer was over, and would take home whatever that amount was. To do this, I would wait until the next exact change transaction, and just not put the amount that I was over in the drawer. This translated to other things, such as driving uninsured. Now I am not saying that it is a good idea, but I realized that as long as I stay away from law enforcers, I can drive uninsured and get away with it. And even though I would eventually get caught and pay the price, it was a fun experiment.
Lesson 4: Cemented my sense of self accountability and self discipline. As I mentioned in part 1, I once had a job where I was completely unsupervised. But that job also had next to zero responsibilities. Club K had all the responsibilities of any other retail job, but I had to supervise myself. Calling in sick was also not as easy at Club K as it was at the call center jobs that I had, and I lived up to the responsibility that entailed by only calling in sick exactly once in the entire 8 and 1/2 years I was there.
Lesson 5: The ability to lead. In the first half of my time at Club K, I was around people who were generally my age. But during the second half, I was working with people significantly younger than me. That was when I had to take things a little too seriously. I always looked at Club K as my replacement for going out and hunting for chicks. When I was working with the younger crowd that didn’t change, but I had to take things a little more seriously and focus on self control and self accountability more than ever before, especially since those who were older than me were not able to.
Lesson 6: The secret to maintaining youth. While on the subject of working with younger individuals, Club K kept me youthful for that very reason. I’m very glad that I was working with people in their late teens and early 20s when I was in my mid to late 20s and the first half of my 30s. I feel like because of my time at Club K I aged very gracefully where others my age are showing it, both aesthetically as well as physically.
Lesson 7: Enhanced ability to relate to others. I often resented those who shopped at Club K for the first half or so of my time there, often calling them degenerates and thinking that they were nothing but degenerates. I was wrong and there were many times that I had to stop myself to say to myself “this is nothing that I wouldn’t be doing in my late teens or early 20s.” This simple musing gave me the ability to relate to others on a much deeper level.
Lesson 8: Respect for the grind of a full time job. I spent roughly five years working 32 to 40 hours a week, every week at Club K. The first three were 24 to 32 hours, which I was used to. Up until then, I had only worked so intensely for a few months at a time. Most other times, it was 24 to 32 hours. Because of this, I developed a deep sense of discipline and if I need to, I can drop everything and work on one solitary project.
And the most important thing, the 1/2: The necessity to work from home. As this article suggests, the strategy of staying consistently at a job so you can get retirement benefits in your old age is antiquated; it’s history, if you want to actually have enough money to go beyond meager survival in old age. I never really knew this until years and years into my job, just steadily getting a very small raise every year. Entrepreneurship, freelancing, and diverse investment is how to go beyond meager survival in old age. In the near future, I intend to make a “Joelsuf’s Plans” post about this.
It used to be that retirement was something to look forward to, where the retirement benefits provided by the government and the organizations it looked over provided more meager survival. After seeing exactly how little my stepfather made in retirement benefits and after seeing how much money the government prints and spends, I realized that I will need to be working until I die.
So the question I asked myself was: Knowing that I’m going to have to work until I die, what would I rather do? Report to a full time job? Or work from home, making my own schedule and doing things that I want to do? For the longest time, I did not have the answer. I wanted to write biographies, and I still want to do that, but I had no idea of what to do for a general living.
And then I discovered freelancing. That was the 1/2 lesson that I needed, and was my way out. And I’m not going back to a “regular” job. I know now that in order to survive, I’m going to have to make a living freelancing. In order to succeed, I will have to be an entrepreneur of some kind. And there also exist other ways to make money without reporting to a job that I will have to explore. That is what the future holds.