i've never worked a full-time job, full-time before, now.
I graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in May of 2010, two years later than my age would suggest I "should've"graduated, but I dropped out after my junior year at Baylor University for reasons that revolved around my misery. As an aspiring artist, born poor, meaning that college had to be funded by student loans, I was in a hurry to graduate, not wanting to add an extra semester to my studies, because, at Baylor, that would be another $20K or so, at the time.
As a high school graduate, I was awarded tons of money to attend school, and I started my college career is a pre-med student, but that was when I didn't know myself at all, and so, I switched majors, the financial death of any poor student. Since I was "behind," I ended up taking three studio art classes both semesters of my junior year, and I burnt myself out. In short, I quit and moved to Syracuse, New York, to dance full-time.
After a year of dancing, my mind had turned to mush, because, for me, dancing is not intellectually stimulating enough, and so, by the end of one year with the dance company for which I danced, I was enrolled at CU to finish up my degree.
I had so many credits from Baylor as a BFA that I had already completed a BA in Studio Art by CU standards. Nevertheless, because college is a complete racket, I had to take "required classes" that had nothing to do with my major on CU campus to complete my major, e.g. a sequential science class with a lab, along with a handful of other things that had to be done in sequence, so all in all, I had two years of classes to complete, but only had about six classes that needed to be completed.
Since my scholarships didn't go into effect unless I was a full-time student, I ended up taking Art History classes to round out my schedule and graduated with two BAs, one in Studio Art and one in Art History.
Then I went off and got my first full-time job sewing alterations on fur coats in Cherry Creek, Denver, Colorado, USA.
And it was at this job that I received my first worker's compensation checks after my boss (the owner of the shop) ignorantly decided to work on a steel pole that was holding up a bunch of fur coats, directly over my head, as I was standing under it.
The four-inch thick steel pipe fell, landed on my head, and smashed my face into the counter in front of which I had been standing, doing my job. My nose broke, and I was diagnosed as 90% disabled due to the whiplash effect of being hit on the back of the head.
Eight months passed as I healed from nose surgery and lived off of worker's comp, attended physical therapy, and tried my best to stay sane. In the meantime, on good days, the bodybuddy/lifemate and I worked on getting our business ideas off the ground because I was unable to hold down a full-time job. I did a few odd jobs between the end of 2011 and the middle of 2013, but nothing substantial, and certainly nothing full-time. I worked a three-month, full-time contract job behind a computer and barely made it through the three months. Computer work really strains my neck in a way that creates non-stop migraines.Writing this here piece, on my computer, is straining my neck as we speak.
And then we went off to Seoul, South Korea, where I worked a few hours a week as a private tutor, jobbed one month in the summer and one month in the winter during Summer and Winter Intensives (if you know, you know), and wrote two books, Red & Blue Make Green and Bromides (I'm currently working on Book Three, working title, The Listmaker), over the five years we were there.
Then we left, and I developed a writing class called Writing Practitioners while we were living in Auckland, New Zealand, and I hosted my five-part series, and then we moved to Seattle, Washington, USA, and I waited tables and hosted a few writing classes there until I quit when I realized that that is not what I want to do with my time, although, I am still available as a Writing Practitioners Captain, because I do like the idea of helping others become better writers, etc. (see A Writer's Rate Sheet). In short, my physical limitations have limited my job options to hourly-wage labor.
Then we moved to Colorado, USA, just before the pandemic hit, and so, I didn't job at all during 2020, because we had learned what we needed to learn with regards to our financial literacy and finally "had money," etc.
Then 2021 rolled around, and I was so bored, that I thought that I'd get myself a part-time job, so I did. I started at the lowest pay rate at Albertson's/Safeway as a Fresh Cut Clerk. I was paid $12.10/hr for about three months before accruing every raise at the fastest rate possible, because, well, I don't want to toot my own horn, but I'm very good at jobbing, because I'm an intelligent perfectionist who is aware of her own intellectual capabilities, etc. In short, I went from the lowest tiered paid worker to maxed-out pay in two years, and I jobbed three different jobs within the same grocery store. The bodybuddy/lifemate, during all of this time, has been jobbing his adorable, tight ass off making ends meet, and even jobbed part-time at a sandwich shop through the pandemic until he got a part-time job with me at Safeway.
Then we relocated to Honolulu, Hawai'i, USA, because we wanted to, and we transferred to a Safeway here.
Our plan was to keep doing what we were doing. I would work part-time in the bakery. The bodybuddy/lifemate would work part-time in whatever night-shift stocking positions were available. But then, an interesting thing happened. The Director of the store asked if I was available full-time, to which I responded, it depends.
My jobbing history informed me that I am not really physically capable of working behind a desk full-time, so I've never sought jobs like that, and my physical capabilities also prohibit me from doing too much repetitive physical action full-time as well. And so, when the Director asked, I was hesitant yet intrigued.
Then I went for it. I said that I'd learn the job and see how I feel about it. It's a job that's a mix of computer tasks and physical labor. It's sorta perfect. After three weeks of training and two weeks of deciding whether or not I could physically do the job, consistently (intellectually, the job is well below my intellectual capabilities, etc., because, after all, it is hourly-wage labor), I finally officially applied for the position, interviewed, and started being paid $23/hr for a minimum of forty-hours a week (it is also an overnight position, which means I am paid a $2/hr bonus between midnight and 0500).
That was the beginning of July. And now it's the middle of September.
And so, I am confident that I can physically accomplish the job, and I job full-time for the first time in my adult life at the ripened age of thirty-seven.
Jobbing full-time is definitely something that I've had to get used to, because, unlike a lot of my peers who have been jobbing full-time since graduating from college, I am only just now jobbing full-time, over a decade after not jobbing full-time.
The upside of my first-job disaster is that the bodybuddy/lifemate and I have been solely focused on freeing ourselves financially, and honestly, this is the greatest gift we could've given to ourselves, and honestly, my workplace injury deserves a lot of credit for our grit.
But since we've been planting our entrepreneurship seeds for over a decade, we are nearing the phase of bearing our fruit, right at the moment I finally have a full-time job that I not only like but also, that I can physically accomplish. Oh the irony of life makes it all worth the misery, doesn't it?
Thus, I am confident that I will not be jobbing this full-time job very long. We've been feeling the g-force of our exponential liftoff since about the middle of last year (2022), which, to us, means that we are very near succeeding at our own entrepreneurial endeavors.
I honestly have no idea what "succeeding" looks like, because we're in the business of bringing to life that which has yet to be brought to life, and so, I don't know what my life is going to look like, exactly, but I do know that my professional life is about to change. I can feel it. I can feel something coming, and I am beginning to feel confident that that coming something is our rocket lifting off, and I've been seriously preparing myself for this liftoff for the past six weeks or so.
All of our hard work toward financial freedom has already paid off. We're financially literate, and money is no scary thing. Our entrepreneurial endeavors, however, have yet to pay out, but I believe very strongly that we are there, right at that "moment of lift," and it feels... fucking amazing.
In short, I jobbed my way through a corporate ladder and climbed from the literal bottom to the top of the bottom (I'm a manager of a department) in two-and-a-half years. I only highlight this because you can, too. There are a lot of hourly-wage laborers who couldn't give two shits about their job, and so, they do them poorly. Sure, they get their scheduled raises, but they are going nowhere, fast. And so, if you want to get somewhere, all you have to do is care about your job a little. Not a lot, and definitely not TOO much. This is not about the inequity of wage labor, because I don't have time for that, right now, although, it's becoming abundantly clear that I need to write about wage-labor, more succinctly, sooner rather than later. I have, however, already created and described a new type of business model that could ease the the pinch on hourly-wage labor, generally speaking. Nevertheless...
Don't get it twisted; your employer doesn't care about you, so don't give them anymore than what's required, but at the very least, do what's required of you. This simple distinction will make you stand out, and you will rise through whatever company you're jobbing for. It's a fact.
And now, I'm in a position that would really set me up well as an hourly-wage laborer for the next thirty+ years, but the timing couldn't be more prescient, because I am also at the very cusp of no longer needing a job or an employer, because our businesses are making our own work for us. AH! The irony. *sigh*
Anyway, I have no point as this was a mere outline. But I suppose if a point needs to be made, it's that, as a poor human on planet Earth, you can job for an employer while you work to financially free yourself. You don't need to quit your job while you pursue your dreams. And you don't need to give up your dreams because of your job.
If you want, you can do it all.