Upstairs at the Midnight Star, eating dinner, sometime around dinner time, about 25 years ago, long time ago, listening to cousin Mary, MG, but she wasn’t MG back then.
She was talking about leaving her Big Job and how she planned the whole thing. She meticulously thought it all out. She was even a genius back then. How did she do it? How did she decide to leave her high-paying, stress filled, upper level job? It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t simply to walk out, slam the door and give no notice to her supervisor. No, she would invite people who worked there, known as fellow employees, to a big party and she even sent out fancy invitations. She ordered a humongous cake with frosted writing: Happy Retirement, Mary! There would be decorations, lots of them, refreshments to go along with the cake, all done in coordinating pastel colors, and gifts and cards galore with best wishes and sentimental remarks written inside each one. It would be fantastic. It was fantastic.
As Mary spoke, telling me the story long long ago, I kinda spaced out, as I often do, so I cannot recall the exact story of Mary throwing her own going away party, but she loved telling me about it and I remember how she laughed and slapped her knee. It was a memorable memory in her mind, if there is such a thing. And for her it was a wonderful way to quit her job. She will have to share it with you because it was a good one.
We have all been on jobs that we have liked and also hated. I tried selling magazines over the phone in high school because a friend got me interested in making a little money to help buy clothes and shoes and babysitting wasn’t much fun. I lasted about a week. Being a human recording was a bore, plus I am not a good salesperson.
“Oh, you don’t need any magazines and you are sick of people trying to sell you crap? Sure, I understand completely. I would not buy these magazines either. Thank you, sir and have a great evening.”
In college I loved my job working at a big department store and getting discounts on clothes. A couple of my friends worked there also and we had a blast walking around asking if people needed help then letting the older sales ladies ring up customers purchases. This wasn’t really selling anything, and besides, we could see the newest stuff coming in the back where our manager worked. We were the first ones to look over the clothing lines just being unwrapped. It felt new and privileged to set aside what we wanted to buy all with a discount.
Then I had to leave that job to get married and go on two honeymoons. I also had a job as a teacher’s aide now but didn’t work summers. They kept my job open for me and my mom made sure that we returned from our honeymoons and went back to work and college. She could be persuasive, thank goodness, because she was right and knew it was time to grow up and be an adult.
Thanks to a good education, lots of training and working with fabulous people over the years, I have been super lucky. I haven’t gotten fired nor layed off from jobs, but I have probably come pretty close. When I was doing my student teaching at a public school in 6th grade, my master teacher set me straight a couple times for saying off the cuff dumb things, and when I scheduled a police officer to come talk to kids before starting a unit on juvenile delinquency and didn’t clear it with the principal, they probably wanted to fire me except I wasn’t getting paid and this job was required to get my teaching credential. All of a sudden this uniformed police officer shows up in my class! Everyone on campus was in shock. My college professor who observed me, saved me and tried to warn me to get permission next time, or I might be dropped from the college teacher education program.
The only thing that keeps us going in some jobs, is the money. However, in my best job ever…teaching kids…it was the kids and some talented and fun loving colleagues who kept me going for 34 years. and in another volunteer job recently at the SPCA, even though I have made a lot of mistakes, the beautiful loving dogs kept me going and they can’t really fire me because it’s volunteering nor can I say, “You can’t fire me, cause I quit!”
I wish I were back at the Midnight Star many decades ago, and could relive the time MG told me her hilarious story, so I could get it straight in my mind. As my son said when he was little, “Mom, I can’t rememorize it.” I hope you all have some funny stories about jobs you’ve had. Now being 70ish, we won’t be having many more.
Two honeymoons? Were their two grooms? Makes perfect sense. Test drive both and choose one!
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