Well, folks, tomorrow I return to the working world. And I’m having mixed emotions about it.
Yes, in this day and age I should just shut my mouth be glad that I managed to snag a job at all, even though it is not in any of my fields of expertise. And as hard as it may be to believe, based on my pay at Learning Tree, it’s safe to say I was once good at something other than stocking shelves at a retail store.
Yet that’s what I will be returning to tomorrow morning. Okay, not exactly stocking shelves but moving aisles as part of the store’s remodeling project which begins tomorrow.
Today I had my orientation at said retail establishment and I have to say that as it progressed with the HR manager going into detail about customer services, I began to wonder if I made the right decision. Granted, taking care of customers is not that big of a deal when you’ve done it consistently but after being away from it for nearly 10 years, I’m actually a bit…scared by it. I had gotten used to an office environment where I sat and either clacked keys or proofread stacks of papers, and contact with the outside world was kept to a minimum. And I liked it.
But tomorrow I will be yet another dufus with a nametag and a smile, waiting on people hand and foot–for minimum wage. It truly is a kick in the ass.
There are, however, a few legitimate reasons for taking this job. By doing so, I am showing the wonderful state of California that I am indeed making an effort to get back into the workplace and not mooch off of their teat for years on end. That’s the same reason I got into background acting (and I’ll touch more on that later).
Another reason is that when I add this craptacular job to my resume, it will create a history of my taking low-paying jobs that will show potential employers that, while I made nearly $50k at Learning Tree, I am indeed willing to work for significantly less. Hell, it can’t get any worse than now, can it? I’d jump at the chance to get back into proofreading for half of what I made there.
Two more reasons: I can ride my bike there and the job is scheduled to last 4-5 weeks. So I’m taking the [very little] good with the bad and plan on toughing it out for the next month or so in the hopes that something better comes along.
So you may ask why I just didn’t stick to background acting, right? I’m sure I’ve already covered all those questions here so I don’t need to drag it on any further. But needless to say that if I had the money to join AFTRA, I’d do it in a heartbeat and I wouldn’t have to worry about being a slave to the retail establishment because my pay would be twice the normal non-union wage and I would only have to work 3 or 4 days a week. And if you factor in (almost guaranteed) overtime, meal penalties, double time, etc., I would be sitting pretty. But I just don’t have the money to do it, unfortunately. (Note: I do accept PayPal.)
There you have it. I’m back to the grind tomorrow.
Here’s to brighter days…