Thursday, January 29, 2009

Quit Work... Focus on School?

Since the age of 15 I have been employed. I've always somehow found a way to balance school and work although, school was barely a problem in high school. So it’s very weird to not have a job for the first time in about three to four years.

The first job I ever had was an interesting one, New England Meat Market. It is a family owned store and pretty much a butchery that focuses on Greek and Portuguese foods. I am neither Greek nor Portuguese but everyone I worked with was, and I feel like it opened me up to a whole new culture. I learned to like different foods and got educated in the background of each. Although I had my complaints about working there, overall it wasn't a totally horrible job. I loved the friends I made and learned a lot about dealing with people in the work area. One of the most important things I feel that I got out of working at NEMM was learning how to keep my mouth shut as much as I want to say something.

After about two years of working at New England Meat Market I felt like it was time for a change. I get easily bored when my life is going in the same direction for too long and try to make it more interesting. I got a second job at Gainsboro Studios. They do most of the senior pictures around the area: Beverly, Peabody, some Salem students, Bishop Fenwick, ect. It was fun because I got to look at all the senior pictures of my friends who graduated before me and then when it came to my senior year I got to look at all of my friends' pictures as well as people I didn't like. It is a relatively relaxing job. I just put some pictures together, listen to music and text. While working at Gainsboro I realized that I wasn't happy at New England Meat Market anymore so I quit there and picked up some extra hours at Gainsboro.

Last summer my aunt got me another job in Boston at Safety Insurance so I could save up some money. I worked a regular day 8 to 5 Monday through Friday. I had new respect for people who worked in an office 40 hours a week. Although I got paid extremely well and loved everyone I worked with, my summer was cut very short. It was hard to go out after work every day when I had to get up at around 5 am the next day to get ready to go to work. The weekends were something I counted down the hours to every Monday.

When school started I had to leave Safety Insurance because I wouldn't have time to go in 40 hours a week.I still had my job at Gainsboro but I wasn't making enough money to pay for gas, insurance, and still afford to go out on weekends. My best friend Kenny had worked at a place called Christian Book Distributors for an extremely long time and his father is extremely high up in the company. I've always wanted to work there so I felt that this was my opportunity to get a job there. My friend Sandra and I went together to have an interview. She got hired; I didn't even make it to the actual interview process. Before you could be interviewed you needed to go through a spelling test and a typing test. I'm not a horrible speller and I can type like a crazy woman. So, Kenny's father asked the department head what happened and they messed up my grading for my test. With a lot of luck and help I got an interview and ultimately got a job. My job started in October as a seasonal worker. Right before Christmas, seasonal employees were evaluated based on a certain criteria and some were kept and some were let go. I was lucky enough to keep my job while I watched all the rest of my friends walk out the door. I was told that there would be another evaluation mid-January and to keep up my good work. When that next evaluation came, many seasonal employees were let go once again. As far as I know myself and only about three others were kept. At this point I was feeling pretty good about myself and getting closer to having a stable job. If I made it through yet another evaluation I would be offered a permanent job.

Only a few days after I was told I was going to be kept, my parents sat me down and discussed how they thought that my job was getting in the way of my school work. The more I looked at the situation I realized work was part of the reason I did so terrible in school last semester. After being at school all day then working all night, by the time I got home I had no energy to do homework. With much regret, this past Tuesday I talked to my boss and told her that I would be giving my two weeks to focus more on my school work. She completely understood and was glad I was going to try harder and school.

After I quit, I felt like a huge weight was lifted off of me because I didn't have to worry about balancing school work and work but the more I think about it the more I feel like it’s going to be extremely weird not working as much. I do still have my job at Gainsboro so that I can be making some money. My Gainsboro schedule is a lot more flexible and they aren't relying on me every day to be there and if I need time to do school work I can take the time. As opposed to working at CBD where it is necessary to be there on time everyday because everyone worked as a team. The next few months is going to be interesting, but I'm hoping not having a job is going to allow me to do better in my classes.

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