I lied. I said I wasn’t going to blog this summer, but the ideas and the thoughts and the situations and opportunities just kept coming up. So here I am, it’s 7:15 pm and I have to get up early tomorrow (not because of work) and go to work (for to make the money) and live my life. It’s a good life, I like it, and because I’ve had this quotation floating around in my head for a while now, I think I’m finally going to write about it. So here it is, the reason for writing: I have a job.
It’s a nice job. I’m a tour guide at a local museum—I’m going to take the plunge here and say it’s one of the more popular museums in town. Top three—or four, if you consider the Zoo a museum, which I don’t. I wear a green shirt and khakis and stand around a lot and greet people and give them pink wristbands and answer phones and questions and take people out to see the sights and occasionally I give directions or call cabs or name all the grey winners of the longest continually run sporting event in North America. Brief digression to answers some FAQs. Do I like my job? Today I did. Are the people nice? The guests or my fellow workers? It really depends. What’s the best part? I get paid. Weekly. Above minimum wage. What’s the worst part? The standing around with nothing to do. What do you do when you’re standing around? Write this blog in my head. Over and over and over again.
Oh yes. This post has been percolating for a while. One day my first week, Thomas Edison’s wise words popped into my head and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them and their connection to my new job. I’m trying to be positive. I like my job, I do. It’s a lot better than working at McDonald’s and it pays better than hanging around at home. Even when I don’t like it, I always have the consolation of the money I make. Which sounds horrible. But I didn’t particularly want to work. It’s not my first choice for summer entertainment. Who really wants to work? Working means you’re a grown-up, and I’m not sure I’m quite ready to be a really truly grown-up. But I needed to do something. I needed to make money for school and have a job that not only made money, but also provided experience and skills and a little bit of enjoyment. But right now I’m still enjoying “New Girl” status, so I’m not exactly sure how I feel about my job yet.
I do like interacting with all the guests to the museum. So far by my count, we’ve had visitors from California, Kansas, New Jersey, New Orleans, Zimbabwe, South Dakota, Montreal, England and North Carolina and Quebec. So that’s pretty cool. I’ve gotten to talk to lots of them, and since everyone knows one of my favorite things is talking, that’s never difficult. And they all have different reasons for visiting. Last week there were a bunch of people from all over the country who were taking a radiology exam and today I met one of the AP History exam readers. So that part of my job is really fun.
I guess the only thing that really bugs me is that I’m the New Girl. And because I’m the New Girl, I don’t know everything and sometimes I make mistakes and then I get dressed down for it. And I hate that. Not the part about making mistakes—although that sucks. It’s the dressing down that gets me. Which is natural, right? No one likes to get called on for the mistakes they make. But it’s the way they talk to me about it. Like I’m incompetent, like I have no common sense. And while the jury’s still out on my possession of common sense, I know I’m competent. I am. I am a very capable person. People trust me with their children. I’m allowed to drive a car. Every time I make a mistake, I just want to look at them and go, “Yes, I know. I made a mistake. I’m sorry. I’ll do my best to fix it and never do it again. But really, do you need to keep repeating the fact that I screwed up? Can’t you just see that I understand? Quit rubbing salt in the wound. Have you never made a mistake?” I know this is just my pride talking and that I need to get over it, but humph. There. I feel a little better.
Anyway, I’m adjusting. I’m adjusting to having other people tell me what to do. I’m adjusting to talking about the same subject all day—although it helps that I love what I’m talking about. I’m adjusting to the memorizing of codes and the stapling of receipts and the use of microphones. And I know it’s a good thing. It’s a good thing because it’s a new opportunity. It’s an opportunity to not be in the lead, to have to answer to others. It’s an opportunity to make money, to be sure, but it’s also an opportunity to learn what it takes to run an organization, especially when I’d like to continue to work in museums. I’m gaining experience and knowledge and humility. The first two are easy—I get it every day I go to work. But the humility is harder, because I have to bite back my pride, grit my teeth, and move forward with a smile. So I’m learning grace. I never thought I would feel growing pains like this, but I know I’m growing, simply because it hurts less every time I’m admonished for doing something wrong, and because I do my job with a smile because I want to, and not because I’m getting paid or so someone will notice.
I always try to do my duties with a smile, but the first week especially so, because I wanted to show I was worthy. Now, almost four weeks in, I feel much less meek. I feel like I can hold my own, even though I do make mistakes. I just remind myself that everyone makes mistakes. It’s natural. It’s a part of life. I’m supposed to learn from my mistakes, so through mistakes come growth. And I’m all for growth.
Speaking of growth, I’m probably not going to blog as regularly as I did during the school year. I’m sure I’ll post some ideas that I’ve been thinking about, but it’s not going to be as regular as my irregularly posted thoughts from the past year or so. Instead, I’m going to tinker with some things. First of all, the overall look of the blog. I like the current theme, but I’m just going to play around with it for the fun of it. If you like what you see, let me know. If you hate it, let me know too. Have a fabulous summer!
Taking advantage of life,
P.S. When I got my first paycheck, I immediately thought of this Friends clip from 3:56-4:56. Although FICA didn’t get all my money. And it was totally worth it.
“Jack: You are quite perfect, Miss Fairfax.
Gwendolen: Oh! I hope I am not that. It would leave no room for developments, and I intend to develop in many directions.” —The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde