“If you want to get time off you go to work for a bank or the school system.”
Interesting perspective. I suppose it is all about trade-offs. True, when you work in a bank, as I did for many years, you are basically there nine to five and rarely on Sundays. On the other hand, banks don’t have a lot of
extra profit anymore to live the high life. Instead, every minute of those hours is worked hard. As well, with the increase in the number of grocery store banks, traditional banking hours don’t actually apply much
And, while it may be sort of true that if you work for a school you get the summers off, it is also true that during the school year your work lives with you everywhere. And I am not simply talking about taking home homework to grade. Being in charge of a classroom full of young children is a responsibility that keeps you awake at night unless you are very good at compartmentalizing.
So, what is a dream job? Maybe the point is not to avoid work (as I mentioned in my blog last time), it is to enjoy the work you need to do. Few of us can afford to not work at all. So assuming we want to eat, wear clothes and sleep someplace warm, we have to get a job. But this doesn’t mean we have to hate it.
It used to be that Europeans thought we were crazy for working so much. And I will admit to enjoying my six weeks of vacation when I lived in England. But on the other hand, perhaps we work so much because we value choice
in what we study and where we work. Unlike the historical model of nepotism in England, where your line of work was so much a part of your family that it would become your last name, here we have tried to create a system that allows for choice.
Sadly, we don’t always hit it on the head. Since education is the key, and schools are taking a big financial hit right now, our children’s choices are increasingly limited… even more so in lower social-economic systems. In truth, the Starbucks customer should have said; “If you want time off you invest in education.” Working hard at the right job is the best way for all of us to enjoy our vacations.
Because, as my father always said; There are no free lunches.
“There’s a lost child wearing a bright orange t-shirt…”
We heard a brief snippet of the announcement come over the attendant’s walkie-talkie as we waited to board the Zoo Train. In a moment, I was back at my high school summer job… a hostess at Marine World, Africa USA.
It was a dream job for me. I was outside all day, working with the guests at the shows, around animals, and able to eat pretzels and soft-serve for my lunch. My uniform… shorts, a cute shirt and espadrilles, ended up giving me the weirdest tan lines that didn’t really go away for years afterwards. This, though, was more like a badge of honor… how could anyone not envy my job?
My favorite shift to get was the first one of the day. Arriving before the park was open, it felt like I had it all to myself. The paths were perfectly clean and everything was quiet but for the call of the animals now and then.
When this was combined with a shift at the dolphin show my day was perfect. There I would say hello to my dolphin friends and they would follow me around the arena as I prepared it for the show. We had a fun game of tag where I would go in one direction along the tank and they would chase me until they could splash me with water, then I would turn and go the other way and they would try to repeat it.
I even enjoyed working in the information booth… a shift that for some reason the other hosts felt was the worst. I liked answering questions for the guests and welcoming them as soon as they walked in the front gates. The
only part of the job I hated was when a child would become lost and be brought to us to care for. Being with the poor, scared child wasn’t the part I disliked; I appreciated the chance to try to reassure them and make them feel better. It was only when the parents arrived that my anxiety would peak.
If the parents found them quickly all was fine. But for some reason, the longer it had been the angrier they were with the child when they finally found them. After being with the scared child for a while, it was almost impossible for me to watch quietly while the parents yelled at them for disappearing.
Now, of course, as a parent I understand better. For one thing, although my daughter was never a runner, I have seen plenty of other children who are. Warning after warning makes no difference… and it is only after getting truly lost that the child learns the lesson about staying close to their parent. I also learned, in that info booth, how easily it can happen. So while my daughter doesn’t enjoy hearing my directions every time we go somewhere crowded, I still remind her of what to do if we are separated.
This article by wikihow provides excellent suggestion for keeping children safe at amusement parks, which from the sound of it the parents of the lost zoo child did well. And I like to think that when they found him, rather than yelling, he got a huge hug.
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