February 8, 2013

This is Me: Work.

I'm back to my This is Me challenge, and this week's topic is work.  For those of you new to this party, I found a pin that basically has 16 sections of questions that will document your entire life.  It sounded like fun, so I have been attacking a section every other week or so.  You can read my past entries if you wish by clicking the "this is me" category, but for now, let's just get started:
What jobs have you had (give details about dates, places, responsibilities, etc)?
We'll start most recently and work our way backwards.  Before I became a stay-at-home mom, I was a first grade teacher at WH Taylor Elementary in Norfolk for 6 years.  My first year there I actually taught Kindergarten.  Before that, I worked as a Kindergarten aide and in the office at the preschool my mom taught at...Baylake Pines in Virginia Beach...for about a year and half while I was in school getting my teaching license/Master's Degree.  That's when I was on my teaching track, but when I graduated from college I actually had no idea what the f- I was going to do with myself.  There was actually a few month span, then, from about September 2003 to January 2004 where I worked at STA Travel (a student travel agency) on my alma mater's campus (UVA).  That is my only "real job" experience.
As for fun jobs, I worked as a lifeguard, swim lesson teacher, and swim coach at the Princess Anne Country Club for 5 summers, from 1999 to 2004.  Prior to those summers, I worked as an umbrella attendant (yes you read that correctly) on the beach for a summer.  Basically, I had to set up chairs and umbrellas for an hour, sit on the beach for about 6 collecting money from people, and then take them all down at the end of the day.  I wonder if they'd still hire me this summer?!?
What did you like/dislike about each job?
Teaching: loved working with kids, felt like I was making a difference, liked planning for each day/month/year and then executing it, enjoyed getting to celebrate holidays and special days like a little kid again, loved the schedule and variety of each day; didn't like crappy students or parents that could ruin a day or even year.
STA Travel: liked that I was in Charlottesville with my boyfriend of the time, didn't like anything else about it...boring and depressing to sit at a computer all day doing the same thing, pressure to make sales and I'm not a "sales" person!, salary was absolutely pathetic.  Needless to say, when aforementioned boyfriend and I broke up, I was out of there (well technically I got fired, but I always say I quit/got fired)
PACC: some of the best years of my life, loved the people I worked with, the families I got to know, etc.  It was a lot of long hours, but at the time, I loved being there anyway, so it really didn't matter!
Beach Umbrellas: Um, I got paid to sit on the beach all day...need I say more.
What did you learn at each job?
Teaching: that I'm meant to be a teacher (if I'm going to work!), how to effectively manage a classroom and key discipline techniques I currently use with my own children
STA Travel: that I'm not cut out for office work and/or sales, that sometimes it is better to walk away when things aren't working out because then you may just get to where you're meant to be
PACC: people respect hard work and you get tons of benefits if you put it in!
Beach Umbrellas: wear sunscreen, Arby's makes a freaking good Jamocha shake (there was one right on the Boardwalk that used to provide my daily lunch)
Have you used any of that knowledge in later years?
Yeah, I would say I've used it all and probably more, but then again, I am a firm believer that you are a product of all your decisions good and bad, so it would have been impossible not to.
Who were your bosses?  Did you like/get along with them?
When I taught, my principal was Ms. Bowen.  We got along really well...she respected and appreciated the job I did, and I loved working for her.  We weren't like hanging out buddies or anything, but it was a very good working relationship and I still stop in to see her every now and then with the boys.
I'm not sure I remember my boss's name at STA, but she was a weird cookie.  She had never been "boss" before and had only started as "boss" about a week before I got hired.  She was in way over her head and had no idea how manage.  For the first few months I worked there, we got along well and she even had me (and boyfriend at the time) over for dinner a few times.  But then came our quick demise that eventually led to my quitting/firing (it's a long story, but it came down to her insisting I do something that I felt was totally an abuse of her power, I said I wouldn't do it, she said if I didn't do it, I would get fired...I didn't do it, I got fired).
My boss at the PACC was Scott Evans, a man who became a good family friend, especially since both my brother and sister eventually worked there as well.  Everyone who knows Scott loved him, and I did too.
Beach umbrellas: Honestly, I can't even tell you who the bosses were, a bunch of older men that were associated with Virginia Beach Lifesaving Services.  I didn't have a personal relationship with any of them.
How did you get along with your coworkers?
I made really good friendships (and even one long-term boyfriend) at each and every job.  My teaching coworkers remain some of my closest friends.  My only coworker at STA Travel became one of my best friends at that time...she quit the same day I got fired (out of protest!) and although life took us in different directions, we still chat on Facebook every now and then.
my first grade team (+1 other who had moved up to an older grade by this point)...still in touch with all of them:)
Which was your favorite job?
I guess I would have to say working at the PACC because at the time, it was kind of my everything!  Then again, it was a "summer job" and not a real job, in that I didn't need the income, it was less pressure, less requirements, etc. so it's probably unfair to compare it with teaching.
How many years until you retire?
I think I've retired.  Kind of.  I'd like to think I'll work in some capacity again (part time or my own business), but I don't see myself returning to full-time teaching.
Do you have any big plans for your retirement?
Considering I'm 32 and in the throes of raising two young ones, retirement seems eons away.  I have no plans for it...

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