With Gizmo and Debbie’s Great American Road Trip (Part 1) complete, it seems logical to start regaling you with part 2 (since it’s done and complete,) but that sounds entirely too logical for me. So instead…let’s talk about Chicago. I will cover each section of my life while there in separate posts. This one is about work.
I landed in the suburbs on September 18th, 2015. Once unpacked (which took about an hour) I headed out to Northwestern University to secure my job at the gym for the quarter. The gym (henceforth referred to as SPAC) employs a ton of work study students as CSRs and Supervisors. It’s a bunch of 18-22 year old kids who are in college. They all work 9-12 hours (typically) in any one of a number of positions in the gym.
I was trained by an 18 year old and a 20 year old. I felt old and uncomfortable, and honestly, way beyond being told that missing my shift was a major infraction – three of which would lead to my termination. Pretty quickly, however, probably due to the fact that I was working 33 hours a week I started feeling like these kids were my family/friends for the time being and I was okay with that.
I told my managers that if there was any additional work I could do, to please let me know. I wanted the hours. I needed the money. I required a way to keep myself out of trouble. And soon I was also working 5-6 hours a week in the back office. After a week or so, I found I quite enjoyed this time due to having a chance to use the business connections I had made through the printing world and spending my time bantering with coworkers (who weren’t college students.)
Here’s a little list of the fun things that happened while I worked at SPAC:
I learned that I SUCK at chess. I’m perfectly capable of playing my 6 year old nephew, but terrible at playing real adults. I hate this.
I’m capable of doing all sorts of cool kinds of planks.
I found out that I have tendinitis in my left foot. I basically need to do a crapton of physical therapy and stay off of it…which I’m not planning on doing….
I can’t do a G D push up. This isn’t for lack of trying. Three people I worked with tried like hell to make this happen for me before I left… I still haven’t done it. I promise a picture/video once I do. I feel decently close and yet SO FAR away.
I lost my cool once at the rudest bitch. As she finally walked away I said (loud enough for her to hear) “you certainly don’t have to be rude about it next time.” When she turned around, I focused SO hard on my computer screen that I’m pretty sure she considered the chance that I hadn’t said anything and it was all in her head.
I re-learned how to make origami cranes. I don’t know if you remember this book, but there was a book I read in school once about a girl with leukemia who folded a thousand paper cranes or something? Well one of the girls I worked with brought origami paper one morning and we folded cranes. I made three: a brown one named Brownie (creative, I know,) a pink one named Molly and a white one I named Popcorn and gave to someone as a symbol of our friendship. Nerd alert.
I watched a few games of dodge ball happen between staff members at our holiday party and then lost – BADLY – in a game of Horse to an unnecessarily tall boy I worked with. Fun fact, the last time I played a game of Horse, it was a first date. It went well. Dated the guy for a few months. This time didn’t end the same way…shame really. Kidding!
At the end of my three months at SPAC, I was fortunate enough to have made a few friends who I already really miss. I also had a great time working there, which I really didn’t expect. The staff (and many of the kids) signed a card for me and I got a gift card as a going away present. Who would have thought that I would have made that much of an impact in such a short time??
Who would have thought it would have had such an impact on me?
Ever had a temporary job that you ended up really enjoying? What are your best and worst work stories?