Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Musings on Jobs

Over the last year, my work scheduled has gone through some changes --- one job has shrunk and another has expanded. I now often work two or three evenings a week instead of just one (and, fortunately, I rarely work Sunday afternoons anymore!).

This has meant that I'm often looking for somewhere to eat supper after 9:00 p.m. There are not a lot of choices (other than fast food!) at that hour of the day. There is a local chain of Italian restaurants that are open to 11:00. One local restaurant is open 24/7 which has comfort food, but I can only take that about once a week. (A similar one closed when the interstate was widened, and although it has re-opened in another location, it is, sadly, no longer 24/7.) My favorite restaurant closes about 9 p.m. If I can get there before 9 a.m., the owner will serve me since he's there till 9:30 or 10:00 getting ready for the next day.

Which brings me to a local chicken 'n' biscuit place. They close the dining room at 10:00, and if you arrive after 9:30 and place an order to eat in, you are pointedly informed that the dining room will be closing in 29 minutes. This seems silly (and unwelcoming) to me because the drive-through stays open for another hour or two. They have usually done most of the cleaning in the dining room --- they could simply block off most of the dining room for the last hour or so just as my breakfast hangout does for the last hour before closing.

I know it's not always easy to maintain grace under pressure. I've never worked that kind of job, so I'm not familiar with the kind of pressures that that line of work carries. I've never had a job with a time clock, and I've never had to wear a badge or nametag. One of my brothers worked in food service for many years, so I'm going to ask him about what it was like.

A friend of mine just wrote a blog about his struggles with jobs contributing too much to his identity. I know just what he means. About 14 years ago, I left a job of many years. Sometimes it was too much a part of my identity. The interesting thing was that after I left, I didn't miss the job per se, but I did miss the work I had been doing and realized that the work had affected me positively even though the job (the trappings of employment) had sometimes been toxic.