So I thought i'd write about what's been happening lately, and by lately I mean, over the last few months or so.
Firstly, I have a job. Since last April I have worked at a local department store. It is really very hard work, but rewarding too. And I find, despite not having a great amount of confidence, I appear to be a real "people person".
I like helping customers and my colleagues at work. I take phone calls from customers, I help and direct people when making decisions on what to buy, and I put out a mountain of stock each day, I have never once felt out of my depth. I like it there, although the work is physically demanding and tiring, it's okay. I look forward to going. Which is a rare thing these days.
I am grateful I have a job. I can work and provide for my family. I can show them that, working hard gets rewards, gives a sense of purpose to your day, you can have pride in something you do. We can afford to pay the bills and know we are financially secure (well, as much as you can be these days). I know not all jobs are as rewarding, but sometimes it can be a matter of attitude.
Some of my work mates hate the job, can't stand the customers, are often rude and unhelpful, feel burdened by tasks they are asked to do, grumble and groan all the day long about how their feet hurt, how they wish they were at home, how they want to be anywhere but here. Yes, I want to be at home, yes, my feet ache too, yes, the customers can be challenging (I was asked yesterday, in a very abrupt manner, If I was English. My workmate is Lithuanian and her English is pretty much perfect, but the customer apparently didn't trust that my workmate knew what she was asking for and didn't believe the answer she had already been given....We don't sell enamel casserole dishes anyway, as my friend had already told her) But i'm grateful I have a job, I don't want to be on the dole, claiming job seekers allowance, scraping and scrimping to get by, feeling the unsaid prejudiced of being a "scrounger" or a "sponger" of the benefit system... No one says it, but you feel it anyway.
So now I juggle work and family life like millions of others, I sit at a cold, windy and sometimes dark bus stop to be ferried to and fro from work to home and back again. I pack jam sandwiches and take a flask of coffee, I wash my uniform and get it ready along with the school uniforms. I check my rota, I never want to be late and I don't want to let anyone down. I am proud to have my little job.
My job gives me an insight into the wild and wonderful world out there too. All walks of life grace our store. One particular time last spring, an elderly lady approached me and explained that she had asked the young man who works here to point her in the right direction for Dahlia bulbs....
He had sent her up to the lighting department....
Who then directed her to housewares and textiles, which is were I work. She grabbed my arm gently and pleaded "please tell me you know what dahlia bulbs are? the young man sent me to the lighting department" I smiled, I assured her I knew what they were...
"Dahlia bulbs grow into dahlias" I said.
She was so relived "Thank goodness someone knows, thank you dear" she said as she gently squeezed my arm again and off we went to the garden department.
Who needs a paycheck when you have days like that?