Friday, November 6, 2009

Day 87

There's an old adage: do what you love and love what you do. I'm a true believer of that.

However, reality is often different from ideals. Of course, most people would like to do what they love and get paid doing it, but then no one would ever do all those "dirty jobs." Who is going to build the roads, shear the sheep, or clean the public toilets?

Life certainly isn't fair. Some people got to do what they love and get paid handsomely for it, and most people have to settle for "work" so they can afford to put food on the table, or raise a family, or support a lifestyle. Still, I think we all have a choice.

My father worked as a truck driver for over 30 years to support his family. He was trained as a physician, but due to circumstances he ended up at the dock, often working double shifts. He did not complain, though, and in many ways, he actually enjoyed his work, even though it was far from being his first career choice. Still, within his circumstances, he managed to do something he liked and liked what he did. He was proud of his accomplishments. To these days, whenever he sees a semi passing by, he still reminisces about the "good old days." Honest work for honest pay to give them what he really cherished: his family.

There's a lesson in that. Some of us may have choices, but many have very limited ones. However, it comes down to mindset and spirit: if you've accepted a job, you do your darnest to be professional, whether it's guarding the door or shoveling dirt or changing babies' diapers. There is pride in what we do--whether by choice or by circumstances. The problem is, young people today don't seem to have that pride. Many confuse daydreams with reality, and they all look for their instant fame and fortune, their 15 minutes. They don't take pride in what they do, but they have no intention to improve themselves and move on.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard a cashier at a grocery store saying, "When is my break? I've been working for an hour, I need my break now." Break? Try working 14 hours straight without a break.

I used to wait tables and I hated that job. But I was doing it, I never complained, especially not in front of the customers. I took pride in my work and I tried my best to learn everything I could and do my best. I was a lousy waiter (thank goodness), but I did not take it lightly. I did not give my customers attitude or slack off. I did not let on how much I didn't want to be there. I worked 12-14 hours a day and never said in public, "I hate this place." It was a means to an end and eventually, I did find a job that I liked (even though it paid much less). The point is, even though I was "forced" into doing that job, I took pride in doing it well.

500 words, 31700 words total
278 days and 153800 words to go

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