Remember When…?

I almost always bring work home.  I work from home before I leave in the morning, at night when I get home, and on the weekends.  Do you remember when jobs were something we did at the workplace?  I do.  Remember when Friday (or whatever day was the day before your “time off”) meant freedom? I do.  I was 14, and from 14 to 16, I worked at Burger King.  

In Florida, fast food restaurants were some of the few places for which you could get a work permit at 14, and I needed the money.  While I was on scholarship at my private school, going to that school, especially once I was a teenager, meant I needed cash for extras.  “Extras” might include contributing to things like our hideous but expensive uniforms, books, school supplies, and bus fare.  Social activities were on top of those.

Working at Burger King wasn’t so bad.  First off, at my age, I was not allowed to do any of the “hard” jobs, like working the burger line, making fries, or taking out the garbage.  I mainly worked the drive-thru window, since I could calculate a customer’s change in my head.  The real advantage, however, was that I was working in a world totally different from the rest of my life.  Most the of the people I worked with did not see Burger King as a temporary job – they were there to make a living.  And often they resented those of us who were there “just for fun”.   They weren’t wrong.  But I was gaining a perspective that I would never have had I 1) not worked or 2) worked for my parents at an office, as some of my friends did.  This probably had some profound impact on my life that I should be able to better define, but what it really did was help me realize how lucky I was – and am.

So, now when I work from home, I mostly don’t resent it.  I have a job that I love, doing work I think is important, and I believe I’m good at it.  My colleagues are interesting, committed, caring people, I travel to (mostly) fun places, and I get to see lots of shows.   But occasionally, I do play “remember when?”.  Don’t you?

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