The biggest challenge with writing a blog is censoring what you write. I've been careful not to write about work, or about relationships, or about challenges in my life. I guess for a variety of reasons, persecution, judgement, confidentiality, whatever, the point is that when you start censoring yourself from talking about things in your life then you aren't really writing about your life anymore.
This doesn't mean I'm going to jump into writing about all of those things, but I think I can approach a few of the topics by writing about my past and in particular my views on those topics I just mentioned and more.
So let's begin shall we. I wrote in my blog description that I'm in a "mid-level management career". I'm a Store Manager of a small convenience store. It's the current chapter in my over twenty-five years of experience in the retail industry.
My first job in 1987, ironically, at the age of 16, was working in a convenience store. I lasted about a month but I was too slow and the manager didn't like men, to my knowledge I'm the only male employee she ever hired and she quickly found a way to get rid of me. I was placed on the closing shifts, alone, which today would be illegal, and left to fend for myself. Like I said I didn't last that long. It's kind of funny really, that ten years later I'd be working for another convenience store and setting the standard for "under 15 seconds" transactions, and, being one of the few in the district to have read and quote the company's training manual cover to cover. I didn't like my first job, who does? I had to deal with money, drunks and stocking the cooler among other duties.
Let's see, after that, if I remember correctly, I worked one summer for the board of education in my home town, that was 1988. That job was pathetic. It was hot tiring work and they offered no support. I remember one time they wanted me to cut the weeds on a hillside near the offices. It was a 45 degree angle, about fifty feet high by five hundred feet long - they gave me a weed whacker. After a full day of hacking away at that hill they moved me to another task. I personally think they were just trying to find a way for me to quit but I was determined. I lasted the summer.
In 1989, the year I graduated, I met my first girlfriend, we dated for six months. I remember the first day we met like it was yesterday. I walked down to the park, and there seated on a small footbridge by the river was the girl I'd fall in love with. She was the first, but of course not the last. I remember looking over her shoulder at the cheesy romance novel she was reading and trying to think of something intelligent to say about it. Yeah, an impossible task. We started talking and spent the next six hours together, ending the evening by chasing each others shadows under the street light in front of my house. Back in the olden days when kids used to spend time outside and only come in after the street lights came on and after our mother's called us for the third time to come inside and get ready for bed because we had school in the morning.
She and I worked together, big mistake, for six weeks of our relationship, at a lodge outside of Parry Sound, Ontario. It was long hours, sixty hours a week, and at the end of the six weeks the Jewish organization that owned the lodge paid me the paltry sum of about $280. Yeah two hundred and eighty dollars for six weeks of work. They charged hundreds in "room and board", like you had a choice. The next spring there was a career fair at my high school, one of the places hiring was the lodge. I took a few minutes to tell the county recruiter of my experiences with the lodge, she took it off her list of recommendations to students to apply. Small victory.
After that summer I met up with my girlfriend one last time, two days before I started orientation at College. We walked around town that evening before she went her way and I went mine... our paths crossed again, and again, several years later.
Let's see, then I was in College, 1989. I worked in cleaning and security during my year there. The security job was okay, as long as I could stay awake, but it was spooky and cold. One night I was working at a construction site near the college and got spooked by something, I quit the next day. I kind of miss security.
Around 1990 I worked for a few years for a drug and grocery store in Brampton, and while I was there I met my future wife online. Yeah, that's a whole other drama we can save for another time. Anyways, I spent four years working for that company before moving to the U.S. to be with her. I have no regrets in my past but boy did I ever make many mistakes!
In the U.S. I worked for only two companies in almost nine years. The first was, yet again, a convenience store chain and the next was a mass merchandising chain. It was from these two companies that my disgust with corporations began. It doesn't mean I won't work for a corporation, after all I still have to eat, but I prefer the more independent companies with one or two locations and not two hundred. So, my life in the U.S. ran from 1994 to 2003 before I was able to escape and return to Canada after serving eight and a half years in a loveless marriage.
And I'm going to pause for now, it's late and I have a long day tomorrow, err today. I just wanted to start writing in here more and bring this darned thing up to date again.
Until... well, the next time I have a few minutes to write :)
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