Recently, I was in contact with a TFB reader, Gohul, about career paths. Gohul is a young man full of ambition who wanted to know more about the job of financial planner vs CFA and other options. During this discussion, he asked me which kind of jobs had I done so far and what I had learned from them. I realized what a great perspective to take and idea for a this series about all the jobs I’ve had so far. Most importantly, what I had learned from them.
Working in a Dollar Store
My very first job was for my father inlaw. He used to own a dollar store in a small city. I had started working there during the huge ice storm we went through back in 1998. The ice storm was so devasting that we didn’t have power for 2 months (no kidding!). I was hired back then as a stockman; I was responsible to put everything a dollar store can include (trust me, that includes a lot of items) on the shelves.
What was nice about this job
I had a few advantages even though it was a pretty boring job and it wasn’t really well paid (minimum wages bring minimum efforts I once heard…). However, I was lucky enough to work with my girlfriend on weekends and taking it easy on Thursday and Friday nights since the “boss” wasn’t there.
I had free chocolate bars (which was a blessing for the sugar hound in me!) and I was also able to get more “benefits” once the store was closed 😉
What sucked about this job
Customers were looking down at me as if I was almost nothing. People often don’t consider those who are doing underpaid jobs… that sucks! I will always remember this “loyal” customer who told me:
“hey, I guess this is what happens when you don’t want to go to school, huh?”. I stood up from the pile of $1.00 coffee mugs and looked at her saying: “anything I can help you with, M’mam?”.
Yeah…. Back then I was young and I didn’t have quite a sharp tongue… I wish I could go back in time some days ;-).
What I learned from my dollar store experience:
I actually learned a lot of things. So here we go:
– Never look down on people, we all do valuable jobs. So just appreciate when people serve you with a smile.
– Working for family members is not always a good idea. You are usually walking on a thin line.
– Working with your girlfriend is awesome… except when your boss (that is her father) is in the store 😉
– Cheap people don’t want quality, they just don’t want to pay for their goods…. And this is true for most of what they will do with their money in life.
– I can’t work for autocratic micro-managers. The very first time there was an argument, I left the job the very same day… fortunately, I didn’t leave the girlfriend at the same time!
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