I started a new job today. The kind of low paying, entry-level position that comes complete with a company shirt, name tag and ball cap. Perfect for someone who is half my age or more. The kind of job I would otherwise be ashamed of having, considering where I think I should be by this point in my life. However, such thinking has neither lead me to happiness or fulfillment..
So, instead of getting depressed about having to wear a dirty apron, stand over a hot fryer and scrape food pans into the trash, I will try to focus on what I can take away from the place:
- It is an honest living – there’s no shame in that
- Beats the hell out of some of the other things I’ve done for a living…
- I get to meet new and interesting people
Of those points, the last one got me thinking about how I could put a positive spin on this situation: I’m going to start thinking of my job as undercover participant observation – a form of ethnographic field work. Delusional? Without a doubt, but at least it will be fun!
I could conduct informal interviews, maybe even map the social dynamics between co-workers, management and customers. The alternative is just the same treadmill of frustration I have been running myself ragged on for years now in a seemingly endless parade of joe jobs.
On a positive note, they have enabled me to amass an impressive collection of nametags and hairnets (you’ll have to forgive the shameless Wayne’s World reference 🙂 )…
Besides, you’d be surprised at just how willing people are to tell their stories – if only you’d take the time to ask. And who doesn’t like a good story? I certainly do…so tell me, what’s your story?