After many, many years of punching a clock, I’m done. And as this next chapter in life moves closer, I’ve been reflecting on some of the jobs I had and those I shared cubicles with.
Unlike many people, I’ve had a long list of employers. Some were temporary stops during periods of economic uncertainty, some proved too difficult or too far, some offered too little reward, and some were just too plain weird. Some I chased down because I knew it was what I wanted, some fell into my lap because the time and place were right.
Some ended when they shut the doors (two) or there were layoffs (one), and some ended when my itchy feet told me it was time to move on. I gave up some lucrative gigs, cautioned by those more conservative to stay put, but there was something inside that told me to go. It was too big a world. I needed to see it.
Some were mom-and-pop operations (sometimes just pop), two were huge multi-national corporations, some were non-profits, and some were partnerships. One was so shady I never did figure out the owner. Neither did the bank when my pay cheque bounced.
The variety of industries, interests, and operations included a memorable cast of characters. I had a boss with serious mental health challenges, another who’d recently broken away from a religious sect she no longer believed in, a few who couldn’t keep their hands to themselves (it was another era), some who treated me as a friend, and others who ruled with an iron fist.
My co-workers, of course, came in all shapes and sizes too. Many were a joy to work with, while a few are best left unmentioned. Some became lifelong friends. A few developed into romantic relationships, one even turned into a husband (a story for another day).
There were many days of laughter and shared triumphs, nights of long hours putting a project or a newspaper to bed, and a few tears when life thrust its inevitable hurts and struggles our way.
Some fostered socializing with constant parties and sporting events making for some interesting next-day conversations, while nary a lunch was shared at others. A few gave me some opportunities I’m forever grateful for. One paid for a large chunk of my university education while another paid for some great trips (Bahamas - twice!), spas, ski and golf resorts. I never would’ve seen my family as much if not for regular business trips to Toronto.
Changing jobs as I did allowed me to meet a wide swath of people, to learn different organizational operations, and to create a skill set that stood up well in a world of change. For change was the one thing that remained constant.
Standing on the precipice of this next transition, I confess to a strange mixture of anxiety, hope, fear, and excitement. Where it will take me is anyone’s guess. But that’s the beauty, isn’t it? And after a lifetime of change, why should it stop now? Would I even want it to?
With more time, my hope is to write more. And of course, if there’s anything of mine along the way for you to read, you’ll be the first to know. Stay safe, my friends, and take care of yourselves in whatever way you need to.
In the meantime, happy reading.