We Are Deep In the Heart of Texas

Nomadic seasons of farming adventures with nature thrown in to include; a pinch of family, snippets of friends, counting our blessings, paying IT forward, home school, and the spicy things I decide to rant about.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

True Story From My First Paying Job

My mom after much badgering talked to the owner of Wimpy's submarine sandwich shop Bellflower, California.  She use to go there quiet often for lunch because the shop was down the road a piece from where she worked, National Lumber. (I can't believe I found their advertising slogan.)

If the owners Paul and Kathy (both Korean born) would hire me; I could walk there after walking my sister home from Mayfair High School at the time I was 15 and she was 13.  In those days it was 'KINDA' safe to walk home but, not always.

So I was hired (1982) to work part time after school which amounted to 30 hours a week at $2.65 -- I was considered wait staff.  My pay was a whopping $62 bucks a week after taxes and that money went straight to my mom.  However, what I remember from the job was the training I was given: sandwich construction, cooking, cash register, stocking, cleaning, dish washing, cleaning, meatball sauce making, handling drunk smart butts on their lunch break, (there was a service window for an attached bar and convenience store), how to make change, inventory, listening to Koren Opera mixed with the bar's juke box, customer service, meat slicing, and on occasions slow - slow days. 

One day after Paul had been particularly cranky; he sat down in one of the 6 booths the place had to give me a break from his constant lectures.  So this customer came up and ordered a sandwich; thus I made the sandwich and was going to accept his payment.  THEN HE HANDED me a fifty dollar bill --- I froze.  I had only ever been trained to handle smaller bills.  I racked my brain trying to figure out what I should do.  I could not make change in my head.

After what felt like a lifetime, Paul came up behind me and told me which bills to give the customer while apologizing to him for my inept service.  Why does this event stick in my mind so clearly?????????????

It was a turning point for myself.  I decided never to be stumped again by figuring things out ahead of time, emergency what ifs planning, on my own even if I had no experience.  Is it any wonder manic depressives, multi personalities, ADD, ADHD, or paranoids exist? I would just SEE THE SOLUTION by flashing out possible outcomes.  While my mother had been tough to live with it was different in public.  Our family squabbles were private however, I decided not to be a failure in front of folks again.  At least not a DEER CAUGHT IN HEADLIGHTS failure because as you know; deer often lose their battle with fear.  Thus, this moment became the birth of Trigger Happy me.

I think this is where I developed my impatience with folks who have to take time to process information before making a decision.  It's an ugly side to me; I am learning to temper with time.  I am not always sucessful but, I recognize my downfall and realize not everyone grew up in an hostile environment.


Sharon said...

I can see where that would still be hanging out in your memory banks! I don't believe I ever even saw a fifty till after I was married!

I, too, have to hold myself back with people who don't process quickly in their minds. What goes around, does come around, when you start to "lose" it, like I have.


polly's path said...

I agree with you both, Sharon and Mal. I find myself feeling the same way while i wait on some ninny to figure things out that I feel they should have figured out a long time ago. See? that ugly side comes out.

Jabacue said...

I am learning to 'curb' my impatience side. It takes lots of practice as I'm sure you know. But one day I figured....what's the rush anyway? It all comes down to, I figure, living 'in the moment'. When one practices that as much as possible, there doesn't seem to be a rush anymore. Things get very mellow man. I a true blue 60's child I guess!
Anywho, I'm new to you and will enjoy your dialogue I'm sure.

Chicken Boys said...

Wow. I got the part about dealing with ignorance. But I gotta be on the defensive side for a bit. My job can be quite demanding. I'm admin-accts. payable to be exact. But that means very little. I find myself involved in receivables, counter sales, phone sales, customer service, driver, delivery, parts pulling, driver assisting...and at times I do all of this in one day. Sometimes I find myself trying to do 100 things at once, and I do my best to figure it all out as needed. But sometimes I don't have all the answers. I have told customers that I will get them the answers they are looking for...sometimes on hold for a minute (literally, tops) and sometimes with a returned phone call. Sometimes it involves a decision I don't have the authority to make (though I have in the past made decisions that weren't really mine...you gotta do what you gotta do to make the customer happy.) If it's something simple..."just give me my change." I've no shame in using a calculator. I'd hate to be wrong in that instance. But sometimes it can be a little more complicated, and patience will probably be required.

pj said...

yea i was kinda the same in school, didn't do very well in school but made up for it with real life skills, you know when you learn something that will actually be useful to you when you leave school, since i left school i got qualified in Business administration, joinery, building, mechanics, catering, welding and god knows what else, my writing is still to hell but what are computers for, love math even tho i add the numbers up backwards and get the proper answer faster which is kinda weird and as long as its large numbers, i suck at maths with low numbers (i know iam weirdly nuts but ya love me anyway lol)
people like me as i am and if they dont to friggin bad they got that problem and i believe in treating people the way they treat me, i like upfront right to the point people who tell it like it is end off 8O)

pj said...

i remember the last job i had it was working for a store called lidl, every week the area manager would appear and pranced around like a total knob, one day he asked the manager of the store if he thought i didnt like him or something to which the store manager told the area manager, nope he cant stand your bl**dy guts why do you think he dont talk to you ever roflmao and the store manager was right, i wanted to tell the area that i thought he was a total knob and a waste of space but needed the job and the store manager said it probarly would not be the best idea too lmao

Texan said...

On little things I make a decision and move on-- on big things...

I am one of those people that wants ALLLL the facts. Does a lot of research. I will go over the information once, twice, three times. Make sure I missed nothing. Think it thru and then yes I will make a decision. But a trigger decision maker on big things, nope I am not!

I am a fact gatherer, organized well thought out planner :O).

I do agree however in small things that it seems a toad could figure it out, I too will think holy cow lets get on with it!

Like your example I will use this one. I was at Lowes, I checked out. I bought a few things all for the farm. I had a coupon for one, we have a farm tax account and the coupon product was on sale. I told the girl, I don't believe that is right. "yes it is" as she glanced at the register screen... Well its X amount of money for this this and this, I have a coupon for X amount and I don't pay sales tax. I believe it should be X amount of money. Her reply after she redid it.. "WOW your really good at math"

Scary isn't it!

Texan said...

She did look harder at that point, and saw.

I was right about the amount she had not keyed it in right to use the tax account and the coupon had not applied itself...

pj said...

hey mooooooom i have my own blog now woohoooo http://highlander-musings.blogspot.com

Judy's Corner said...

So, two years ago my response to this one would have been different. Then, I would have confessed to being impatient with those who take their sweet time to figure things out. Not me, I was always sure I could step right up to the challenge and typically was successful. However, in the past two years I have spent a lot of time with a friend who is brilliant, but who take a LONG time to determine the approach to things...it's interesting to watch and maddening not to just jump in and do, whatever it is...HOWEVER...at least as often as not, the end result is better than what I would have produced with my knee jerk response... SOOOOO...for things I am simply compelled to do, I do and for everything else, I am learning to relax a little and be surprised by others' talents!

Nekkid Chicken said...

LOL Yeppers Sharon

I have no patience sometimes. It's a flaw I work on all the time, Polly.

Welcome Jabacue, Lets just say the storage building, grannie grotto, man cave I wrote about below. Hubby wanted that begining 2 years ago. I think I have had patience just not silently. LOL

Nekkid Chicken said...

Randy, I was more embarassed about dealing with my lack of 'know how.' I was humiliated by freezing. I will write more later about why, I hate the spotlight. You know like Medal Ceremonies, Awards, Promotions, NCO of the QTR and so on. Well all those things pushed me back here and some other misadventures my mum put my sister and I through under the guise of discipline.

Nekkid Chicken said...

Welcome PJ, You said 'total knob.' That so translates well. The things we do to put food on the table. I feel your pain with keeping hush because I know its not your nature. I added your blog to my read list now get writing. LOL