Today’s guest post comes from Mrs. CTC at From Cost To Coast where she blogs about her family’s journey to financial independence (and past journeys they’ve completed getting through some rough financial times). If you like this post, which previously appeared on her blog, as much as I do, check out her site for more!
Ever since I was in high school I have been working whenever I could. As I wrote here earlier some of these jobs were more successful than others, leading me to investigate the possibility of gaining more financial flexibility or freedom. Sometimes it would be glorious if you could choose your principles over your paycheck (also known as the shove-it plan).
Having said that, I have to admit that I am grateful anyway for every single one of those shitty jobs. Yes I’ve scrubbed toilets, I’ve been yelled at, I’ve been disrespected and I’ve put in an unimaginable amount of hours for virtually no pay. But I know I have become who I am today because of it, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I don’t have entitlement issues.
I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, and neither was Mr. CTC. Both of our families always had to work a series of undervalued jobs to make a living.
I am lucky enough to have been in a position where I could get an academic degree, and to find a job that earns me a decent living without any physical or mental discomfort. But I realize how lucky I am because I once had to put in almost double the hours, was up on my feet all day and did some dirty jobs. Just to make ends meet – barely.
So today, I find it hard to relate to colleagues that are worked up because they have no front door parking rights. Boohoo.
I am easily satisfied…
Once I had to go to great lengths in order to get paid at all for the hours I put in. Therefore, today I am still very happy to see my salary arrive at the exact moment my employer is obliged to pay. Or even earlier!
This isn’t always a good thing by the way, since it took me a long time (and a lot of personal finance blogs) before I got the nerve to submit a declaration for job-related costs. It just seemed inappropriate to nitpick and fill out forms over tens of euros when they were so good to me. They paid in time and in full!
I am over that now, by the way.
… but not easily impressed
Even in my earliest days of working as a lawyer, my colleagues would say that they were surprised at how stress-resilient I was.
Really? Try working as a waitress on a terrace where dozens of people arrive at the same time, where people are cranky and disrespectful, children vomit and dogs fight. Or dogs vomit and kids fight. Add a failing coffee machine to the mix. That contract deadline’s got nothing on me.
Also, when you’ve been yelled at or when you’ve experienced attempts to touch you in places where the sun don’t shine, you won’t be impressed by someone simply stating that he does not agree with you.
That’s cool. Let’s talk.
I don’t think I’m above anyone else – but not below anyone else either.
I’ve scrubbed my own share of toilets so I will never look down on the person doing that right now (this should not be something special really, but I see otherwise almost daily). People are working hard in jobs nobody does for entertainment purposes so cut them some slack.
On the other hand, I’m not overly humbled (or humbled at all, really) by someone just because he or she is a CEO. Or a minister of state for that matter. Every person loses his decorum after a wine or two too many, and I’ve seen some awkward things going on.
This isn’t always good either, sometimes you do have to walk the invisible lines of power and decision-making and you can’t go ahead acting like you’ve been in kindergarten together. Learned that the hard way.
So do I ever want to trade my current job for any of the old ones? Hell to the no. But I am happy I experienced every one of them.
Did you have some shitty jobs in the past? What have you learned from them?