I Want A FUN Job

Andrea Freedman

After having been in the work force for approximately twenty-eight years, I can confidently say that my best job, at least as far as having fun at work goes, bar none, was when I worked at a video rental store when I was eighteen years old.

It wasn’t only the job itself that I liked, which turned out to be a lot of fun as well as lucrative in the eyes of a teenager. It was also the boss I had, who was the nicest, most sincere person I have ever worked for, and someone I will never forget. I actually looked forward to going to work.

I have come to accept that when you work for someone, it is rare that the relationship can be anything more than a boss/employee dynamic. I have sometimes heard others brag about what a great boss they work for and have gone on to see some of these same people shocked and disillusioned when things go sour with a boss they thought they could trust.

I have never had an employer quite like the man at the video store or a place of work that I looked forward to going to and I don’t think I ever will. After having had years of experience in the workforce since I left his employ, I see the difference between simply working for someone and working for someone that you actually get to know and who genuinely cares about you as a person, beyond what you can do for them as an employee, and the difference between working in an atmosphere where it is okay to be yourself as opposed to a toxic environment which results in an impediment to creativity.

Unfortunately, there is so often an authoritative line drawn between an employee and an employer. Ironically, when I was at my youngest working age, I was made to feel less like a child, less condescended to, than I ever was when I was employed as a more mature adult.

Faced with the possibility of one day looking for even a part time job at this time of my life is daunting to say the least. The only thing that I could think of that could make it bearable would be if I were lucky enough to work somewhere that felt the way it did in that video store.

While VHS and Beta videos are now a thing of the past, so it seems, by the time one reaches their mid forties, are the days when many of us held so-called “fun” jobs, often trading them in for stress and squashed dreams.

I still remember telling my boss at the video store, “I want to work here my whole life.” I did work there for a few years, which was a long time at that point in my life. Perhaps things would have been simpler if I had made that joke a reality and remained in a fun job like that permanently.

As a writer wanting to focus my energy on simply that, I no longer want the stress or time commitment involved in a serious full-time job. As I teeter in the area of my mid forties I have a lot of work to do if I want to have any chance to make it as a writer. I cannot afford to wait until retirement age to get started. In the meantime, I just want to make a few bucks on the side in a fun, non-toxic environment. I wonder if such a thing even exists for people in my age group.

Financially, in a way this is mid-point between beginning my working life and retirement and I have many more potential earning years. Some might worry if they were in my predicament. Most of these so-called fun jobs don’t often pay very much, certainly not the money I was used to earning before anyway. Perhaps as I reach this juncture that does not matter as much as I once thought it did.

Where I used to derive enjoyment from putting smart looking work outfits together, I now find the idea of wearing a uniform to work quite appealing. It would save a lot of money on clothing and I like the idea of proudly displaying the word “Staff” on the back of my jacket.

I doubt that kind man I worked for all those years ago ever knew just how much I truly appreciated him. I don’t think I even realized it myself until I became more mature and after I had many more years of working experience behind me.

I venture to say that all of us who worked together all those years ago have never forgotten our experience and all the laughs we had together. I would not be surprised if none of us ever found jobs that felt quite like the ones we had at the video store, at least where having the kind of person we were lucky enough to have as a boss was concerned.

If I ever bumped into the man I worked for all those years ago, I might very well ask him if I could work for him again, no matter what the job was. A truly good boss can make all the difference if they can somehow elicit respect and enthusiasm from their staff without actually acting like a boss, just as the right work atmosphere can actually make a job feel a little bit more enjoyable and a little bit less like work.

The environment we spend our days in is important to our overall well-beings. I have experienced the glory of being part of a big, dynamic company and in many ways it was great at that time in my life.

I suppose I may have ended up feeling stagnated and depressed after a while if I had never challenged myself to try anything more than the job I had in high school. Still, the valuable lessons I learned from working at that video store are things that have helped me at work and in life in general.

All of my past jobs, including those that were not necessarily that much fun, have taught me something, the most important lesson being that I needed to do those serious jobs in order to get back to the place I am in right now. You never know; maybe one day I will actually be able to put the words ‘work’ and ‘fun’ in the same sentence again.♦

Copyright © 2013 Andrea Freedman

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About andfreed

I am a Toronto based writer of articles, columns, essays and novels.

Posted on February 18, 2013, in Weekly Thoughts and Observations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Your writing style and sincerity really come through. Your message resonates loudly with me and I enjoy reading about your journey!

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  2. I loved this article! I feel the same! I hope I never have to go back to any toxic work environment either. I know one day you will look back and thank yourself for doing what you are doing now, you will succeed! I know I will also! baby steps 🙂

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  3. You’d make Sherry and Jerry proud! Beautifully written!

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  4. Great article!! It is far and few between to love your employer and look forward to starting a new day at the store or wherever you may choose to work for, and if you do discover a person like this, it is wonderful. Keep on writing and something great will happen to you.
    ________________________________

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