~~ The Unforgettable Bike Ride ~~
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When I sit here and think about my very first job, I really think I have come a long way. It's strange thinking about where we start in life and where we ultimately end up. I can surely and gladly say that I should count my blessings each and everyday because I have always worked myself up towards bigger and better opportunities. I must say that a person learns so much from living the reality of life. The way I see it, is that even if a person studies at least 20-23 years of their life and has managed to attain their Master's Degree or even their Ph.d, the experience that the practical side of life gives you is what helps you learn and grow as an individual.
Facing challenges, trying to understand and work alongside difficult personalities, how to successfully deal with and overcome stressful situations faced on a daily basis. I think these are just a few factors that help in strengthening a person mentally and emotionally. One is able to overcome many obstacles in life such as; shyness, lack of confidence, introversion, lack of social skills, etc. As a person, your intellectual capacity expands and you begin to see things from a different light. You learn to except various other perspectives and schools of thought, other than just your own. At times, you appreciate what others have been gifted with other than oneself.
So just taking a trip down memory lane for a while brings me back to my very first job. I remember I was only 14 yrs. old and a friend of mine worked part-time at a local convenience store only about 20-25 mins. from my house. Items such as chocolate bars, candies, cigarettes, lotteries and small quantities of milk products, breads, ice-cream and popsicles were sold there. I used to think how cool it woud be to work there and hold a part-time job as a store clerk. I would get so excited just thinking about the paycheque I would receive bi-weekly and would already be making a mental list of what I was going to be buying that week.
I still can't forget my very first salary when I started working at the store which was set at $4.35/hour. Oh my God, when I remember that it really seems so strange. I still can't believe it, but what an experience it was. I learned so much working there and also realized how cheap and stingy employers could be when it came down to paying or recognizing their employees. Very few had a big enough heart to even say " Thank you " for all that you do. I mean it's not always about the money, I realize today that you also have to have a passion for what you do, to make it not feel like an actual job.
I can still visualize the expression on my mother's face when I told her that I wanted to work at the store part-time. She wasn't too thrilled but at the same time she did not want to say " no " especially after seeing the excitement on my face knowing it would officially be my very first part-time job. I could have been delivering local newspapers in my neighbourhood but this happen to be much better. I think she was nervous when she knew I would be finishing work at 9pm at least 3 nights a week and would not actually be leaving the store until about an hour later after clean-up and all. Now even though my father was able to pick me up after work those nights, I think he started to feel a bit lazy after a few months at which point my parents decided that I would benefit from a brand new bike, YEAHHHHH !!!
As I lay on my bed at this very moment writing about this entire episode in my life, I can't help but laugh about it all. I just can't believe there was actually a time in which I would bike ride to the store, lock my shiny, blue bike to the tree securely, finish working my regular 4-hour shift, then unlock my bike carefully at about 10pm in the night and ride it back home. I can't seem to forget those times when I was perhaps afraid of the fact that it was infact so dark and I remember while unlocking my bike, I would turn and look behind me at least 5 or 6 times to make sure no one was there or coming to approach me because it was usually lonely in the area at that time.
The funniest part of the bike incident was how vigorously I remember pedalling, trying to make my way home as fast as I could. Again looking back constantly to make sure no one was following in their car behind me while I rode at faster speeds. I guess it was just all in the mind because of the fact that it was so quiet in the area. But knowing I would be home within 10 mins. by bike, was rather reassuring. Those were some crazy days. Till this day, I can't believe I actually did all that all for $4.35/hour and had the energy to do it at the time, interesting!
Then after about 4 months had lapsed, like all new things, the novelty of the new part-time job eventually wore off when one day I just decided to call it quits because it was finally time to move on.