Making a Living

Today is Sept 1st which means I have held my job at Avis for a month, so let’s talk about it now that the adjustment period has passed, more or less.

Now, almost my ENTIRE work background is childcare.  I have over 20 years’ experience.  I have literally been working with children since I was thirteen…I started out teaching first graders to read during my 8th grade study hall when my old teacher asked for my assistance.  Then, I took to teaching elementary level Religious Education at my church from 14-20, starting out as an aide and eventually getting my own class for a couple years.  This was all volunteer…my first paying job had nothing to do with kids.  It was Joann Fabrics and I was let go three days before Christmas.  I learned very little at the job, and decided that I had to go with my talent, which was teaching kids.  So, I started working as a substitute at Heritage Centers, a special needs day care near my house.  This started me down the long line of professional childcare, taking me to schools and daycares all over WNY, and culminating in me becoming a nanny, which is probably the best childcare job you can get, so long as it’s the right family.  And then…I quit.

Much like I did with theater, my other profession (and a longer, more tumultuous story that I am saving for my memoir,) I woke up one morning and realized it no longer served my life. 

See, I never wanted to have kids, as I have expressed many times in my blog.  I just do not have whatever it is that most women seem to have that makes them aspire to be mothers.  Never wanted to grow a baby in my belly, and hold responsibility for it all the time.  I much prefer the pint-sized relationships I do have where I birthed no one and can return them at the end of the day.  Alas…I am also past that point in my life.  The next time a small child is really Involved in my life, I would like it to be a grandchild.  I’m not saying TODAY (kiddo who may be reading this- I am talking to you and your siblings,) but someday in the future.  The point is that I am just not at my fighting weight anymore…I can’t be chasing around a 2-year-old, and I really do not want to very often.  Do I miss it, of course, but there are other things in life, y’know?

So, I took a job at Avis car rentals. 

Confident as always, I looked at the position as a challenge.  Something new, a step outside my comfort zone, and a skill I could learn.  I would be lying to you if I said it wasn’t difficult at times.  The computer program we use appears to be from 1986, and customer service is a world unto its own.  I have picked up all the basics and some other aspects, but the nuances are plentiful.  My manager (who is named Mark, like my husband, so that’s caused confusion) has worked there for a very long time and seems to know almost everything there is to know, and I feel like a complete moron when a customer asks me something and I have to go ask him.  Still, when I get the answer to the customer’s question or see how he solves a problem, I try to remember for the future.  I have been trying very hard to do this job right, and while work-Mark seems like he really needs a vacation (it’s just been him the last couple months, every day, all day,) he has been very patient with me and is a pretty good teacher to have.  I just wish I could go faster…I feel like I am constantly thinking things out.  But it reminds me of when I learned to drive.  I overthought everything and it freaked me out to get on the road.  I think I am in the same position now, but I know that driving is second nature after all that practice, so soon I will be whipping along, matching work-Mark’s speed.

Aside from that hiccup, though, everything has been great, and I actually enjoy going to work, and look forward to learning more.  And at a place where there are no children!  I mean, you literally have to be 25 to rent a car, so I am dealing with no small people at all!

But do I mis them?

Yes.  See, those babies will always be babies to me.  Take the H family…when I worked for them there were three boys, and mom was DONE.  Now, those three boys are in middle school and there’s two more kids in the mix, but I will always remember that family as it was when it was smaller.  I will always remember the then-youngest boy as the baby who fell asleep in my arms.  There are a couple of moms I am friends with on Facebook, too.  I am watching their kiddos grow from afar, via posts and pictures, but the truth is that in my heart they are still small…not starting high school or going to their first dance or joining the military.  To me, they are forever young. 

So, I will cherish those memories as I move forward in life, and I am pleased I have them, but I am ready for change.  Shall it come in the form of car rentals?  We shall see.  Maybe I will really luck out and my other career of writing will take off!!  One can dream, can they not?