It’s officially the longest I’ve gone without a haircut since I can remember, and the longest I’ve gone without a job since I first started working in high school (with the exception of first semester of law school, because we weren’t allowed to have a job). I keep thinking of a song my stepdad used to sing around the house – “Get a haircut, and get a real job. Clean your act up and don’t be a slob. Get it together like your big brother Bob.” Great song.
I’ve always liked to make money. Ashleigh, my childhood best friend, and I had a Snoopy Snow Cone machine and spent one summer selling delicious snow cones to our neighborhood friends.
When the Snow Cone business slowed down, I had to get creative. In our house there was a random box of these strange glass figurines that were actually perfumes. As a 10 year old, I had no use for perfume. But I had the awesome idea that I could make potpourri! I pulled up grass from our yard and put it in little sandwich baggies, and then poured perfume all over the grass. I sealed up the baggies, loaded them into my wagon, and walked around the neighborhood selling my homemade potpourri. Shockingly, it was not a very successful business.
Like many teenage girls, I did a lot of babysitting while I was growing up, and I liked it. But what I wanted most was a real job. When I was 15, I started working as a hostess at a small cafe in my hometown. I thought it was the greatest job ever. I got to dress up nicely, talk to people, and like many a young hostess, I felt like I was super important.
Since then, I’ve had a lot of part time jobs. In high school, I worked at a tanning salon, and as a waitress, and that was also the year my friend Kristen and I started a purse and embroidery business. It started when I was envious of another friend’s Gap purse, and my grandma said she could make it for me. She actually sewed me a purse out of a dishtowel! I was super impressed, and saw visions of selling purses all over the world. Kristen and I learned how to sew a few different shapes and sizes of purses, and started taking orders from family and friends. We debated on a name for our new business, and decided on The Bag Ladies (although Purses for the People was a close second). We even had business cards (what I wouldn’t give to still have one of those).
We spent every Sunday morning at Jo-Ann Fabrics, and then we went straight to my grandma’s house to sew for the afternoon. We sold our purses at craft shows, and we even had a display at a store in town. We also made personalized fleece blankets. Sadly, we were headed off to separate colleges and our business venture ended.
The summer before college I was an on-call factory worker for the GREATEST JELLY AND JAM MAKER IN THE WORLD. While it was pretty cool to see how a factory worked, it was only about 2 hours into my first day on the job that I realized I was not cut out for manual labor.
During college, I worked as a computer lab assistant, a sales associate at Things Remembered and Gap, a waitress, a resident advisor for my dorm, history department assistant, a receptionist for an advertising agency, and a bank teller (a terrible job for someone with a lifelong struggle with math). I usually had two part time jobs during school, mostly to help pay for my Banana Republic credit card.
With law school came more serious jobs and more responsibility. Although two summers ago, a Jeni’s Ice Cream shop opened across the street from our house in Columbus and I just had to work there. It combined my love of ice cream, sales, and talking! It was maybe the greatest job ever. My boss (a sweet 21 year old student) told me that I really set the bar high for the other scoopers at our shop – which I took as a very nice compliment.
All this to say, it’s been very strange for me to be unemployed for this long. My parents (I’m blessed to have three of them) instilled a strong work ethic in me from a very young age. Truthfully, it’s hard to feel like I’m doing my part when I’m not working or bringing home a paycheck.
I’m feeling very optimistic that my employment status will change soon. Oh AND, in equally important news, I have a haircut scheduled for this Friday.