***Caution: This blog may contain language that is offensive to some readers. Please read at your own discretion.
Front Office Robbery
The first time I ever witnessed a robbery I was sitting at my work desk finishing up the last few cells of a spreadsheet that I was scheduled to present the next morning.
It was close to five o’clock which meant that my shift would be over in about an hour and I could finally make my way back to my condo in downtown. I felt a hint of excitement watching the hands of the analog clock tick pressed against the wall knowing that I would be greeted with a leftover rice and bean bowl, queso with chips and pineapple soda as soon as I stepped foot into my humble abode. That, plus the thought of Netflix, actually made me completely forget about the unfortunate realization that I was really dreaming of my escape more than I was planning my evening.
You see, I didn't really love my job. Not because of the pay, management or my co-workers, it just wasn’t me. I never imagined myself leaving my twenties and be working for a warehouse distribution company. It was exhausting, unfulfilling and I just had no interest in the logistical inner workings of shipping women’s underwear. That sentiment showed in my work, at meetings and just about every other facet my time there.
I just didn’t care about the place and I wasn’t alone in that sentiment.
For a year I had shared an office with a girl named Marissa and for a year I had endured her endless rants about how if it wasn’t for her boyfriend, Frankie, getting locked up, she wouldn’t even be needing a job. On and on, she’d suck her teeth, flick dirt out her nails and tell me about the places her and Frankie would travel before the Feds finally kicked in his west end apartment.
“Theez warehaus gigs ain’t nuffin, shit, I cud sell panteez tew. Errybody wear em.” She’d say.
“Wen me n Frankie waz fukkin in Espainola, hea doo dis thing wea he pull mine strate off wif hiz teef. Oo baby, wen he make parole, it’s fukk dis place.”
Turns out, this day was Frankie’s first day out.
Marissa had been awfully quiet the entire day. I was grateful she had finally learned to shut the hell up so I didn’t think too much into it. Then, at 5:30PM on the dot, thirty minutes before the end of our shift, she stood up from her desk, grabbed the Apple Macbook she was using and two other stray ones, put them in her Aldi bag sized purse and just walked out. I couldn’t believe it.
I watched her 2002 Honda pull off the lot as my supervisor yelled at her to come back. Needless to say, she never did.
The reason I’m sharing this story about Marissa is that she, like many other people, just don’t care about the jobs they go to everyday. So many of us have been going through the motions, day in and day out, surviving on lackluster benefits and meaningless office gossip.
But can things change?
After Covid-19, we were all confined to our homes, to our TV shows, to our games, to our thoughts. It was a contemplative experience and albeit an eye opening one. During Covid we saw a spike in divorces, layoffs and the rate of people quitting their jobs increased, too. You see, having to re-examine our own mortality through a global pandemic made a lot of us realize how valuable the time we spend everyday really is. With that epiphany, a lot of us changed our lives to fit our desires and that meant for some, quitting their job.
One mistake we make is believing that we have no control over our own lives. We say to ourselves “I have to do this or else I won’t be able to pay my mortgage” or “I can’t do that because of what people will think of me.” But life isn’t guaranteed and the shock of a global pandemic made that clear.
Self Employment For All
We all have choices. Moment after moment we decide how our lives will be spent. You will fail sometimes and make the wrong decisions but that’s life. The sooner we realize that, the sooner we will feel more empowered to make better decisions.
In the past, being self employed meant owning a business and using that business to pay for all your expenses. Now, with greater access to the world than ever before, thanks to the internet, self employment can be redefined as the ability to pivot, at will, between revenue streams. This means finding more fulfilling jobs with companies that represent our values and beliefs. It means spending your time in places that you love to be. It’s crazy we ever lived any other way than that, when you think about it.
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