I got my first job the summer before my freshman year of high school. It was the first time I’d ever done anything in a non-babysitting-related capacity, so I was stoked. Until I discovered the position was as an “administrative assistant” for a Certified Public Accountant.
Our families went to church together, and somehow, it got out I could crunch numbers and was easily intimidated. I was hired.
The business was a one-man operation until I showed up. Unfortunately, two’s a crowd. My boss worked out of an office that was actually one room about the size of a closet. Add a desk, file cabinets and a 10-ton fax machine and you’ve got a room designed to take out the elbows, knees and toes of poor, unsuspecting interns.
Despite the bruises and the boredom, I loved that job. I mean, who else would pay a skinny 14-year-old kid with no experience $100 a week to reconcile bank statements? For three months, I was hot stuff.
Now, I have a different job, but I still get the same thrill that I did in ninth grade when I walk into the office. True, I’m in a vastly different place than I was, working a much more rewarding job – and getting up much earlier to do it.
But the joy is still there. I just didn’t know it until recently.
The Reporter-News, being the only newspaper in town, gets a lot of press. (I’ll pause for the obligatory eye-roll). Teachers love to bring their classes through on tours, so we have one about once a month.
The exciting part of the tour is taking the kids to watch the reelmen printing the paper.
Normally, we stand outside a glass wall and look inside at the machines, ooh, aah, next. But last month, we ran into Ed. Ed happens to work on the press, and he knows just about everything there is to know about printing a newspaper.
It was obvious as Ed wove his way through the maze of machines that he’s great at what he does because he loves it. Yeah, he has ink all over his hands and face and clothes. He works until 2 or 3 a.m. every night. The work he does is hot and tiring. But it’s cool. And he knows it.
So the question I had to ask myself was: Do I love my work? Am I proud of it? Do I pour my heart and soul into everything I do?
I discovered the secret to surviving a boring job. Give it one hundred percent.
So, my challenge for tomorrow? Try loving your job. See what happens.