Awful Jobs Build Character

Madalynne - Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Entered on December 3, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: work

“Um, excuse me, ma’am, can I can some of that fresh popcorn over there?” I look up from the popcorn bag I was filling up over to the customer who is pointing eagerly at the popper. It’s been turned off for at least the past half house, and I know that the popcorn in there is cold and yucky.

“You know,” I started, “This stuff is actually fresher than-“

She cut me off, “No, no, give me some of that.”

I sigh and turn around to scoop the cold popcorn into their bag. I don’t understand why people think that I’m lying to them. I make a point of remembering her face as I had the bag back to her, because I know that she’ll be up here in less than twenty minutes to complain.

I work at the movie theater. It’s an awful job, rife with unpleasant customers, annoying coworkers, and minimum wage.

But I have to admit, it’s taught me something.

I’ve learned that I can’t let people affect me. I smile at the grouchy customers, hoping that I might be able to make their day a little better. Just because they are upset, it doesn’t mean I have to be.

It’s also taught me to actually do my work, and do it well. Working at the theater, I realized that if I just did my job, I’d already be better than the majority of my coworkers. And if I do it well, they’ll promote me. Which they did, a few weeks ago.

When I would complain about work, my mom helped consol me. She said, “Well, now you know that you’ll do anything, just so that you don’t spend the rest of your life getting paid minimum wage at a movie theater right?”

She was right. It’s motivated me to do my best, at this job, and at school, so that I know I gave myself every opportunity to be better than this awful job.

So, it’s this I believe: that even though minimum wage jobs are mostly awful, they’re generally unavoidable, so we should make the effort to learn something valuable from them while we can.