BEST OR WORSE JOB? WAS IT WHEN I SHOVELED SH– ? What some would consider one of the lowest of jobs, and one I haven’t put on my resume, I considered one of the best. The job? Cleaning seven or eight horse stalls so I could ride for free. It certainly beat some of the sh– I had to deal with when I moved up the corporate ladder and had to attend management and training meetings.
The reward made my shoveling job worth while, but it had other pluses. It made life better for the horses, allowed me to ride whenever and whereever I wanted, and also taught me to value the reward more than the job–the destination is sometimes more important than the journey. Shoveling stuff also taught me that the people you work with matter a great deal, not what they do, but who they are.
The man who hired me was known as “Old Tom.” How old I don’t know, probably somewhere in his forties or fifties which for a thirteen year old was definitely old. His skin was tar black, he had a huge knot of some sort in the middle of his foreheas which I also assumed came for a well aimed horse kick, only ten teeth spread around his mouth, but most what matter to me was that he had a heart that took me in and gave me faith in myself.
His boss was rich, white, and famous as a polo player in our small part of the world. Tom seemed satisfied working for the Man; he lived in one of the empty box stalls that had been turned into a room; and I never heard a word of complaint from him about his work or his boss. That was during the late 50’s, civil rights movement was just staring and although I was hot into that by the time I entered graduate school, Tom never seemed interested. He had his horses and they were his life, little else mattered. He once said, “I have a much better job than my boss.” He said it and he meant it.
So that’s the best job and I have had jobs I have really loved, but this first one gave me Tom’s faith in me and that continues to keep me strong.
Now to really answer the question and not the bonus question. I would not want to go back to shoveling stuff. But I think now I have one of the best jobs in the world–wife, mother, grandmother, retiree, aspiring novel writer, blogger. Lucky me. Stay strong.
Topic #33 If you could have any job in the world, what would it be? Bonus: What is the worst job you’ve ever had? What did you learn from it?