However you slice it, a moment is coming that will bring about some significant changes in my life. A single moment, after years of hard work, dedication, planning, braving the elements, developing routines, creating task lists, training over 100 people, building up a customer base, learning organizational stills, and more…
Over 90 months. 7 ½ years. In a way I still can’t believe this chapter of my life is coming to a close. I’m excited to jump into a new role with a new company. I’m excited for the potential to learn and grow my job skills as well as my personal skills. I’m excited to work for a company that sought me out, rather than me applying. I’m excited. But yet..
Over 7 years isn’t nothing. There have been successes and growth. There have been mistakes and failures. I’ve tried hard to be positive about this business, despite having times where I was incredibly close to just quitting. I’ve tried hard (at times) to just point fingers and lay blame and remain angry without shouldering any of the blame. I’ve had times where I was fully invested into seeing them grow, and bringing in suggestions and ideas. I’ve had times where doing the bare minimum still seemed like far too much to contribute. I suppose this isn’t all that different from what most people experience at some point in their career. But yet…
I cannot forget that their work culture, their compassion, their patience and undeserved grace is a big portion of why I’m still here. Although there wasn’t a lot of direct support offered, the fact that they kept me employed through some very hard times in my personal life. And in those times I know I was barely doing the minimum required of me, and I’m sure some days it was even less than the bare minimum. I know I was short with customers, and made some mistakes that no doubt cost the company some money. But the fact that I had the routine of a regular schedule, with clear expectations meant I had stability. Trust me, stability is huge if everything in your life feels like it’s crumbling. And I am so thankful that I had it, because I know not everyone does. And I know that during those times, it was their compassion and grace that kept me employed – and definitely not my drive and attention to detail!
I’ve met so many people – both staff and customers. I’ve had incredible conversations. I’ve had to deal with emergencies, from medical crisis, to mechanical failures, to staff not showing up, and sometimes just circumstances beyond our control – and have been complimented afterward for stepping up and doing my best to reassure, coordinate, and resolve whatever may have happened. I’ve mourned the death of some of my regular customers, and shared joy with a newly engaged couple or a couple that will soon be a family. I’ve been yelled at, and I’ve yelled at customers. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve nearly been hit by a vehicle because that email or text message is obviously more important than my safety. Truth be told, I’m sure if I had a better memory I could write an entire book about the people I’ve met, helped, trained, or just gotten to know because of this job. I’m sure it would be fascinating from a psychological perspective – from how I’ve changed over the past 7 years, to customer behavior, to human nature, to the particular type of people that I seemed to connect with best. Who knows, maybe I’ll start writing down bits of stories as I recall them.
The truth of the matter is, no matter what I think or write, it’s difficult to communicate it in a way that portrays the depth and breadth of it all. To borrow a famous quote: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
And now, the clock is ticking down.