Monday Morning Meme #6

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Karen from WriteFromKaren has started a new meme, appropriately titled the ‘Monday Morning Meme’. It’s a lot of fun – won’t you join in? :)

February 25th Questions:

  1. Where did your father go to work every day and what did he do? How did his job affect your family? How did his job affect your work ethic today?

    Oy, you’re going deep for a Monday morning with this one… My dad never had a ‘real’, 9-to-5 kind of job. He was a salesman who supported our family in several ways. He lost his full-time, regular job when I was small, and after that he worked on his own as a manufacturer’s representative, selling products (mostly water-sport related) to business and stores. He also co-owned a vending machine business with his best friend. You know those old-style arcade games – the kind you stand up to play, or the table-top ones where players sat on either side? The ones you’d see in restaurants, ice arenas, hospital waiting rooms, etc.? Chances are if you played one in the Detroit area in the 70’s or 80’s that my dad might have owned it.

    How did his job affect our family? First, the pros – he had a ton of flexibility, so was around for summer days at the lake, ball games and dance recitals. We had large video games in our family room or basement every time they needed a place to fix or store one. We got a ton of great samples from my dad’s sales lines, so had water skis, wet suits, clothes, sunscreen, and other assorted products (some that you’ve probably never heard of) around for free. My brother and I had our allowance paid in quarters and every time my dad found a stray Susan B. Anthony dollar that had ended up in one of their machines, he’d give it to one of us. We also earned money helping to roll quarters for my dad, using this.

    The cons of my dad’s ‘job’ involved him being gone a lot on sales trips around the state or out-of-state (this caused other issues I’m not going into right now), and the fact that with sales, you generally get out of it what you put into it. And although my dad is a people person, he genuinely loved the products he was pushing and can schmooze with the best of them, the fact remains that he is not a ‘salesman’ personality. My mom says that the video games really supported our family for years, and I can believe it. I have no idea how we managed financially – my mom kept us blissfully unaware of our lack of financial stability for a long time. I know it created a lot of stress for her.

    When sales lines started drying up when I was in high school and college, at about the same time that home gaming consoles started becoming popular and less people played the video games that supported our family, I harbored a lot of resentment for my dad at not going out and getting a ‘real’ job – or at least any stable job – to provide for us. In ‘retirement’, my dad has found the perfect job for him. He gives rides to people to and from the airport. They don’t have to deal with paying to park their cars, or inconvenience friends or family members, and my dad gets to drive and chat – two things that he loves to do. It really is the best job that I think he’s ever had – he just isn’t the kind of person that’s cut out for the 9-to-5 life.

    I can tell that in some ways, my dad’s relaxed work ethic has rubbed off on me. Yes, I do work the full-time hours and put in my best at my job as much as possible. But I find that I have to struggle at times to keep myself motivated to put in that extra 10%. This wasn’t something I had a problem with much when I was single and had nothing else to do but work, but nowadays with so much else on my plate, I do have trouble sometimes staying focused on work.

    Sorry – that was a long answer, but hey – you asked! 🙂

  2. Do you think your parents are happy with your career choice today? Why or why not? What do you think your parents WANTED you to be when you grew up? (Be specific, don’t just say “happy, secure, etc.” try and list a specific profession, if applicable).

    You’re really making this a long, difficult one today, huh! Yikes. I think that my parents are fine with my career choice. Happy with it even. Not happy with other financial decisions I’ve made though. I do work in my chosen profession (the one I went to college for), but haven’t always made the best choices in terms of financial issues.I honestly have no idea what my parents wanted me to be – I know my mom would answer with the “happy, secure, etc.” thing if I were to ask her, and I have no idea what my dad would say. I do know that my dad would’ve been thrilled if my brother had turned pro at any one of the several sports that he was (and is) amazing at, but I was never the athlete in the family.

    I can say that neither one of my parents would have ever pegged me for going into city planning/GIS. Mainly because neither of them had ever heard of it before. In fact, I routinely have to add a description onto the end of the answer to the ‘what do you do for a living’ job, because most people haven’t heard of it. My favorite comment I got recently was something along the lines of, “Wow, I didn’t think that you could actually do that as a job!” when I explained about GIS (computer mapping).

  3. Are YOU happy with your chosen profession? (And yes, being a stay-at-home mom is a profession!). Did you picture yourself doing what you do today? Why or why not?

    Here’s where I split into two completely separate people. If you ask the Mom part of me this question, I would have to answer immediately, completely and with extreme emphasis – NO! I want to be home with my kids and no other option is acceptable. However, if you ask the GIS Analyst part of me this question, I would answer that yes, I do like my job, especially having moved completely into the GIS realm and more away from the city planning. I enjoy what I do and I also like the fact that I’m good at it. Getting recognition for doing something well always helps with the self-esteem. 🙂

    And no, I never pictured myself doing this. As a kid, I envied those who knew immediately and confidently what they wanted to be when they grew up. I’m still, even as I look toward my 40’s hovering awfully closely, trying to satisfactorily answer that question.

  4. Write the first thing that comes to mind when you read the word: Winter. Please interpret this prompt any way you wish. FOR EXAMPLE: Tell us your favorite (worst?) winter story. Do you simply endure winter, or do you enjoy hibernating? Does winter affect your attitude? How does your schedule change during the winter months?

    Ah finally – a question that doesn’t require quite so much thought. When I read the word ‘winter’, I immediately think of the following, in order…

    Snow, cold, slush, wet feet, icy, slippery, cold, hibernate, snooze, snuggle, dark, gray, tired, so very long, cold, never-ending, cold, bundled up, cold, and last of all – COLD!

    Can you tell that I’m a bit tired of winter? I want it to be warm again. I want to be able to play outside with my kids again without having to spend 20 minutes putting outdoor clothing on them and another 20 minutes taking it off after the 5 minutes they usually stay outside before wanting to come inside. I want to be able to walk from my car in the parking lot to work and vice-versa with dry feet. I want to see the sun for more than 5 minutes in a 2-week period! I want to take the area by my back door that is crowded with boots, shoes, coats, snow pants, hats, mittens and scarves and actually be able to walk through there without knocking 34 things off of hooks and tripping over 564 boots and shoes. I want to be able to actually see and visit with our neighbors again. Hmm, I think it might be safe to say that winter affects my attitude, if just slightly. What do you think? 😉

So that’s it for this Monday Morning – check out other answers over at Write From Karen! 🙂