Working For A Living

Sweet Mother of Celestia, I’ve had a lot of jobs (get your mind out of the gutter).

I was thinking about it earlier today, discussing the current employment situation with a friend. I have had so many jobs over my 18 years (I started working when I was 14). I’ve been a waiter, a landscaper, a plumber’s assistant, a cashier, a busboy, a service clerk, a stockboy, a pc repair technician, an inventory specialist, a heavy equipment operator, a research assistant, a survey taker, a sales associate several times over, a cook, a furniture mover, a delivery boy, a returns processor, a mail clerk, a stock picker/packer, and probably a few others that just aren’t clicking at the moment.

I always worked to my best ability. I’ve never believed in slacking at my work, because I like being dependable, I like being the guy you can count on to help when you need it, without worrying about whether I’m going to skip out early or complain. Of course, my job history also seems to indicate I do (or did) a lot of job switching, and that’s true. It was never intentional, and there are a number of jobs there where I was laid off rather than quit, and I’ve only been fired once, and even then it wasn’t something I did, but rather something I didn’t do, which was kiss up to this particular manager, and yes, I’m sure you’ve heard that before, but it’s true. I have the utmost respect for my superiors, but this guy was awful. He was a low level manager at a supermarket, but you’d have thought he’d been crowned Jesus. He treated people poorly, and was so petty as to make life miserable for everyone who didn’t do things exactly his way. Now, I can live with that, but what he was doing was interfering with my relationship with the customers, and I wouldn’t tolerate that. Something I pride myself on is exemplary customer service, and he would cause trouble, and I’d lose customers, and no one cared to do anything about it, so I refused to call him “sir”, I’d call him “Mr.” and then his last name, but never “sir”, and I wouldn’t agree with all of his ideas, and so I became a stumbling block to his ego, and that got me out the door.

I was better off anyway. He wasn’t there much longer after I left, though I don’t know where he went.

Anyway, I can say the best job experience I ever had was as a warranty technician working for Dell (as in the computer company). It was a fantastic experience, and I was crushed the day the distribution center in which I worked was handed over to a third party logistics facility and Dell moved out of the area. I don’t fault them, but it destroyed my hopes of making Dell a career, something I wanted very much.

I’ve been somewhat unemployed since then. I’ve tried my hand at running my own computer business, but business was so non-existent that I don’t think I made any money the first couple of years, save for a few freebies. It wasn’t that my work was bad, quite the opposite. My work was so good that people didn’t need to call me for a long time. I mean, when I fix a computer, I fix a computer. It WILL run and run well after I’m finished with it. I also charged low prices.

I believe at the time that I stopped trying to make it work full time, I was charging $25 a call, but that call could be anything from virus removal to hard drive backup (well, for everything but hardware, and then it was cost of hardware + the $25 call). I never charged hourly, as I felt it was far too easy to exploit, and I never padded my prices. I’ve got this work ethic from my parents, that you just don’t screw people over, because there will come a time when you will need them. Plus, I just don’t like screwing people over. Remember? I like being the guy you can depend on.

What I’d like to do is get my certifications, and make my experience and knowledge official. I believe it’s $300 and a test or two, and I can have my A+ and Networking certs, which would help an awful lot. I like running my own business, but the headache is enormous. I wouldn’t mind just getting picked up by an honest computer repair company and working for them, just as I liked working for Dell.

Sometimes I wonder whether I should pick another field of study, since PC repair is becoming a dinosaur and outmoded business model. When you can pay $250 and get a new computer, why would you pay $75 to $100 to fix a 5 year old system? At least, that’s what I figure people are thinking. I’m not so sure, because I’d rather fix your system for $25 a call and walk away with $25, and a happy customer. I love my happy customers. It makes my day.

Until next time,

-.Lotus

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