Today marks the 13 year anniversary of my hire date. That is not too shabby for someone who cried after her first group interview because she thought she would not get the job. I have made it long past my 3 month seasonal contract, and it’s been a great experience overall.

In my typically Nerdy way, I have compiled a list of stats. Some of them are exact. Others are approximates because, really, it’s been 13 years, and I’m getting older.

  • Total Years Active: 13
  • Number of Years Working Part-Time (20 hours or fewer): 7
  • Number of Years Working Full-Time: 6
  • Minimum Wage in 1999: $5.75 per hour
  • Current Minimum Wage: $10.15 per hour ($9.69 for inexperienced workers)
  • Number of Pay Raises: 16 (13 annual pay increases, 3 merit increases)
  • Longest Shift: 11.5 hours (9 am to 9 pm, minus 30 minutes for lunch)
  • Shortest Shift: 3 hours as a greeter.
  • Latest Shift: 9 pm to 5 am
  • Most Hours Worked in One Week: 48
  • Least Hours Worked in One Week: 7 (One 4 hour shift, one 3 hour shift)
  • Milestones: 5 year pin (from Tiffany’s!) , 10 year necklace (from Birks)
  • Number of General Managers I’ve Worked With: 6
  • Number of Assistant Managers I’ve Worked With: 22
  • Total Number of Coworkers: No freakin’ clue. I can’t even remember the seasonals who worked with us last year.

Customers and Other Stuff

  • Number of times I’ve been yelled at: Too many to count
  • Number of times I’ve been offered a monetary tip for good service: 5
  • Number of times I’ve accepted a tip: Once. (It was a chocolate beetle from Germany 🙂 I will accept candy from a stranger if it’s wrapped.)
  • Number of times I’ve been hugged by a customer: 4
  • Number of times I’ve been complimented by a customer: Too often to count.
  • Number of times I’ve been insulted by a customer: Too often to count.
  • Number of times I’ve been asked out while on the job: 4 customers, 3 drivers.
  • Number of times I’ve cried at work: 6 (1. The first time a customer yelled at me. 2.Finding out a coworker’s spouse died 3.Finding out my grandfather died 4.first day back after my 18 year old cat died. 5.In May 2010, when my grandmother died 3 days after a close relative was incarcerated. 6. During President Obama’s first speech as POTUS)
  • Number of times I’ve Lost my temper: 2 (1. During the planning for a Harry Potter event, and 2. When a customer yelled at me 3 days after my 17 year-old cousin was buried.)
  • Number of times I’ve consulted HR: 2 (I’m the child of two activists. I know my rights.)
  • Number of times I’ve insulted a coworker: Too often to count. In 13 years, I have said something to offend just about everyone–though I’m not always aware of it, hence the  “too often to count”. Last year, I told my former supervisor that is appeared as though he was making my job more difficult on purpose.
  • Number of times a coworker has insulted me: Too often to count. And that’s just what I’ve overheard while they thought I couldn’t hear them. It’s all good though because the number of times I’ve referred to any of them as lazy, stupid, pathetic, evil, and childish, over the years has tipped the balance.
  • Number of fears I have conquered because of work: 7. (Being in close proximity to people, talking to strangers, being in the warehouse–where I now spend 40 hours a week :P,speaking in front of a large group, making phone calls, being criticized, being disliked (which is why a few of my coworkers think I’m arrogant. I’m not, I just don’t care what anyone else thinks of me.)
  • Number of times I’ve been reprimanded: 2. One for lateness, and One for (allegedly) elbowing a customer out of the way to answer the phone. (I still maintain my innocence. I was afraid of strangers back then.)
  • My age when I started: 18
  • My current age: 31
  • My chosen career path when I started: Fashion photographer (I was delusional…and not that interested in photography.)
  • My current chosen career path: Youth counselor (with an undergrad degree in English Lit) I once heard a pastor say “Whatever makes you passionately angry, you were born to change”. I am angered by the fact that so many young people end their lives without knowing how valuable they are. I am angered by young women who allow themselves to be exploited because it’s the only way they feel wanted. I am angered by young men, who believe it’s okay to prove their manhood by murdering someone. I want to be the one to help change that.
  • Years left: Only God knows. I’m saving money so I can go back to university, so as soon as that’s done I’ll leave to become a full-time student.

Final thoughts: I have nothing but gratitude for my experiences at work. It hasn’t been all sunshine and lollipops, but had it not been for the struggles of my former years, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I have learned more in the 13 years on the job than I ever would have as an 18 year old student. Being forced outside of my comfort zone has helped me in invaluable ways. I don’t have a single regret because even the most challenging aspects of the job bolstered my growth.

Thank you, all for taking a chance on a shy kid from the country.

With Love,

Erin 😀



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