After I quit Kmart, I took about a six-month break. I looked into selling crafts, working from home, sewing costumes, stuff like that. I slept a lot, spent time with friends, and broke up with Larry the loser.
But eventually my savings started running low, and I knew it was time to find a regular job. So I open the classifieds, skimmed through them, and found a job basic office job. It totally looked like something I could do, and the business was right around the corner from a good friend’s shop.
So I sent in my resume, had an interview a few days later, and got the job.
And then I found out that the job I got was not exactly the job described in the paper. The company was called WJ Office City. It was an office supply store in downtown Boone that mostly operated on catalog sales, phone orders, and delivery. What I didn’t know was that the owner was planning to move to a new location, where there would be much more room for a retail office supply store.
And guess who was the new manager of the retail store? Me. I applied for an office job to get away from retail, and got hired for a retail manager position.
It wasn’t really what I wanted, but it was worlds apart from Kmart, and the owner was an intelligent and considerate guy. He really did let me set things up the way I wanted, and run the floor the way I thought should be.
So that was fine for a few years, but in the end I still really wanted out of retail. The company had a few guys that did service calls on copiers and computers. I started hanging out with them to learn more about setting up networks, and shit like that.
When the service coordinator got fired, I asked for that position, and got it. So now I was scheduling service calls, doing all the billing, inventory, and stuff like that. It wasn’t actually fixing and setting up computers, but it was an office type job, and it was not retail. So I did that job for a few more years.
And I realized that I was bored. After working so hard at Kmart, this was what I wanted – a nice normal office job. Work from 8 to 5, go home and forget about it. And I thought I needed something else to do.
I mentioned my dilemma to my mother, who said “well, when you were a kid, you always said you wanted to be a Girl Scout leader.“
Oh dear God, with that comment mom opened the biggest can of worms that has completely changed me and taken over my life.
Around that time I was also talking to my older sister, and she made the comment that if she had any musical ability, she would continue to pursue it. Since I played the violin and viola for years, and in fact started to major in music when I went to college, it did sound kind of fun to get back into playing. So I found someone to take viola lessons from, and that was good.
But this story is about my career path. And after becoming a Girl Scout leader for a couple of years and getting back into music, I realized that if I wanted a “fulfilling” career, I should consider teaching music.
And that’s how, at the ripe old age of 35, I found myself back at school, working towards teacher certification in music education.