Thursday, August 5, 2010

I’m Not Going to Leave You…

My supervisor has been coming in early at seven for the past few mornings.  Seven is about the time I get caught up from the previous night’s shopping cart shenanigans.  The first thing I usually do when I get caught up is to head back to electronics to have a gander at anything new or exciting.  My supervisor caught me this morning in the parking lot with the last long string of carts hooked up to the mechanical pusher to be brought inside.

“You’re not going to leave me are you?” she asked me surprising me.

“Why?” I asked dumbfounded at such a question.

“Well, it is so nice to arrive at work and the job is done – all the carts are ready for the start of another day.  You don’t know how much I appreciate the lack of drama you are giving my job.”

I smiled vigorously as I began to push the carts and she walked along side of me.

“What makes you think I would leave?” I then asked her over the electric whir of the pusher.

“You’re just too good to be true and you are entirely overqualified for this job. A former research technician in forestry doesn’t end up pushing carts at Walmart for a living. I keep thinking you are going to get a better job any day now and it worries me.”

“I love my job,” I told her. “My job at Auburn University sucked frankly.   I also can’t make much money or handle a lot of stress so this job is just perfect for me.  I find bringing in the carts cathartic and serenity inducing.”

“I was telling my husband last night at supper what a joy it has been to have you working for me and it’s true.  You have been a godsend.  Just don’t take too many smoke breaks, okay? It will get me in trouble with my big boss.  And don’t smoke in front of the store with your Walmart attire on like you did yesterday before you left.  Those are my only problems with you,” she said with a warm smile. “You’re doing great!”

I laughed at my foibles and indiscretions. “Yes ma’am,” I said astutely with a glimmer of joy in my eye.

It is moments like this that make returning to work the best thing I ever did.  Just think of the recommendation she is going to give me in a year or two when I move on and get off disability.  I am building bridges folks, and it feels good!


themuttonfish said...

I came here to learn more about my brother's mental illness.

But: I stay here because you inspire me.


Tee said...

Awwww, that's wonderful! What a great situation having a boss that REALLY appreciates you AND you get to work early in the morning, your best hours. You are doing so well.

It is such a joy (4th Avenue Joy) to come here each day and see how well you are doing. Also, I love your writing, it's quite obvious you are very intelligent.

Justfly said...

You inspire me too. One of my favorite quotes is: "Get a job you love and you will never work a day in your life". Good for you for having such a good work ethic.

LDAlvarez said...

I saw this and immediately thought of you.


Mary K said...

As someone who is a supervisor I can only agree with your manager that it's very awesome to have employees that will show up on time and do their job. It amazes me how hard it is for some folks to do that.

Annabel said...

Thought you might enjoy this blog - a guy in college is living the homeless life in a van by choice.

Lottie said...

So glad that you like what you're doing! Liking your job makes ALL the difference!

Syd said...

It's good to have a job that you like. When most of life is spent at working, it is best to work at something that you enjoy. Good for you.

LM said...

You are so wise to ease back into the work world, Jonathon. And to do such a conscientious job at the same time...very wise.

Such a 'joy' to read 4th Avenue Joys!

C.A. said...

It just goes to show the slow "re-entry" into the work force was the perfect way to go. Like what you do is more than half the battle. :)

Sharon said...

It's always nice to have something you do be validated. You know that they appreciate you there and as long as it works for you, that's great. I'm glad she was able to put a smile on your face and make you feel good.

glittermom said...

One step at a time then on to bigger and better..

PipeTobacco said...


You could buy a pipe and take it to work and then if you end up smoking in view, you will look "professorial" and she won't be as alarmed! :)

It is nice to see you feeling so happy!


Lena said...

Good for you for doing such a great job at work. How lucky to be doing something that u enjoy! I am happy that u got such a good supervisor.

I had to chuckle when Pipe suggested u smoke a pipe. :-)

vivalarobot said...

I have to say, I stopped at my local Walmart the other day (something I don't often do either...) and the parking lot and carts were a mess. I thought "they sure need someone like andrew!" :)