I’ve had many different jobs in my life. I’ve been a barista, a teacher’s assistant, a corporate intern. I’ve worked at music recording studios, worked reception desks, worked hours filling out excel spreadsheets and scheduling forms. All of these jobs came with their own perks and advantages, and all had their own sets of challenges. And each time I moved from one job to another, I found myself molding my external persona to fit within the new environment.
Anyone who’s worked retail or food service will agree to the horrors of long and exhausting hours on your feet (which only get worse during the holiday season), all the while you’re expected to keep a smile plastered on your face. The customer is always right, right? Quite frankly, the general public is a needy asshole. Yet, you’re not allowed to have your own personality working in retail. You’re meant to be a robot in a green apron. Smile and say yes. A lot.
The biggest dichotomy in my working life was the time I moved from working in a music recording studio to working at a post production house where I coordinated schedules and made spreadsheets. I went from working long (loooooong) hours, on-call graveyard shifts, expected overtime, shitty pay and no benefits, in an environment filled with rappers, mistresses, booze and drugs, to a company where there was a fair amount of un-healthy food shaming (fat-shaming for LA health nuts) and where the two people who smoked cigarettes were looked down upon as being walking cancer advocates.