I went to a temporary service on June 2nd and started working in a factory the following day. I’ve been a stay at home the majority of my adult life so it was quite an adjustment.
Is it my dream job? Heck no. Does it pay? Yep. Would I like to do something different? Yes. Will I be okay if I end up working there the rest of my life? Yes. Is that the plan? Nope.
This past week, I trained in a different part of the factory with a man named, you guessed it, Charles. Here are a few of the lessons I learned from him.
Lesson #1 Age is just a number.
Charles is 65 years old. I wouldn’t have known it unless he had told me. I’m not sure how much a canvas bag full of 60 car belts and powder weighs, but he tosses them around like they are loaves of bread. During the week, he mentioned arthritis in his knees once, but told me he’ll keep working until he’s physically unable to do so.
Lesson #2 I’m a rebel.
As Charles was explaining the task at hand, he said, “I do 60 belts at a time, but you’re really supposed to do 30. They’ll be too hard for you to move from point A to point B.”
Uh…challenge accepted. And so I set out to prove that I too could do 60 belts at a time. The bags didn’t look like loaves of bread when I tossed them, more like bags of something really heavy, but I did it anyway.
Which brings me to
Lesson #3 Charles doesn’t know everything.
I’ve heard a few times, not just from Charles, that certain jobs in the factory aren’t for women. Maybe they aren’t for every woman, but I’m sure a certain woman COULD do the job, and some could do it better than the men that are currently doing said job. If a woman wants to do a job, she should be given the opportunity. When people make statements like that, I want to prove them all wrong. But, I don’t have time to body build right now, so I’ll save that challenge for another day. Yeah, probably not.
Lesson #4 Always do your best.
It’s a lesson that I’ve known for awhile but it was reinforced this week as I watched a man take pride in his work, a job that most people wouldn’t consider doing, and did it with energy and enthusiasm.
“Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.”
― Miguel Ruiz
Check out The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
It FEELS GOOD knowing that you’ve done your best instead of going into a job dreading it and hating it the whole time. I am learning that I can do any job with energy, enthusiasm, and like it’s the most important job in the world, even if it’s dusting and cleaning toilets. The day goes by quickly when you do what needs to be done and do it with a good attitude.
Lesson #5 Self Defense
On our last day together, Charles left me with a couple of self defense moves in case I ever find myself in danger. He is all about team work and sharing knowledge to make the job and life easier.
Lesson #6 Life is too short. Have fun!
The whole week was full of fun. Charles said it makes him sad to see people walking around with their heads down, not enjoying themselves, so he does everything he can to brighten up the day. Wednesday was full of, “Hey Chuck!” or, “Hey Young Blood! What day is it?” and the response would sound back, “Hump Day!” and then Charles would laugh like it was the greatest thing ever.
Charles has an inside joke with, or a nickname for everyone that walks past and they all seem to enjoy him as much as he enjoys them.
I also learned this life changing fact.
“That’s what she said,” did NOT originate with Michael Scott from The Office, but Charles has been saying it since the 70’s.
Do you have a co-worker that makes work more pleasant or do you dread going into work? What can you do to brighten up your environment, to be an energy giver? Let me know about this awesome co-worker or about your plans to be happier at work this week in the comments or over on facebook.
Sarah Boucher happily encourages women to grow in their power daily at I Am A Powerful Woman. Come join the conversation there.