Monday, June 06, 2005

The Easy Road part two

Back ground on Thor and I: We were married when Thor was 19 and I 18. Our children began to arrive two years later. Thor was young, but had a career and decided that "no wife of [mine] will work outside the home!" Part of that was pride and part of that was a true sense of his families upbringing and philosophy. I will admit that I both enjoyed and hated that at times. It gave me the opportunity to do whatever I chose to do with my days, however, before children came along I found myself bored at times.

Enter children and my life became less than relaxed. Mundane, monotonous, bored, how many words can mean the same thing? Amidst the drudgery of the housework, diapers (cloth), and dishes there were great moments of infant discoveries and childhood achievements. I have to admit there were the days when I would have given my right arm to have an adult to chat with.

Thor worked 7-12s. 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. This was the norm in our early years of marriage. There were times when the 7-12 became 7-18 and then the times when work stopped all together and we would ride the savings train until the next job opened up. I was always one who looked forward to my husband coming home, I didn't care about the money, I married for Thor! Unfortunately money is needed to buy the little luxuries in life, like electricity and food, so Thor would take most every job assigned to him and off he would go for another couple of months. Life was good financially and we bought a fixer upper in the desert and set up housekeeping. Many things had to be done and I learned how to fix and repair and paint and make do until the "real" money came in. (still waiting...!)

The 80s came and destroyed the work force in CA and Thor couldn't get a job for three years. We lived off of food storage and hand-me-downs and S'mee went to work for the first time since high school.

I was nervous and scared and thought that because I had put off any collage in place of children I was crazy to even try to get a job. I sent out so many applications and only had one employer call me for an interview. I landed a minimum wage job at a "Hello Kitty" store. My co-workers were all still in high school and I was older than the owner of the store. I felt out of place and desperate. But an amazing thing happened. After one week I was given a pay check and told that I was catching on well. After three weeks I was offered the management position and soon I was earning national awards for myself and my store for our sales and for our visual displays. The boss/owner asked me to enter corporate contests; I won first place in every contest I entered except one, and that was a second place. I was noticed by a corporate sponsor/affiliate who encouraged me to enter other contests and had two of my works published in national magazines. I was doing things I had never done before and being recognized by "important" people in the business. I was asked to do art design for rubber stamp companies, and to create and demo new products. When the owner of the store decided to sell the store back to the corporation, the CEO of Sanrio International came to discuss the deal. I did not know at the time this was the son of the original owner and developer of Sanrio, I just knew him as "Daniel-san". My boss introduced me and after a business lunch "Daniel-san" asked that I address him as "Danny". o.k. Danny then proceeded to offer me the store. He wanted me to run and manage the corporate end of this venture. My pay had just been quadrupled and my title put me at and above levels of others I had worked under in the private sector of the business. Some were very pleased at the promotion, others not so. Either way I would still only have to work 40 hours, but now with benefits, a pension package and "perks". There were many people, including my former boss, who were amazed at my relationship with "Danny" and figured it would not be long before I would move up into the company and into the San Francisco head quarters. I actually could see that myself, which was really complementary and flattering to say the least.

About a month before all of this happened, Thor finally got jobs again. First a week here and a week there. Then before we knew it he was back to the long hours and regular pay. I conferenced with Danny and politely told him I was honoured and pleased, but I would be going home to my kids!

add to sk*rt

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know all about cloth diapers too. 3 kids all raised in diapers and rubber pants. For the first 3-4 years, I ran around the house with diaper pins stuck to front of my pants, because I used them for everything from diapering, to fastening my menstrual pads to my panties each and every month. What can I say, I was a single mother.