Day 47 – 1381

I have been working two jobs for almost 7 years now.  One of the main reasons, was so that I could numb and ignore any type of feelings or alone time I had.   Although, I wasn’t fully aware of the reason until this past year.

My 8-5 job is the freight business.  I am the manager of the Accounts Receivables and Collections Department.   My team makes my job easy though. I truly have the most fabulous employees.

My second job is in retail. I do everything from cash register to shipment processing.  The store that I work in is fairly large and we are located in an outdoor mall.  It’s a beautiful location. The store is known for intimate apparel and beauty products.

If you ever need a dose of humility, get a job in retail.  You will meet every personality, race, gender, and age group.   You will meet sad people, happy people, mad people, and everything in between.

For me, this store has been my happy place.  The majority of the employees are much younger than I am, so it’s typically fun and pretty light hearted.

The beauty of the job is that you can leave at night without having to think about what you need to accomplish or what projects you need to finish. That in itself is a liberty.  I can walk out the door each night knowing that I did all I could while I was there and I’ll come back and have a fresh start each time I clock in.

My manager, Katie, is truly one of the most motivating and encouraging people I know.  Even before I shared my story with her, she and I would discuss leadership and employee challenges as well as triumphs and victories. But after sharing my story, I’ve had nothing but support and love from her.

One of the challenges of this job is having a customer talk down to you.  Or speak in anger.  It has really challenged me to change the way I react to others’ behaviors.  I found that I would cower down or feel sick inside if someone yelled at me.  I would remember all those days of being not good enough.  Or the days of violence in our home.

I also started to view people as just that.  Human and fallible.  I tried to imagine in my mind what they must be going thru in their personal lives.  Still it’s hard not to feel small and child-like.  It’s a struggle to stay connected, keep smiling and have a genuine interest in their issues.

Regardless of customer interactions, my greatest friendships have come from this store.  Most of them have moved on and are not working at the store any more, but we have remained the closest of friends.

These women have been my greatest cheerleaders.  I can always count on them to encourage me and we group text pretty much every day. We have named ourselves the dream team.  We are and always will be there for one another.

As I said before, some of them have gone to therapy with me as “hand-holders”.  They keep pushing me to stay on the path of healing and to find the light at the end of the tunnel.

I’ve been off from this job for a few weeks due to some issues at our store, but I’ll be returning to 1381 next week, and I’m looking forward to feeling the love!

Thank you again to my special friends from 1381.  We are family and that’s why we are called Angels.

Until next time – I am being MJ every day.

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