Sunday, April 14, 2013

10 reasons why I enjoyed my seasonal job

Tonight I worked my last shift at the seasonal weekend job I started in January.  It feels like the end of an era; it was a bit sad to leave last night.  Looking back, I'm so glad I took the job; I was originally very hesitant to accept the offer.

10 Reasons why I liked my job:

1. Getting to know all of my coworkers

Each of the tax professionals have their own area of expertise.  One woman works at the University, so many of her clients are graduate students on fellowships.  Another tax pro is from an Eastern European country, so many of her clients are non-natives as well.  Each tax pro had a different personality and rhythm, so I liked being able to meet and get to know a variety of people throughout these past few months.

When I left tonight, the two tax pros I'm closest with each gave me a hug when I said goodbye.  I will admit that I've felt a bit friendless lately, since I've done close to 0 social things in the past three months.  However, the hugs from these two ladies made me realize I'd made friends at work.

2. Using Spanish at work

Part of my job was to translate appointments with Spanish-speaking clients.  I liked being able to use my Spanish in a professional setting, outside of my weekly mesa de conversación gatherings.  I got to hear a variety of Spanish accents, speaking with Mexicans, Costa Ricans, Colombians, Argentinians, and yes - even a Spaniard!

3. Interacting with all of the clients

At my weekday job, I see the same kinds of people day after day: staff, faculty, or students.  At this weekend job, there were different clients every single day.  Some people were charming, others obnoxious.  Some were patient, others rude.  I have some great character ideas now, and I loved being exposed to dialogue I wouldn't normally have heard (and interact with people I wouldn't normally have seen).

4. Clean, simple, break from my other job

This job wasn't as involved as my other job.  Some of the things I do at my weekday job I'm able to do because of the years of departmental knowledge I've gained over time.  Tasks are hard to pass off; it's faster to do it yourself than to try explaining to someone else what to do and how to do it.  But at my weekend job, I bet I could teach someone how to do a majority of the tasks in an hour.  It was nice that I did the same, simple things every shift - just with different clients.  It was almost relaxing, in a way -- a break from my weekday job.  The office is very clean and neat.  There aren't piles and stacks in an inbox, nor an endless to-do list like at my other job.

The fact that it was only three days a week also made it pleasant.  I think that was the perfect amount of time.  Fridays were harmless - I would get back into the groove of weekend job.  Saturdays were usually busiest and went by quickly.  Then if I was getting sick of it or didn't want to deal with any certain unresolved issues, all I had left was Sunday and then all responsibility ended until the next Friday.

5. Gave me something to do during the weekends, was up early

Although it meant I had to go to bed early the night before, I did like waking up early on the weekends.  Makes you feel more accomplished.  When I wrote about my reverse culture shock last fall, I touched a bit on the topic of not knowing how to spend my weekends.  Although this didn't solve the problem directly, it helped me circumvent it by having something to occupy my time and thoughts.

6. Made extra money, finished paying off two whole loans

The bit of extra money each month was also a plus.  I finished paying off two of my student loans in full!

7. Memories of grandpa

My grandpa had actually worked at this company for many, many years.  He passed away when I was a sophomore in high school, and at this point in my life most memories from my early high school years are unfortunately already faint.  Working where he had worked made me think of him nearly every weekend I was there.  At the beginning of this job, I dreamt about him a couple of times.  So it was nice that the job brought back good memories of my grandpa.

8. Didn't miss any nice weather (mostly)

As everyone currently living in Madison knows, this winter was a long one.  We might get more snow yet later this week.  So most weekends were cold, snowy, or rainy.  I only remember one really sunny day where I wished I were outside.  It's a lot easier to be inside working when the weather is terrible, so this is a unique situation where I'm actually grateful the weather was so bad.

9. Experience working for a private company

I've worked for the State (at the University), and I've worked at and volunteered for non-profits, but I don't have much experience in the private sector.  This exposed me to a different work mentality.

10. Gaining what I could from my time working

While translating appointments, I learned a thing or two about taxes.  Being able to read cnn during slow afternoons kept me more aware of what was going on in the world.  Developing the habit of stretching when no one was in the waiting area increased my stretching 100%.  And last, but not least -- I now know how to make coffee!  (In industrial coffee machines)
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