My first paying job was part-time and was supposed to be a summer gig. Since I’m what is commonly referred to as an “animal lover” (a misnomer if there ever was one) the job was with a dog kennel on US Hwy 1 in Mims. For the life of me, I can’t remember the name of the kennel since I was only there for a short time. Off topic, but I do much prefer animals to humans. To me, calling someone an “animal lover” sounds kinda odd. Anyway, in 1972, I was 15 going on 16. The Learners Driving Permit restricted me to daylight hours and I had to have a licensed adult in the vehicle during operation. Good fortune shined on my situation because I was only about 5 or so miles from the kennel, thus I rode the trusty 3-speed bicycle down back roads from what was then my home in Titusville. I had planned to work with the kennel until school restarted in September, but my step-mom sabotaged these well devised plans quickly. She had decided now would be a good time to go on vacation and they “couldn’t leave me behind.” “Oh, yes you can!” I retorted at the risk of getting a face slap. I even offered to stay with the neighbors but it was a no go. My first job went bust after only a few weeks.
In 1974, I took a BOE Course in High School. (Business course) where I learned how to type more proficiently, take shorthand, file, make copies, use office machines and so forth. I did so well in the course that I was one of the few picked to work part-time at the Brevard County Courthouse selling license tags. At that time in Florida, it was customary to sell all automotive license tags one time out of the year. Typical government, it was a stupid idea and doomed to failure. It meant that everyone in town, and it wasn’t that small a town, had to show up within those few weeks to purchase all their tags! It made for long lines and short tempers. I learned how really rude some people can be, especially to a greenhorn like me. Some would yell at me for “not picking out a good number”. One even accused me of being “too efficient”. I was completely knackered after dealing with those crowds day after day. Good grief. I was only trying to get everyone in and out quickly with a smile. At least my boss was a sweetheart of a guy. Poor man had suffered from Polio as a child. He was even tempered, good natured, intelligent and kindly. I really enjoyed working there. One day towards the end of my job, I was feeling very ill and had to stay home (a coronavirus of some kind). My step-mom dragged me to a local store to buy a few clothes that had to be done “right now” for my approaching August nuptials. Well, I was spotted and subsequently fired for it because they thought I was shammin’ the illness. Again, I let my step-mom sabotage my plans to earn a living. It took me a few years to realize all this was done deliberately because of jealousy. I was so naïve. Now I am old and, hopefully, wiser in the ways of the world. The school of hard knocks is a tough teacher. I’ve learned that even loved ones that we are supposed to trust will submit to underhanded cruelties for their own gain or egos if we don’t exercise our own discernment. Drifting through life will lead to one failure after another. As the Holy Scriptures point out, we all “reap what we sow”. So true, that, and I am no exception. And I’m so thankful that God allows U-Turns.
I hope your day is blessed.