My husband recently celebrated his twenty year anniversary at work. Before that he worked for a public accounting firm for thirteen years. I bring this up because our generation is known for staying put. Not me, but that’s because I went back to work at various times throughout the years to help financially when needed. My husband and I decided when we had a family that we’d do without in order for me to stay home. So, I took jobs while the kids were in school, selling unfinished furniture, managing a Wendy’s, working the desk at a health club and, well, the list is just too long. But it seems our children's generation is constantly moving from job to job.
Phone rings. “I’m thinking about taking my life in a different direction.” “Yeah,” I answer. I have to think, does the person want me to:
a. Really discuss this issue honestly and tell them my true feelings on the subject.
b. Sit and listen in silence as they bounce the ideas off me, adding only the occasional uh-huh, yeah, I see…or
c. Be the cheerleader… Agree to anything they say because they’re mind is already made up and they just called for confirmation that their decision is the right one. Sometimes it’s exhausting just trying to decipher what they need. “Yeah, I’m kind of tired of all the bullshit at work so I’m thinking about going back to school.” “Um sounds good.” Still unsure about which route to take I hang back to assure myself I’m following the right script.
“What do you think?”
“What do I really think?”
“Yeah, of course, why else do you think I called?”
I dive in head first, “Do you know what you want to do?” “Maybe education, I like teaching kids to do stuff.” “There’s a lot more to teaching. I mean you need to be committed to being with kid’s day in and day out. And it’s not like the old days. Now there’s so much paper work and don’t get me started on the whole teaching to the test stuff.” “So you think I shouldn’t be a teacher?” “That’s not what I said. Maybe you should talk to your cousin Frank. He’s a teacher. He might be able to help you out.” “But you sound like you don’t think it’s a good idea.” Time to change tactics…. “Um, I don’t know, what do you think?” “I think it might be fun, to make a difference.” “Yeah, I see your point.” “Good, well I’m going over to the college to see what I need to do to get my teaching credentials.” “Sounds good. You know honey; you can do anything you put your mind to.” “Yeah, thanks for the talk.”
Two weeks later after I’ve worried about the costs of the kid going back to school, if they would be happy in the teaching profession, discussing it with my husband, my friends and my mother, I carefully broach the subject. “So how did the meeting with the college go?” “What meeting?” A look of confusion crosses their face. “About going back to school to get your teaching certificate?” “What?” “You called,” I start. “Oh that. That was just an idea I had. I changed my mind. I’m still thinking about changing jobs, but I don’t want to do anything until I’m sure.” “Sure about what?” “About what to do.” B. uh huh… C. you can do anything… usually they really, and I mean really don’t want A