Finally legal

I was reflecting yesterday, after a confluence of events that don’t matter, about a time my ship came in and I didn’t get on it.

Picture it: Burbank, California. 2006-ish. Marvin and I were living in a 1926 Spanish-style bungalow, a bungalow I’d waste a lot of time trying to find a photo of, but let’s say I maybe did that and only found several stupid pictures of my own hair through the years.

The house is completely not germane to the story but when I think of that time that is what I think of.

So instead, here is a house I just Zillowed from the street we lived on, a house remarkably similar to our rental, so you can literally sort of picture it.

Picture it: Burbank, California. 2006-ish. Marvin, my spouse, fmr., and I lived in a 1926 Spanish bungalow that we rented for $1600 a month. I pay $800 a month for my entire mortgage now, but that’s neither here nor there.

We also had one of those purple Apple computers, remember those? Remember when they had all the colors, like blue and green and turquoise? And by “they” I mean the people at Apple. I don’t mean the world is devoid of color now. But it kind of is. Those computers were fun. Why everything gotta be gray now?

This is completely not germane to the story but when I think of that time that’s what I think of.

In 2006-ish, I’d been a freelance proofreader for years, a thing I loved at the time because one thing you don’t really want to do in LA is have a job you have to drive to. So I didn’t. I’d get up every weekday and meet my friend for a long walk, and I’d set the timer on the coffeemaker for 8:00, so right when I came home coffee was brewing.

I didn’t make that much money but when you consider taxes and clothes and lunches out and driving it wasn’t so bad, the money I made. I think I brought in like $25,000 a year and a real job would have garnered me about $40. OK, so it was kind of bad.

But Marvin had a good job and was making bank at this computer place. He had also gone back to school to become a teacher.

In the evenings, Marvin and I would sometimes also take walks. Sometimes we’d just stroll down to R and get something. R was this convenience store on the corner that had a sign with all the letters faded except the R.

R was a magnificent convenience store. It was very old, and had creaky floors and a colorful display of do rags near the cash register. I’d always pick out which do rag I’d want. Usually magenta. Best of all, R had just the smuttiest, most disgusting dirty magazines you ever saw. A signature move of mine was, when we were invited anywhere, I’d go down to R for my hostess gift. I’d pick up one of the horrific magazines along with some of the incense R sold, an incense with the refresh-your-house scent Pussy.

The first time I saw it in the window of the convenience store, I did that kind of hysterical laughing where you have to bend over, and then after you try to go back to your dignity—you know, way back there where my dignity is, you’ve seen it—but you keep getting hysterical again.


Anyway, a nice gift bag with a dirty magazine and some Pussy incense was my go-to hostess gift circa 2006, and I really feel like my flowers in a Mason jar circa last-year-when-I-went-anywhere just doesn’t have a same panache.

The other thing is, I was down to the R alla time, as you can imagine, buying last-minute cat food or sanitary napkins or what have you. And Mr. R was always pleasant to me, UNLESS I was buying one of his dirty magazines. Then he barely acknowledged me.

This rankled.

I mean, YOU’RE the one who chose to provide Finally Legal in your establishment, Mr. R. Now you’re judging ME for purchasing your wares? Incidentally, you’re running low on Pussy.

None of this is germane to the story but you know the drill.

So Marvin and I were on one of our evening constitutionals when he mentioned that he was coming along in his teaching degree, and had I noticed that when he GOT said degree he’d be making a lot less, and had I considered maybe returning to a “real” job to make more money to make up the difference.

So I did.

I got this job on the other side of Los Angeles, and I know in other cities, normal cities, that means, oh, dangit, 20-minute commute, but let’s just say no. No, that’s not how that went. I drove an hour each way, going approximately 1 mile per hour, to my job across town.

However, I loved that job. I got a job as a copy editor at an in-house ad agency for a company that made a bunch of stuff you’ve heard of. A flower delivery service you’ve heard of—you’ve seen their ads during the Super Bowl.

A fruit drink you’ve heard of.

A water in a square bottle you’ve heard of.

Other products you’ve heard of.

The in-house ad agency was one floor of a high rise the owner purchased, as you do, a high rise that had an in-house curator who changed out the gardens and art every season just to make it interesting for us. Several times a year we got free flowers after photo shoots, and all the fruit juice you could ever want.

And the people! I loved the people. Everyone was creative and funny. I shared an office with the other copy editor, and he was brilliant. I can pay him the highest compliment I could ever pay a person:

He never annoyed me.

We’d work together in silence for hours, then one of us would say something hilarious about the work we were working on, then we’d laugh and work in silence for hours again.

One of the things they had us do that has nothing to do with copy editing, and this is something I’ve run across a lot in my years of copy editing: No one really knows what a copy editor does. Anyway one thing they had us do was check new floral arrangement name ideas and see if there was a copyright on that name already from a competitor, such as a competitor I won’t mention but it rhymes with STD.

Anyway I remember working in silence one afternoon while we looked up potential bouquet names, and my coworker just saying,

“Smells Like Grandma.”

And then we giggled at this potential bouquet name. Not Pussy-incense giggled, but giggled all the same.

Oh my god anyway.

So one day my flip phone with sparkly Hello Kitty sushi dangling from the antenna rang, and it was this company, this finance company. I’d interviewed with them in the heady days of Marvin first saying, “Get a real job.” I thought for certain I had the position but I did not. I found out from a friend they’d hired from within.

But I wasn’t wrong that they’d liked me. Another job had come up and they’d remembered me and did I want to come interview for it.

“Oh, no thank you,” I said to them. “I really like where I am now.”

For some reason, this set a fire in their loins. Me turning down this fancy finance company was, like, so unheard of or something, that they called me back again. They told me about all their perks. They told me about their two bonus programs a year. They reminded me they were just 15 minutes from me, instead of an hour.

That did sweeten the pot.

So I interviewed with them. Twice! They had me in a large room with many people, MANY people, interviewing me for several hours with no break or food. The second time I went there, I discretely brought a bag of nuts the company I was working for sold, nuts I ate in the bathroom when I got the nerve to ask if I could have a break.

I seriously think the grueling nature of the interview process was part of the deal. Like, if you could handle multiple people grilling you in a conference room for five hours with no break, you were in.

I also recall going back to my office on the other side of town after the interviews, and how colorful our space was, how colorful our people were. How we laughed and didn’t wear gray suits. The candy dish on the work table in the center of the room. The funny poems we left on the coffee pot.

They offered me the job, the finance place did, and it was $3,000 more than I make now, 14 years later. With the bonus system, it’s about $25,000 more than I make now.

It didn’t take me long to say no. And I’ve not regretted it. But now I sit here in my fairly bad neighborhood with my fairly badly colored hair and my fairly small 401(k) and I wonder how life would have been different if I’d taken it.

Do you think I’d have turned all corporate and said things like touch base and so on? I probably woulda been too scared to have a blog. I wouldn’t even know any of you. Maybe I’d have one of those terrible modern houses in a development. A house with more than one bathroom, though. A real place to put the 47 litterboxes! Oh, wouldn’t that be nice!

Anyway, it’s really the only time I ever had an opportunity like that, and I didn’t take it, and I’ve worked in advertising ever since and advertising people are really my people.

Did you ever do something like that? Did you ever turn down something other people would have seen as your big opportunity and you don’t really regret it? Did you end up regretting it? Do you ever ponder it? Would you like some Pussy incense?

These and other Qs burn in my brain.


54 thoughts on “Finally legal

  1. I did take “that” job. Now I’m miserable.
    I did get to pay off all my substantial debt, but now I’m stuck. I feel as if I sold my soul to the devil with no way out no matter how I crunch the numbers and try to make it work.


  2. When I was in high school I worked at a locally owned grocery store. My team leader was moving to a different department and I was offered the job after I graduated. I didn’t take it. That was stupid. I remember thinking working at a grocery store was not a career. By now, I’d probably be regional manager or something and I see what those folks drive. They’re making bank. But, I rarely have to work nights or weekends, so.


  3. Jim has always been the breadwinner and he has had goals for himself as he’s climbed the corporate ladder. One thing we have NOT done is move from job to job, city to city, so that he can reach his goals (which he still has not met, btw). The main reason we didn’t is because of my experience moving so much that I attended three high schools in four years. THAT WAS NOT FUN – lol! So, Jim hasn’t met personal goals because he chose to remain in the same town for over 25 years, but he’s NEVER regretted it. Our children have thanked him for not moving and that has made him happy with his decision to put family before self.


  4. I love this story about your trip down memory lane, circa 2006. I also love to hear about others lives. I guess that is why I watch so much reality TV (which isn’t so much reality, but some of it is). Thank you for sharing.

    The motto I try to stick to is once you make a decision, never look back and ask what if, though sometimes I do. I always try to think that I made the best decision for ME at that time…so not many regrets from this girl.


  5. This was a great post! I loved reading these stories – so interesting how our lives take the twists and turns that they do.
    I have thought about this topic at different times in my life and I could probably say there were many times when I may have made the wrong turn – but you know, i chose not to feel like that. I take every experience in life as just that – an experience. No regrets.However, there is one thing I do wonder about and that is my marriage to the father of my children. I loved him dearly and always will but the night before the wedding I was going to cancel as I felt he was not really committed to me. We went ahead with the wedding as he assured me of his love. The possible regret was ending that marriage.I have occasionally wondered what my life would be if we had just not married – but i stifle the thought immediately as I adore my four kids and would not have wanted a different father for them. And he and I went on with our lives and finally became very good friends. I blamed the divorce on the women’s movement. Sigh.
    I think it is best to just travel through life following your gut and chalking everything up to experience!


  6. JG, your writing is a gift that makes everything relatable and brings out all the emotions while making us smile. I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments. I’m not good with money, and if I had ever made any, I’d have blown it anyway. Same with a career. After floating through my 20s, I met a man and quickly became pregnant. A family and committed relationship were not my goals. I was strongly considering an abortion but this man, who I barely knew, convinced me to trust him. Despite a wickedly painful childhood and scaring family situation, I decided to have the baby and another two years later. I don’t know that I’m a good mother. I do know that I tried my best, learned so much, and gave my two kids the stable, loving home that I never had. Because I chose a path that I previously eschewed, I somehow stumbled into happiness. I guess I really didn’t know what I wanted but I’m so glad that I took a chance. Then again, maybe I’m just old enough to appreciate what I have and not question the how or why.


  7. Once upon a time I was at a cute little bar with backgammon sets being played as it was done back in the late 70s and I met a guy. We had the electric sparks connection and everything he said I loved and vice versa. I have never felt that with anyone else. It was palpable. After a couple of weeks of meeting like that he came over and said all in a hurry “Hey, I’m with some friends and we are going to take off and drive, maybe go to Boston. Please, say you will come”.

    It was so spontaneous and I have never been a fly off on a whim kind of person. I always thought I wanted to be, but never did it. I have thought of him occasionally over the years and wondered if I would have ever learned to enjoy that life.


  8. Ah, the road not taken!

    I did sort of the opposite. I started my career (after day-long interviews!) working in Marketing for a couple of gigantic high-tech companies, and at first it was fine because I was learning a lot and earned a fairly steady stream of promotions. Most of the people were nice and a few remain steadfast friends to this day. (There also were a few real stinkers, of course.) But the MEETINGS! All we ever seemed to do was sit in meetings and discuss what our next meeting would be about. Lots of frustrating bureaucracy too. No time to actually accomplish any meaningful work. So after getting to know the people at one of the little boutique agencies we sometimes hired, I was finally persuaded to jump the corporate ship and go work for the agency as their Creative Director, for the same salary. I did get a few raises after that, but my earning potential was pretty much stuck. Unfortunately, the agency struggled and had to fold after the dot-com bubble burst, but it was the best job I ever had. After that, I went back to the client side, but made the decision to work only for smaller companies for the remainder of my career. I sometimes think about how much healthier our nest egg might be if I’d stayed in big-tech land, but I wouldn’t trade my years with those wonderful people at that little agency for anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. While on mat leave with my second I was called out of the blue. I was invited to join an organization that would have given me security for the rest of my life. They wanted me to be the flagship of a program that is now an expectation everywhere. I said no, they told me I was crazy and to find a way, I was writing my ticket. I said no again. Absolutely no regrets.


  10. Oh wow, this one hits hard.

    Career-wise, well let’s see. Back in my 20s, when I was both cute AND hot ha ha, I worked at a pharmaceutical research company. I liked my job, I liked the company, which was small and very family-friendly. There were several mother/daughter teams (my mom got me the job), husbands and wives and various siblings all employed there. It really was one big mostly happy family. At that time I also belonged to a small old-school gym that was frequented by many very wealthy Captains of Industry types along with a few famous professional athletes. Anyway, I was friendly with several of these guys (and yes, more than one offered to set me up in a sugar daddy/sugar baby position, which I declined. No regrets there) and one day, one of them asked if I’d be interested in coming to work for him. He was looking for an administrative assistant and thought I’d be good at it. Good salary, great benefits and room for advancement in the company. This was all legit. And I turned down the offer because I liked my job. Yeah, a few months later, there was a hostile takeover with a major restructuring of the entire company. It was no longer a nice place to work. I was told that because I didn’t have a degree (which wasn’t necessary for what I did), I was being moved to a different position, which ended up being a basic file clerk. About 2 months after that, I was let go because they realized they could find someone else for half of what they were paying me. I just Googled the guy who offered me the job and yep, still a very successful company while my old company went out of business.

    On the romantic front, well, I have only one what-if and I have spent the last 33 years thinking about it. Not so much regretting (okay, maybe sometimes) but wondering what could have been if I had turned left instead of right, so to speak. I do take some comfort in knowing that the person in question loved me to his dying day.


  11. Nothing to say on the career front.
    I was the bold one of my teenage friends who went into Rite Aid to buy Playgirl and Penthouse Forum. No one batted an eyelash or ID me. I was 17 so just underage. As an adult I went to a much smaller privately owned newspaper/magazine/ tobacco etc. shop. I bought some lesbian magazines out of curiosity and got the stink from the female Asian Indian woman who rang me up. Hey you are selling the stuff. The store was near a town with a number of lesbians. I just thought she shouldn’t judge me. No pussy incense though. That I have never heard of. My friends took public transportation to community College in Philadelphia and a guy sold incense in the el stop underground. Every day they heard him yelling , ” Incent on a stick. One dolla, one dolla, one dolla.” I doubt pussy was an available scent but I will have to ask them.


  12. I regret that I didn’t travel to the UK right after I graduated from college. I was (and still am) one of those girls who did the adult thing and got a job (in a vegetable cannery. Whaaaaa?!?) , and started paying off that darn school loan. I was so frickin’ conscientious it makes me sick now.

    But later in life, I DID turn down down the offer to be the office manager for a law firm. The thought of riding herd on a hen house filled me with horror. So I steered clear of that pantyhose and heels career track and have thrived at a jeans and flats firm making more money while working less.

    Still haven’t made it to the UK, though….

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I worked for the State for 31 years, the last 25 in IT. At some point in IT, your only upward mobility involves moving into management, people management, not project management. I was approached at some point about taking one of those management positions and turned it down. The money would have been nice but I would have been miserable dealing with people. Give me a computer bug any time. I’ve never regretted it.
    Lovely post, Joob.


          1. YES! Sack-o-doody Judy!! And she wasn’t even the worse one! The bank president, for whom I worked directly looked EXACTLY like Mr. Waternoose from Monsters, Inc.

            Liked by 1 person

  14. I know it’s Covid and the upcoming holidays and the crazy election issues but ya’ll are making me sad that we don’t do better for ourselves. I want so much for all of you to be happy and then spread that around. So – take the chances that may lead you to happy! All of us need to make the effort. I’m old, not many chances out there but to hell with that – let’s do it!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. When I was in my 20s my life started to not go the way I wanted. I had a house I was going to buy but it fell through so I quit my job in a huff and just worked my side bartending job. My plan was to move someplace warm at the end of the summer but then I ended up getting a job. Hated that job, more than anything but it was good experience but I was miserable so asking everyone about other jobs which lead to the company I am at now (18 years) where I met my husband so everything worked out.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I would say most of my career was a mistake…. in advertising (print production/direct mail). It was great fun in high school/college, I met some fantastic folks along the way, and was lured by good benefits to stay. But it was taxing on my life and health and I was kinda unhappy a lot. But being single, I needed good health benefits, so I stayed amidst the turmoil. When I got laid off for 2nd time last year, I took it as finally my time to get the hell out, industry changed, not much print anymore. I took a pay cut, but am so much happier and working in the nonprofit affordable housing and community development arena. Something that actually helps people. My company is wonderful to its employees (amazing benefits!). I guess my regret is not changing sooner so I could be happier longer and possibly have had a different life. (I think I worked with your cousin Katie B.)

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Mine wasn’t a job but when I was 25 I met an executive with the San Diego Chargers who was in Baltimore to check out the new Ravens football stadium. We were in a bar when we met and he was nice, seemed normal but was older. When you’re 25, 45 seems old or at least it did to me at the time. We talked, he offered me tickets to the Ravens game the next day and gave me his business card. My friend and I went to the game, got parking in the player parking lot, sat with the families of Chargers players while he called me throughout the game from the box he was in with the owners. Anyway, we continued to talk after the game by phone since he had to fly back to California. After talking for a few weeks he asked me to come to CA. He would fly me out so we could get to know each other better. I was not really open to the idea. The big issue was I was a single mother of a 5 year old and couldn’t just run off for some fling with a guy I just met. He kept pressing, saying if I liked it out there he would get me an apartment, pay for everything while my son and I got settled and even offered me a job with the Chargers. God this is long, but in the end I didn’t do it. I stopped answering his calls and continued my life here with a mediocre job as a single mom. I definitely don’t regret it but I do wonder what would have happened if I went.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. There are a couple of those moments in my life, including

    47. What if I had NOT dated the mentally ill guy with a drug habit that I met first day of my freshman year of college – how would my college years have been different?
    X. Whhhhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyy did I not even apply for the job copy editing a newspaper in the Caribbean?? Why did I talk myself out of it before I gave it a shot??
    iv. If we had bought house A instead of current house when we moved, my second child would have been earlier and therefore a totally different child, and I would have been able to continue in massage therapy instead of having to go back to editorial work.


  19. My ‘what if’ wasn’t career related. There was a young man I met through a friend in college. The first time I met him he grabbed my hand, put his arm around my waist and began to tango with me. We never lived in the same city but would visit each other and keep in touch. One year he was at my house for New Year’s, we were both with our significant others (he was engaged) and while we were all in the same room, seconds after midnight, he whispered in my ear, “I should be marrying you.” Several months later after we had both ended those relationships for unrelated reasons, he was living in Chicago and we were catching up on the phone. He said, “You should move here and live with me.” I daydreamed about it for a while but never discussed it further with him. I have come back to this many times in the past 20 years and wondered what that would have been like.


  20. I had an offer to move to LA after college for a job as an associate producer on a soap opera but I didn’t take it because my boyfriend was going to be stationed in North Carolina. I’m not sorry. I married him and I’m happy with my life.
    But I do often wonder if I could have made it as a producer.


  21. My biggest what if is what if I had gone to a high school that knew what to do with smart girls, or had a guidance counselor who could handle the fact that my scores were better than that one smart boy, or had not just gone to the small state liberal arts college near my home. Smart girl of the 80’s what ifs. I ended up in office support roles my entire career which is fine, but I do wonder what if.


    1. Office support roles in the 80’s were still good jobs though back then. Not everybody had a degree, and companies would hire you for your aptitude and groom you for other opportunities within. Those days are gone. Now people want a batchelor’s degree to answer their phones. Sheesh!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Wow – HE NEVER ANNOYED ME. High praise. Did you stay in touch? Can you find him on FB? Curious.

    My big regret is studying business. Hate working in business. Never really found my footing there and hated the lingo . . . “as we go through it, . . . gonna stay on top of that . . . follow up and circle back.” PUKE.

    Then I got married (no regrets) and had kids (no regrets) WHILE putting him thru PT school. There was never time for me to go back to school. Back then there weren’t online programs or other flexible options.

    I sometimes wish I had work friends or experiences, but I struggle with annoying people so oh well.

    Now I run a small in-home daycare and hope to get a book published. Currently in shut down mode because my 17 yr old has covid. So far the other 3 kids and my husband and I don’t have it. My fear is I will continue to have to shut down as other family members test positive down the road. Costly ordeal.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Oh I ponder this allllll the time. Whenever there’s a choice, I think of the “what if”. What if I had dated that boy in high school who was so nuts about me but I thought was too boring? What if I had gone to my second choice college? Or taken French instead of Spanish… the class where I met my eventual husband. What if we had bought that much smaller house in the suburbs instead of the big one out in the boonies? Every choice leads to a whole other life it seems… I read a book with this plot line recently, where we actually DO live all those other lives. Each choice creates a whole other self. We just aren’t aware of our any of our other selves… it was fascinating.


  24. I guess I did the reverse. Said yes to a series of high paying high pressure jobs until the burnout got me. I was walking through the park outside my lovely downtown pre-war condominium on my way to work and looking at all the people out playing with their dogs and asked myself “Why can’t I have a dog?” Well, maybe because you’re working 60 – 100 hours a week, traveling 5 or 6 days some weeks. Ya think? So first I got a puppy and then I submitted my resignation and then I moved clear across the country. The only thing I miss is the money, because now I have a jumper of a dog and am looking at June-size plus fencing estimates. But I don’t regret it.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I have not had any big opportunities that I passed up, I had kids young and didn’t really have a whole lot of direction. I now have a decent government job where I can work from home so that is fine . But I can’t express how much I would LOVE to get a dirty magazine and some pussy incense as a hostess gift !


  26. Nope. My whole career was with the State of California, Department of Justice. A few moves within the department, but that’s it.


  27. I was working as a newspaper copy editor (represent!) when I was accepted to law school. Never went because newspapers were just too much fun and continued to be for the next 30 years. Now I write marketing copy – for a law firm.


  28. I worked at my former firm and was contacted by the HR director (I very vaguely knew her but a friend had sang my praises to her) and asked to come interview at the firm I’m at now. I interviewed, accepted the position, and then turned in my notice at my former firm. They gave me a huge raise to beat the new offer by $10,000 a year so I called the firm I’m at now and told them I was going to stay where I was. About 5 years later, I decided it was time to make a move and I contacted the same HR director and asked if they would even consider giving me a chance to interview again. They did and I’ve now been here for almost 14 years. So I guess I didn’t take the opportunity on the first go, ended up regretting it a bit, and then I was fortunate enough to get to take it later.

    I had a psychic reading at the beginning of this year and he told me I would be offered a new work opportunity and I should absolutely take it. He also told me I would meet the man of my dreams over the summer or early fall, that one of my aunts would get deathly ill, and that someone close to me would get pregnant and lose the baby. Then Covid hit and absolutely none of that stuff has happened. I’m not sure if that psychic sucks (several of my friends have used him and said he was amazing and spot on and gave me concrete examples) or if Covid has truly thrown the world off in every single way and even supposedly amazing psychics got thrown by it.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. He never annoyed me.

    Don’t look back. You did the right thing because you would have been miserable in that uppity corporate environment. I was working for a horrible boss and applied with a major airline based in Atlanta. They offered me a temporary job in the file room in HR with no benefits. I decided I didn’t want to start over after 15 years if service with a job that haf very good benefits. I had to adjust my about the bad boss. That’s when I decided he was never going to verbally abuse me again. He backed off!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Intriguing question. I’ve never turned down a job that I regretted, but it is interesting how a job choice changed my life. After moving and my first job here, I decided to change jobs and do something completely different. I found two jobs in the same field and applied to both. The job I accepted led to lifetime friends and Mr. Sadie. How differently my life would have turned out had I accepted the other job.Thank goodness I took the right job for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am a union clerical employee and make good money with pension 401k retiree medical insurance. I had an opportunity to bid into our highest paying job at work last November. I would eventually have been making over 100,000 a year on a high school diploma. When I went to look the job over (it was mine no interview) my heart sank. I could not imagine doing it for 10 years. I did turn it down. I do not regret it except for not making 6 figures. I could probably get it in another year or so but I don’t want to be unhappy at work.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Lovely post Coot.
    I read almost all of this post in Sophia’s voice.
    I would love it when Sophia would go teel on of her stories. Picture it Palermo after the war…
    I hated that commute from one side of L.A. to the other. I left our bungalow in Laurel Canyon to go to Glendale Nd it took me 3 hours. It is literally less than 5 miles. THREE HOURS. Which is why we left.


  32. I took a job that I didn’t want. I had been training manager for a busy call center with locations throughout two provinces and then in Italy. The trainers in all of the locations reported to me. I liked my job. I was called into a meeting with two other people and offered the opportunity to now manage half of the call centers with the other half being managed by one of the other two people in that meeting. First, I said no, then after pressure from the VP I said that I would think about it. I left the meeting as new general manager and carrying a heavy heart. I did not like that job. I lasted a few years until the burn out had me in flames. I left that job with the ship sinking. That was over 15 years ago and I still regret the way that I let myself be blinded by the flags on the ship coming in. All that glitters is not gold.


  33. Lovely post, June. I love hearing LA stories. I am sad I was never a recipient of dirty mags and incense. If I could touch my friends, I would have to beat them for not treating me with proper gifts. I have never directly turned down a big opportunity, but I did stay at my first adult job for for 15 years, probably 10 years too long. I am way more career focused now and have wondered if I have been in this mindset at an earlier time if I would be in a career place now.


  34. What a great post. Top drawer, to get all fancy about it.
    No, I never did turn down job but I was pursuing a PhD headed for what I thought might be the big time. I was sitting in the quad when full knowledge appeared before me of how miserable I would be if I continued. I stood up that minute and walked away and never seriously looked back until reading your blog today. It was an excellent move.

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  35. Maybe? The reason for the question mark is that when I was 21, I was hired by an airline. Hilarious, as I was absolutely TERRIFIED to fly at the time. This past September, I took an early retirement and severance package (thanks a lot Covid). When I took that job I had no idea I would stay there my entire adult life. Occasionally, a head hunter would reach out, but I always flat turned them down. I held numerous positions within the airline, resulting in an education I’d never be able to afford if I had to pay for it. So, now I’m a retired IT Manager (with flight benefits) and if my ship had come in, I was probably at the airport.


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