September 7, 2009

labor day special

I often think about the various jobs that a person could have: auto mechanic, web designer, school teacher, window washer, park ranger, sherpa ... There are so many things out there a person could do in life. How could one ever truly know if their current job is the right for them? I am still trying to figure this out. I am constantly analyzing my current position and wondering if it’s right for me. It’s not that I hate my job; rather I just wonder if there exists a job that would be completely fulfilling to me.

My flight to Colorado for the Pikes Peak Ascent got me thinking about this more.

TSA BAG Screener

I arrived at the airport the day before the race about 1.5 hours prior to departure. As usual, I went as quickly as I could to the security checkpoint. I took off my belt, shoes, and backpack and proceeded through the metal detector. All was good. I put on my belt and shoes and waited for my backpack. I waited some more. Finally, the guy looking at the X-ray scanner pointed to my bag and said to one of his older coworkers (who probably lacked the computer skills to work the X-ray scanner), “That one. There is a gel in there.” My body temperature rose. What did I forget? What did I leave in there? OH man.

I remembered that I had a 32oz vanilla yogurt container filled with pasta I made specifically for this occasion so I could have a quality prerace dinner. No big deal, they will open it and I will be on my way. The older gentleman opened the bag and took out the container. He squeezed it with his glove covered hands careful not to open it.

He looked irritated, confused, dumbfounded, and questioned, “YOGURT?”

“No, No. It’s pasta,” I informed him.

He examined the container again careful not to open it, “What is it?”

“It’s pasta…that’s all…to eat…for dinner…pasta,” I calmly told him.

“What do we do about this,” he asked his buddy at the x-ray scanner

“I don’t know. Ask the boss,” he sighed with tired, red eyes.

“What’s the Problem,” the boss asked?

“Pasta. What do we do about pasta,” the older man asked?

“Well we would have to do some testing in the back and check this guy out and…”

I stopped her, “Just throw it away. No big deal. Feed the rats or something. Just keep it.”

“Ok. Alrighty then. The passenger isn’t going to protest. Let’s throw it out.”

So I spent what felt like a ½ hour waiting for these guys to just open the dag-gum container and take a bite to prove that it wasn't liquid explosives. They never even took a whiff. I guess this is their policy.

Airport Fast Food Worker

After my dinner was confiscated, I went in search of some airport food. Of course the terminal was tiny and only had three options: A sit down restaurant which I had no time for, McDonald's, and a Mexican burrito place. Against popular running folklore, I chose the Mexican Place. I ordered a chicken burrito without beans. It was filling and tasted great. It sure beat my two day old pasta creation.

The big thing that caught my attention was that the girl working the cash register was just so happy. I love people like this. In fact, it even made me happy after my ordeal with the TSA workers. This girl was singing, dancing, and being overly courteous to every customer. My question is how could someone working at a burrito joint, making 7$/hour, be so happy. I probably make 5 times as much as her yet I am never that excited to be at work. I, and just about everyone I know, is generally bored, tired, or not thrilled to be at work. I concluded after this ordeal that I should be happy while at work. There is simply no reason to be miserable and gloomy. If I truly dislike going to work, I should change my situation for the better and quit complaining about it.

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