I really like working.
This occurred to me earlier today, when I was straightening shelves of shoes. I graduated today, from straightening and observing to straightening and greeting customers (under the eye of my manager, who would take over after "Hello, how are you?" since I can't actually do anything useful yet). Payless really seems to like eeeasing you into the job. I was smiling, because you're supposed to smile at customers and because my head is a pretty amusing place when it isn't given something to think seriously about, and maybe--just maaaybe dancing a little bit. Because they play music in the store. So I was the amazing dancing shoe straightener.
But I liked it. There is a place in my head that makes things seem important. Yes, this is just a shoe store. But it's going to be The shoe store, or, as one training video phrased the Company Vision, "...to be one of the top five footwear retail outlets in the country."
I believe in that vision. No, I know it's just selling shoes. But dammit, if I'm going to sell shoes, I'm going to sell shoes well. I mean, all I'm in charge of doing is being cheerful, helpful, respectful, and making things look nice. I like all of those things, and I have a unreasoning underlying competitive drive, to boot. They will PH34R me, because I will be the cheeriest, helpfullest, most aesthetically creative associate born to mankind.
It wasn't until halfway through the drive home that I remembered that I also made $25 on my three hour shift. Unimportant details.
We had hamburgers, and my brother had a friend over to work on a school science project. When he passed the pickles to her (because being a boy, he wasn't willing to put down his burger), tomato blood dripped. Mother scolded, amusedly. He defended himself, "It is impossible for any human being to pass pickles, eat a hamburger, and not drip."
I laughed, and monologued: "Ha. Unless you're one of the X-Men. Oh, but think about it--wouldn't that be the lamest superpower ever? Not dripping from a burger while passing pickles? You maybe mutated... ridges, along your arms, that would channel the juices down from your hands and off the elbows. You'd be called, 'Burger Pickle-Passer Man.' Friends would say, 'Man, that's such a lame superpower.' And you'd just look sad and say, 'I know.'"
My brother didn't laugh. But there is a trick to it, as long as the conversation is mostly between two people. After telling a lame, horrible joke, you must keep your eyes fixed on the other person. And smirk a little bit. And just wait. Because finally, when he couldn't help thinking about it, my brother broke down and cracked up.