I got to thinking this morning about my retail job at the Discovery Channel Store. I almost cried at the end of the summer when I had to leave that job, I'm serious, I loved it. I loved cleaning out the water fountains. I loved getting to watch every Crocodile Hunter home video that came out. I loved how to store smelled and felt and the expression on people's faces when they walked in the door. It was the opposite of my job at the engineering firm - there I got paid very well to live a pointless, meaningless existance. At DCS I got paid $7 an hour to make people happy, really enrich their lives. Yes, the stuff was expensive and mostly useless, and we conveyed the message that materialism will make you happy, so in that respect it was shallow and dumb. But it was common for people to leave with a smile on their faces after they shopped our store, because there were pretty things and it was clean and pleasent. People smile when they leave an engineering firm because they're not coming back, that's about it.
So what if I went back there? I might get a management position, but even that would mean earning less money than I did as an electronics intern. I'd be helping people. I'd be inspiring others to put passion into their work. I like helping people and creating an atmosphere. I'd lose respect from the outside world... retail is just above waiting tables in their minds.
I also sometimes think I'd like to be an electrician or something. You know, the guys with pants that show their butt-cracks, rescuing housewives with broken air conditioners. Then I could help people, get to know customers.
The goal here is to make an impact on the world, a few people at a time, and if it costs me money/respect I guess I'm okay with that these days. I have tons of respect for anyone who can find a job they love doing and be passionate about their life every day, and if everyone around me can't see me doing that then I should just learn to blow them off and not care.