Hello and welcome to the blog today. The last few months had been a little crazy and I was under a great deal of stress… mentally and physically feeling like crap. After leaving Walmart this summer, I’d excitedly accepted a desk job in a call center about 40 minutes from home. The pay was decent but the stress level was through the roof. Once a vandweller, my brain still seems to be programmed around a more simple lifestyle, one without people screaming in one’s ear or pressuring me to go faster, faster, faster. The call center job just was not a good fit.
I started looking for a job that matched personal strengths: great customer service skills, an outdoors background, lots of retail experience, attention to detail, and a sincere desire to help. That’s where networking helped. Before I even applied, future bosses had seen how I peformed in sporting goods (and a dozen other departments) at “Wally World”. There’s no better reference!
The full-time position is at a home / farm / auto type store very near where I live. In rural Iowa there is often such a retailer in each good sized town. This store, one of a chain of family owned businesses, carries such necessities as clothing and footwear, tires and auto services, household items, ammo and sporting goods, paint, plumbing, animal feed, farm tools and accessories, etc. While there is plenty of physical work to do, such as loading bags of concrete and animal feed into vehicles, the role itself is pretty low stress. It’s a nice combination of exercise and some socialization. Of course, the paycheck comes in handy, too!
This weekend the employer is having the annual holiday party. It’s about 35 miles away in southern Cedar Rapids at a beautiful hotel. I’ve been told they have a terrific buffet. Following the meal will be entertainment from a hypnotist. I’ll have the van there and hope to duck out a little early and do some camping nearby. There will be pictures, of course. It should be a fun time!
With the new job taking five and six days from each week, there has not been much time to “play”. Tuesday was a day off so I went back to Colesburg and returned with some decent sized trout. This picture was taken with Jesse perched on the railing of the deck in front of our home. Though the picture does not reflect it, Jesse is getting thinner and the tumor in his belly is growing. Nonetheless, we are still enjoying some good days together… and some fish meals.
For now, it’s time to rest from a day of hard but rewarding work.
Thanks for visiting. Safe and happy travels!
Brad, Jesse James, and Jennifer
Jones County, Iowa