I've been told now that I'm 24, I really need to start looking for a full-time, long-term job because as I get older people won't want to hire me for the types of part-time and seasonal positions I've had since graduating. The first time I heard this it stung me fairly hard and I spent the next portion of the day questioning what I was doing, and what I should be doing with my life. A phone call to Mom later, I was reminded that as long as I can pay my bills, I'm doing just fine. I don't need to follow the rules of what a person my age is "supposed" to do.
Yes, I'd love a full-time position, doing what I enjoy, but until that happens I'm going to enjoy life and pay my bills by working part-time and seasonal jobs that are actually pretty sweet (both literally and figuratively).
One of my current part-time jobs is at the Fun Factory Sweet Shoppe. We sell old fashioned, and novelty candies, gifts (cards, mugs, etc), fudge, and homemade flavored popcorn. Our real business, however, is in the chocolates that are hand made and dipped right in our store by our chocolatier.
On my first day, the manger informed me that eating the merchandise is a part of my job - literally. When a customer asks what something tastes like, actually being able to tell them is better than "I don't know." I continue to have a chocolate or two of my favorites each time I work, but my first few weeks were full of sampling what we have to offer:
Caramel Apple Popcorn
Cherry Peppermint Popcorn
Sour Cream & Chives Popcorn
Milk Chocolate Divinity
Milk Chocolate Raspberry Cream
Beer Cheese Popcorn
Milk Chocolate dipped Orange Peel
Cream Cheese Graham
Milk Chocolate covered pretzel
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup
Sour Heart gummies
Milk Chocolate Maple Meltaway
Peppermint Cookie Bark
Milk Chocolate Cream
White Raspberry Cheesecake
Spicy Buffalo Popcorn
Blackberry & Raspberry gummies
Milk Chocolate Dark Raspberry Meltaway
Chocolate Covered Raisins
Peanut Butter Ball
Sugar Free Peanut Butter Meltaway
Sea Salt Caramel
Black Forest Truffle
Peanut Butter Sherbert
Dark Chocolate Divinity
Dark Chocolate dipped Lemon Peel
White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle
Chocolate Cheesecake Fudge
Chocolate Raspberry Fudge
This is by no means all we have to offer, or what I have sampled here and there since I stopped keeping track. Even so, I've made some conclusions... 1) Sugar free candy is gross! Many people would probably say, "Well, duh, Hannah!" but I wanted to try some for myself and draw my own conclusion. I took one bite, and could barely swallow it. That was the only piece of chocolate that I have thrown away after one bite. 2) I normally do not care for dark chocolate, but I've found there are certain times when it is actually better than milk. Sea Salt Caramels, Divinity, fresh strawberries, and marshmallow are by far better dipped in dark chocolate! 3) My favorites continue to be Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel, Dark Chocolate Divinity, Milk Chocolate Dark Raspberry Meltaway, and any peanut butter/chocolate combination.
I do more at work than just eat though! It wasn't long before I was helping our chocolatier, first dipping the nougaty center of our Divinity in chocolate, and spreading caramel on almonds for turtles, then dipping strawberries for Valentine's Day. I've helped make caramel apples as well, dipping them in the caramel and drizzling them with chocolate. As Easter approached, I spent two weeks decorating chocolate eggs, and have most recently made our solid chocolate bunnies. Putting the molds together, filling them with chocolate, tapping the air bubbles out, then shaving the excess off the finished product - I've done it all.
Maybe I should be searching for a long-term, full-time job. Maybe my career clock is ticking, and soon I won't get hired for the kinds of part-time and seasonal jobs I've held in the last two years. Maybe. But soon I'll be leaving this sweet job and returning to Camp Luther for another seasonal position, one where I feel fulfilled, and know I am making a difference. And that is more important to me than following the "rules" of what a 24 year old is supposed to do. So for now, I'll continue to pay my bills, learn new skills, and eat some chocolate.