The One Big Thing I’ve Learned From The Business School of Hard Knocks

As many of you fine fellows out there know, there’s no way in hell I went to business school. I once flirted with the idea of it while going through a mid-nineteen-year-old-crisis. I rebounded quickly, thinking romantically to myself, “I’ll do what I love, I’ll stick it to the man!”

And on that night, I made love to my Shakespeare textbook. I never once looked back… No one ever regrets majoring what they love, right? RIGHT? Lol! ❤ Triumphantly, here I sit, four years later, sitting and typing this to you at my parents’ house, grossly overusing commas, and valiantly ignoring my mother’s continuous requests to make my bed and brush my teeth.

But anyway, as I trudge along the path of Life with a capital “L”, I’m here to say I’ve swagged hard enough to earn a degree from the School of Hard Knocks in Business. I want to tell you, “you won’t learn this crap in college”, but truth is, you might (with less teenage/Urban Dictionary-like vernacular to say the least). I wouldn’t know otherwise. Either way, I’m giving it to you for free. It just may be one step away from taking online courses through Globe University. Consider yourself on a journey to getting certified in business from Crapbag University. Amazing! (!!!!!!!)

So what makes me qualified to write about this? Nothing, really. I suppose I’ve lived on this planet and worked in a couple business-y sort of environments which make me feel like my opinion matters, but other than that, I have nothing but my experience to show for. My opinions are shaped by my experiences, and this is what gives me this particular, current worldview. As usual, I recommend reading at your own risk, and taking anything I say with a grain of salt. I’m here to tell you what I think, and you’re free to disagree. I won’t fight you. But I will if we’re fighting over the last Quesalupa in the backseat of your car after going through the T-Bell drive thru.

Let me begin by first clarifying my current job. Eh mah gawd, so stahp asking already!

Essentially, I work in a call center. I have a headset on most of the week, ready to protect the brand. The company I work for is a place that other corporations and businesses hire to do the things they don’t want to, or don’t have time to do, like taking calls from people who don’t understand how to work ordinary household items, and taking calls from people who are pissed off a company make “crappy” household items. That’s at least how I think of it.

My job description gave a wonderful overview of this so-called “social media specialist” thing, where I’d “manage social media accounts”, and “identify adverse events”. It’s not a lie, it’s what I do, but for the first half of the week I basically take calls from customers who have product quality complaints. The second half of the week, I’m on Facebook. Yep, gotta take the cape off when I get home. I help save so many lives!

I’m also occasionally waitressing  on the side, which can bump my working hours up to 50-60 hours per week. It’s amazing, because even though I’m busy, I still have all this time to complain and remind all my friends about it!!! I wish I could say I’m finding myself in good company, whining on a pile of George Washingtons and all, but truth is I’m not. It’s hard being fabulous when daddy makes you a budget that slashes your disposable income in half. Dude, Reedo cut my disposable income like Reagan and George Double-ya cut taxes. How the hell am I going to carelessly buy satin handkerchiefs now, dad? Ugh~

This leads me to the “curriculum” of this post. This, right here, is the crap I’ll be yelling at my grandkids as I’m sitting rocking back and forth in a rickety, old rocking chair, with my teeth falling out, and saliva dripping down my wrinkled chin (too much tanning). Here’s the one important thing I’ve learned through my jobs. Below, you’ll find information that may not be pretty, but like I said, this is the School of Hard Knocks, brah! Pimpin’ ain’t easy!

Here’s the one thing I’ll be shouting at my grandkids other than “WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?”:

There are a bunch of different people out there, many with different backgrounds and upbringings than you.

Duh? Point is, I had been used to my little bubble while in college. Surrounded (mostly) by Division 1 athletes, ambitious double majors, cynical kids who didn’t get into Cornell, and people who scored at least 1910 on their SATs, I had myself thinking this was the “real world”. Before I sound like an ass, let me explain myself. I had the privilege of going to a great university where I was pushed because of the intelligence of those around me. This is a huuuuge part of what makes a great school a “great school”.  This bubble of people had me thinking this is how every workplace would be. You’ll find that once you’re out trying to find a job, this is not always true.

While working at my previous and current jobs, I’ve met a plethora of different people with their own backgrounds. A single mother busting her butt trying to complete her undergrad while working forty hours a week, a young guy who didn’t think a four year degree was for him (my dad, FYI), an old man who took the job so he can make ends meet… Not every workplace is full of young, hip, well-educated kids. Not everyone goes to a four year college after high school. When I was in high school, I didn’t think of any other option besides getting a bachelor’s degree. It’s what people did. It just came as a sort of culture shock for me after school, when I realized not everyone had at least a similar upbringing to me. There are many different routes you can take to where you’re going, many, which lead to the same place. Everyone’s just try’na hustle and get paid. #Capitalism, right?

So bottom line, here. The BSoHK (Business School of Hard Knocks, it’s a thing now. Just like saying “fetch”) has taught me that upon graduating, you’re in a bubble no longer. The only bubble you’re in is literally the workforce. It doesn’t matter who’s in your bubble, or where that bubble came from, but that bubble has dissolved once you apply to 75%*** of jobs out there. Keep in mind, people around you are own their own paths to wherever it is they’re going. They’ve had different upbringings, different educations, and different experiences themselves. It doesn’t make anyone intrinsically “better” than anyone else- it only means there will be people who are qualified for different jobs than other people. And that’s the god honest truth.

It took me until now to get off my high horse and fully realize that the workplace can contain many different people. The more I type, the more stupid I realize I sound, but I honestly took my “bubble” to be something that I’d live in the rest of my life.

When I graduated, I thought everything would come easily. I graduated from a great school, was able to juggle athletics with academics, and thought this would be able to carry into getting a job I felt passionate about right off the bat. This is the case for some, but not others. There are too many factors that go into getting a job after college to isolate just one thing that “gets you the job” or not (besides maybe just know someone important and don’t be stupid, or having a company so severely understaffed they still take you despite you telling them you were a cat in 5th grade), but just keep in mind, you’ll be amongst people who have a totally different backgrounds than you for the rest of your life. It’s SO important to remember this, and keep this in mind not only in the workforce, but in life as well.

So before I turn you all into a bunch of hippies and encourage you to hold my hand as we sit in a circle singing kumbaya mah lawd, let me say this:

It’s comfortable to be in a bubble. You’re surrounded by people you can relate to, who have had similar upbringings and lives. However, allowing yourself to get outside this bubble can encourage personal growth. YOU CAN LEARN SO MUCH ABOUT YOURSELF AND OTHERS! Kumbaya, damn it! No one’s bubble is better or worse than yours. They simply just are. It’s kind of cool, when you think about it. Where you are right now may not be your final destination, but challenge your bubble and embrace it. Nothing worth having is easy, and stepping outside your comfort zone can help you figure out your character as a human if you let it. Embrace the change, face the challenge head on, and have no fear, because the only fear you should have in life is if Taco Bell runs out of tortilla shells. God bless.

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