Dear 14 Year Old Ingrid,
You got your first part-time job! Congratulations. This is a big deal, girl. Quit pouting. What’s that? You HATE it? That’s nonsense. You feel stupid? That’s because you’re acting like a spoiled brat, which you aren’t. You’re embarrassed to have a job when all your friends are doing nothing all weekend? Yeah, well that’s not real life, teenagers! So those adolescents are going to have a rude awakening in a few years. And plus? You have money in your pocket where they have bubble gum wrappers, so check yourself.
A job’s a job and you are lucky to have it. One day, you’ll have to pay your own rent and buy your own food and tell yourself when to go to bed and you’ll just be wishing you were 14 again making major bank with zero expenses and with someone else scheduling your life (school). This job supports your ludicrous designer denim fixation (which you will abandon once you discover “the sundress”) so put on that oversized lime green polo shirt and get thee to the grocery store! You have demonstrations to do.
Are you serious? You’re threatening to quit! You are a demonstrator-girl in a major grocery store. You’re in the big leagues, baby. This is huge for your vacant resumé! Everyone who sees you in the grocery store loves you! And they don’t even know you. Just by virtue of giving away free stuff, people gravitate towards you. You offer free life guidance to people who were otherwise lost in the pasta section. And you’re probably twenty years younger than them. Find it in your heart to let this feel good.
The weekends you do Godiva Chocolate demonstrations are your particular forté. Everyone stops to listen to your little sales pitch. Everyone wants a second sample. Everyone can’t get enough of The Haas. But, today is not that day. Today you will be demonstrating a product that is neither edible nor recognizable. Drum role please! Today, Ingrid, you will be introducing the masses to The Swiffer Sweeper.
People will generally act like you don’t exist today. They will walk by you, hear you and not respond, look at you and then…look past you. Instead of running to the back and into the ballroom sized fridge and into a ball of tears, try to gather up your pride from the floor and treat this part-time job like it’s an acting gig. That’s the only advice your mother gave you at the time and to be honest: its the only advice I have for you now. Despite feeling like garbage sometimes, you will need to continue to sell with a smile on your face and with the sheer hope that someone, somewhere will purchase. This will be the rest of your life, so get used to it now.
I know it’s pretty embarrassing to say over and over and over again, “Hello. Have you seen the Swiffer Sweeper? It picks up dirt, dust and hair from all areas of your home. Hard wood, linoleum, even tile! Please allow me to demonstrate….” At which point you will put down synthetic versions of dirt, dust and hair and then you will clean it up. This is a lesson in humility. But trust your future self when I say: you are changing the world right now. One day, the Swiffer will be a household name and it’s all thanks to you. I know, it’s hard to believe right now because everyone who stops to watch your demonstrations are nay-sayers:
“Are they reusable?”
“What a waste!”
“What’s wrong with my broom?”
The answer is: “I don’t know what’s wrong with your broom ma’am, but I do know what’s right with the Swiffer.” Keep your head up, Ingrid. We all have part-time jobs or full time jobs that we don’t love. But if you sit around and mope about it, what good will that do? Nada. The way in which you handle hardships now will mold you into the person you become. At this moment, you’re a ball of tears and anxiety. But if you listen to me you can be the Aubrey Hepburn of hardship handling! Meaning: super put together, stylish and always a class act.
Also? Save some of that cash money, girl! You’re making great dough and you need not waste it on designer bell bottoms that you will only wear a few times. Trust me, you will only wear them a few times and even then you won’t feel good about it. This is your future self asking you for some help . Learn how to save for a rainy day, please and thank you.
Your Future Self
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