Teaching is only one of my jobs. A few days a week I work part time at a home improvement store. Between now and the first time I worked there during my college and early teaching years, I have accumulated about 10 years. Originally I returned to earn some extra money to pay for my wedding, but my wedding has come and gone and I am still there. Many ask why I continue to work there and the reason is because of all the conversations I have with the people I meet.
My new friend Frank who spent ten minutes telling me riddles that tied my brain into knots.
My regular Irishman, Tom. When he comes in we banter, he asks about married life, I ask about his daughter. And on the days when I’m too busy for conversation, we trade “Hey yous” across the registers.
My Pinterest/DIY wives who were tired of waiting for their husbands to complete home tasks, so they ventured into the home improvement world solo. Nervous, but determined.
My grandpas that come in for a light bulb, but are really just looking for some conversation and company. Someone to listen to a story….or two.
My customers whose projects lean more towards scientific than home improvement. Like the young man who could not quite find the right copper tubing for his Tesla coil.
My dads who bring in their itty bittys on Saturdays because they knew they could kill two birds with one stone….give their wives a much needed break and buy some tools they may or may not need.
Yes, I enjoy the extra money. Yes, there are some weeks were I’m a bit over tired from working two jobs. But it’s the people I meet and talk with that keep me going back for more.