I have a calendar in my office (thanks to my pal Warren with Muscatine Power & Water) that tells you what national day it is every single day of the year. Some of these days are just silly. Did you realize that Wednesday was National Chocolate Cake Day? Certainly, everyday could be chocolate cake day if you try hard enough, although I doubt that your doctor would approve of such a diet.
This Thursday (Jan. 28) is National Fun at Work day. Do you remember what your first job was? Mine was snow plowing with my dad, John (a retired Chicago police officer) and it was not easy. Snow plowing is not only hard on your vehicle but it’s absolutely brutal on your body. I didn’t bear the brunt of it in the passenger seat, but I could see how much it impacted my dad. I inherited my work ethic from dad who had a full-time job but still operated his snow plowing business because that afforded things like going on vacation and having a boat. My memories include a few of his accounts that were located near Wrigley Field and how vastly different the city of Chicago looks between 1-4:00 a.m.
As I got older, I had other jobs, like selling Christmas trees, landscaping, working for the Park District of Oak Park as a coach and instructor, and even valeting cars at the Oak Park Country Club. Since the age of 13, I’ve worked pretty consistently. Even during my 4.5 years at St. Ambrose, I had work study jobs including at the library before transitioning to being the public address announcer at all St. Ambrose basketball and baseball games.
Since graduating college, I’ve worked at B100/99.7 radio, The HON Company (in customer service, which is another hard job that doesn’t get acknowledged enough, shoutout to all my former coworkers), Vintage Sound 93.1 radio here in Muscatine, Hy-Vee, and at my current (and hopefully last) job with the Muscatine Community School District. I can honestly say that in all my jobs I have been able to find ways to have fun.
If you find yourself stuck in a job that isn’t fun, I would encourage you to take a step back and assess things. Are you able to find the fun at work without risking getting yourself into trouble? Do you at least have a coworker (or two) that you enjoy working with? If not, maybe you can become the fun coworker. I’m not going to toot my own horn, but I would like to think that I am a good coworker.
Some of my closest friends started as coworkers. That includes folks like Joel Kraushaar, who I first met while he was with Shelter Insurance. We ended up working together at the radio stations and I watched as Joel really excelled covering sports, hosting his own show, and writing news articles. The pandemic has prevented Joel and I from hanging out, but we’re constantly texting each other and thinking of podcasts we could host together via Zoom after we’re both done with the workday.
I hope that you are able to find the fun at work. To those that are reading this and are retired, just know that I’m jealous and happy for you!