The job that guaranteed my Bachelor’s Degree

My least favorite job?  How about the job the ensured my completion of college!!

It was summer 1982 and I got a job working at the Jafra Cosmetics and Perfume factory in Westlake, California.  I thought, how hard can it be to work on a production line?!  I’m smart and athletic…outta my way!!

I was put on the line where the spray tops are put on the perfume bottles.  This is done buy hand…seriously…this skill is not in my wheelhouse.  I started by watching this woman pop these tops on  super fast…boink, boink, boink.  Then travel to the end where another lady puts them in a box.

I’ve got this!  No problem I am thinking.  However, this is not like on I love Lucy where you can eat the chocolate.  Have you ever tried to put on a spray top?  It takes precision and calm. I didn’t have either of those things.  The bottles were moving down this belt, I have the tops in front of me and I already feel panic.  I tried and tried.  They had to keep stopping the line and help me catch up.  I managed to kill four hours of their time. I do believe I had my first panic attack ever.

While I was eating lunch with my coworkers, they were telling me how they had been doing this same job for 5 to 10 years.  I went to the manager and said this is not for me.  I finished out the summer in the shipping department filling orders. I love the Jafra products, but I needed a different kind of challenge when it comes to work.

I eventually had a job working in my field of study and worked my way through school, while raising a family.  It took until 2000 to finish, but I did it.   I said to my current boss, that sometimes being stubborn is good.  She refers to it as “unending determination.”  I like that and was thinking about adding it to my resume under skills.  Today I have one class and the CPA exam in order to have those letters after my name.  I watched my boss  go through the process of getting her CPA and bottom-line she didn’t see the payoff at this point in our careers.

I toy with the CPA thing, but I have to figure out what will make me happy, not what will people see on my resume?  I have the same amazing skills now as I would if I finished.  I am grateful that I did finish my education and I have had a great career so far.

Thank you Jafra for lighting my path.