Today was my last day at my job. I'll start going through things and packing up in order to head out to Oregon here shortly. Kind of feels like Act II of my life is ahead of me.
In 1998 when I rolled into Aspen I never would have guessed I'd still be here today enjoying the simple, but satisfying work in a grocery store. In many ways this job has been the perfect one for me here. One of the biggest positives was the feeling of being part of the community by helping provide a nice environment for people to shop for their food. Sounds kind of corny, but getting to know regular customers and people of the town in this way was pretty neat. Even the seemingly morbid though of knowing at least 20 co-workers and customers who knew me by name that have passed away since I arrived is a feeling that cements my time to this place. Lots and lots of memories in that store. Lots of faces.
At 15 years, I was only 10th in the store for length of tenure. So when I say it was like a family there, you know I'm not kidding. And not being a big corporate company, I didn't feel like a small cog in a big wheel either. I had a lot of autonomy and trust in my position there. Also, there's the whole benefit of the medium manual labor entailed in a grocery store, lifting and putting away odd sized objects most days of the week. Anyway, I'm just gushing over how much I enjoyed my job while here in Aspen. I'm quite certain that if I had to endure the restaurant biz here I wouldn't have ended up staying nearly as long.
All of this isn't to say that I'm not slowly coming around to thinking about the next chapter of my life. If I wind up in another grocery store somewhere down the line that will be fine (this is, after all, where I'd consider myself an expert now). But I do think a job that will challenge me more mentally is probably in order (I do have an Aerospace Engineering degree after all!). I LOVE to analyze things, so I need to take this into consideration also. Ah, I'm just thinking out loud at this point.
Probably sounds like a lot of gushing over a little job, but 15 positive years at one place is pretty cool. I am, however, not going to miss those florescent lights and that damn Kenny G song you hear in every grocery store and elevator that is seemingly infinite in length. I actually have a theory about Kenny G - I believe he only recorded 3 minutes of unique material and the rest of his music catalog is a perpetual repeat of that cacophony. I can't be the only one to have come to this conclusion, eh?