My point is, there isn’t any one job that I want to do day in and day out. But the very nature of a “job” is that you have to put a lot of hours into one particular thing. And after all of those hours, you’ll be slightly to enormously better than the average person at that thing. Other people will come to you for advice. Younger workers will look up to you. In a field full of ants, you’ll be a slightly more efficient ant.
I keep a list of quotes, observations and musings (mostly culled from the “Quotes of the Day” box on my iGoogle) in an ever expanding Word file. One of these quotes is from James Baldwin:
The price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.If you work at a job long enough, you eventually get to this point. And I think I’ve reached the point in Ski Instructing. It’s not that I don’t like doing the actual lessons (most are an absolute blast), but everything associated with the “profession” of Ski Instructing, year after year, really starts to wear on me. Added responsibilities (that don’t really have anything to do with ski instructing), decreased pay, increased uniform restrictions, decreased pay, higher expectations for certifications, decreased pay – the decision to instruct becomes harder every year.
And, if you don’t mind me saying, I’m a pretty good ski instructor. Every winter, I sacrifice almost all of my free time to it. I’ve put enough hours in so that I know all the drills, I can identify all of a skier’s weaknesses, and I know how to fix all of the problems. And I have a pretty good skier’s mind, too. So even if my solutions don’t work the first time, I have an ability to explain it in another way, or recraft a drill to fit a different purpose. I’m at the highest level of teaching (PSIA level III), and if I go any further (Dev. Team, Examiner, etc.), it would be a job instructing instructors (if that makes any sense).
So I’m having a little personal crisis. I can’t tell if instructing is a worthy pursuit for me or not. I love free skiing (obviously), but I also like teaching great lessons. I like getting my season pass for free, but I don’t really want to do crowd control. I like skiing with my instructor friends, but I really like skiing with my non-instructor friends. I don’t want to offend anyone affected by the recession (a lot of people are truly going through difficult times), but this type of soul searching is probably being done all over America (I’m just lucky that it’s for my weekend job). People have devoted their lives to something, put in the long hours to make it their “job”, spent years building bonds and relationships with their companies and their clients, and then (as a thank you for their years of service) they are getting more responsibility, less pay, and, in some cases, laid off. And we wonder why workers feel so unappreciated.
I definitely feel good about the community college job that I scored last year. It looks like I’ll be able to get that gig again (knock on wood), so there’s a little extra money in my pocket (and some great lessons to look forward to). Those are the kind of days I love. Show up, teach for two hours, do a lot of skiing, see you next time. As for the weekend job, I’d like to think my mood is going to get better, but I’m not too optimistic about it. I’m going to put in my 25 days in this year, do my PSIA re-up, and see where it goes from there. I’m just lucky that, if I do decide that the benefits aren’t worth the sacrifices, I still have another job to pay the bills.