I finally scored my first job ever outside of campus when I was 20 years old, and it was at my dream store: an ice cream shop. This specific ice cream shop, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, is famous in the city I live in, and I knew I had to work at this magical place where everyone would take their first dates. My life continues to change each day, and sadly, I had to say good bye to working at Jeni's last week, but this first job taught me more about myself and others than I could have ever imagined.
1. Understand your place in the system
Each person is needed for their special strengths to the system. You are special for your own individual talents and you contribute to making everything run smoothly. If you are not the manager, you don't know everything and you need to follow instructions. Be yourself and know that you help make the work day a little bit easier because of you being you.
2. Think on your feet
Sometimes customers second guess themselves and want that trio ice cream cup actually in a waffle cone with whip cream on top. But you know what? You smile and say "You got it," and make sure that trio waffle cone is the best looking ice cream cone they have ever received. Think on your feet when things change unexpectedly, and sometimes, you realize new talents you never thought you possessed.
3. Problem solving in every situation
Things happens. They always do. Especially, not-good-oh-my-gosh-what-is-happening situations. Water flooding, ice cream dropped on the ground, line out the door for three plus hours. But all you have to know is that you are not alone and two heads (or ten on a busy night) are much better than one. There is a solution to every problem encountered, and you are strong enough to figure it out.
4. Friends come from anywhere and everywhere
You will always have an endless supply of new friends - people you would have never met otherwise. These people will see you on your good and bad days at work, and everything in between. They will see you slip and fall from mopping, sing Beyoncé's Formation at the top of your lungs during closing, and talk silently across the store with a laugh and a smile.
5. Unforgettable memories
Every time you walk into the store, the work day will be different from the last one, and that keeps life exciting. Yes, you may have six, eight, or even ten hour shifts, but know that each day brings new adventures and possibilities, and that keeps work entertaining and fun for everyone working there.
What a joy and blessing it was to work at an ice cream shop, and I will take away so much more than I ever expected. Thank you to you all who I worked with - you know who you are. You made me a little better ice cream scooper and person by loving me each time at work. Thank you, and keep on scoopin'.