I hate average: perspectives

by Gemma Stanbridge

I hate average. I’m too much of a perfectionist. I have to get a

better mark than other people in my class. I have to beat my personal

bests at the gym. I have to be better. Average. Even the word sounds average.

How was your day? Average.

Not bad, not good. Could be worse but could be better.

Sure average isn’t the end of the world. But there is just so much more.

I often make life decisions based on whether it could be better.

I’m not one to just stick it out. I reason that if you are making a

change, then you have the potential to find a better situation.

There’s always the chance that the grass isn’t greener on the other

side. I think everyone is aware of that, no matter how rose-tinted

their glasses are.

But if you don’t try then you’ll never know. And there are always more

fences to cross. I am a strong believer of if you’re not enjoying your job it’s time

for a new one. I’ve requested a transfer because the team environment wasn’t working for me.

I’ve quit a job because the bosses were making me miserable.

I’ve turned down a job offer because I knew it wouldn’t be as good as

it was before. And I’ve just resigned from my current job to take a new one, because

I know I want better.

I thought I was over hospitality. 

The crazy shift work, the fast paced

kitchens, the “hangry” customers who are always right… So I tried my

hand at retail. It was easy enough to pick up. But I just don’t have

the passion to make people buy things they don’t really need. It’s not

“do you want fries with that?”  It’s “spend $300 on this pair of shoes

you’ll probably only use once and then they’ll sit in the back of your

wardrobe for the rest of time”.

And it turns out I miss the fast-pace of hospitality. I actually

complain about getting paid for doing nothing at work now. It’s just

so mind-numbing.

I love the thrill of closing a really big sale, but I loathe circling

the shop asking if customers need help to be told “I’m just looking”

by everyone. Some days all I sell is shoes. They have to be the most

boring things to sell. And it requires multiple trips to the shoe room

to find the right size, in a different model, in a different colour.

And a lot of the time we don’t have the right size.

So let me tell you, I was pretty excited when Starbucks got back to me

about a job application I submitted ages ago.

The terrifying interview came and went and I thought for sure I

wouldn’t get it as they wanted someone long term. But even though I’m

only probably able to commit for around half the time they were hoping

for, I got the job. Must have been desperate. Lol.

While I’ve only been at my current job almost three months, they have

given me a lot of training and opportunities. And so I felt guilty for

taking this other job. But I know that for me, retail is average. I

countdown the minutes until my shift ends. Luckily enough the

assistant manager I work with was fully supportive and happy for me,

grateful I’m giving two weeks’ notice rather than the one day my

casual contract requires. As if I could be so cruel.

So in two weeks time I get to go back to crazy hours, busy rushes,

wishing I had another set of hands, and hating customers with fussy

orders. I can’t wait. I know there will be times I’ll hate it, after a

long shift, after a day where everything goes wrong, but I know those

days will pass and I’ll be able to enjoy going off to work not dread


I will never settle for “it pays the bills”. I will take the risk that

something else comes along. I will take the risk that the next job

will be better.

I cannot wait for my first “real job” as a journalist. But for the

next six months, I just hope I’ll be happy making coffee

Gemma is always being mistaken for an 18 year old but photo ID can prove she is at least 3 years older.. Studying journalism and writing stories for ‘experience’, she dreams of becoming an editor so that she can write whatever she wants. For now she will settle for blog posts with no constraints.


One Comment

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  1. If they sold shoes at Starbucks you'd be all good


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