Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Gone Country

Today was a light upper body workout with resistance bands and yoga type stretches.

This is my final installment of "Women Who Have Shaped My Life." It was somewhat hard to select just one person for this final essay. I was thinking about just writing short sentences for each woman I had in mind, but that wouldn't be fair to each one because they are all dynamic in their own right, (and deserve their own an essay) so I decided to pick just one. This woman is somewhat responsible for what I do for a living today.

Women Who Have shaped My Life - #5
During my early 30's I was at a point in my life where I was in transition with what I was doing in life. Both of my children were now in elementary school, I had a part-time job at Neiman Marcus in the gift wrap/shipping department, and I was taking a few college courses. It was at this time that I became a Mary Kay beauty consultant. The strange thing is that I swore up and down that I'd never be "one of THOSE women," who I once thought were pushy, overly made-up, poufy hair, Mary Kay Cosmetic sales women who want you to push you to buy everything, and drive the pink Cadillacs. Well, that's what I though before I signed up. I actually found a group of women who were rather down to earth and not at all pushy. I was surprised that there wasn't that hard sell to sign up to be a consultant, as there was with other at home type businesses. I signed on with out pressure to do so. I had my own inventory, I did my thing and did okay. They offered helpful seminars/meetings on (of course) how to apply make-up and sales tips, and how to handle my business and finances. These seminars/meetings became helpful in real life. At one of the weekly meetings, I met a new consultant named Molly. I'm not sure how we became involved in conversation, I think we lived in the same neighborhoods, or we knew the same group of people through one of my former employers, but we got along well.

Molly was a Texas transplant. She reminds me of the character that Megan Mullaly plays on the TV show Will and Grace - Karen Walker... She was ballsy and gutsy, had the same type of hair, same build, high pitched voice but with that Texas drawl, a flair for fashion with but with a western/cowgirl edge, and pair of shoes and accessories for every occasion. Molly, however, was also very unlike Karen Walker which was sober, thrifty, and was all about a bargain. Molly also had an extremely creative side and constantly sewed clothes and home improvement projects. Molly also worked in the optical field, and that's what she brought me into.

At a break during one of the Mary Kay meetings, I was discussing with Molly and another lady how I was not all that thrilled with my current job. I felt like working in the gift wrap/shipping department was like a step backwards for me. Working in gift wrap was something I did before I got married in my early 20's. The job, to me, at times felt degrading because it we were considered lowly support staff by the sales associates, who worked on commission. We were just about the bottom of the retail food chain. Molly mentioned that the optometrist at her office was looking to train a someone with office experience for a tech position. I was a little bit apprehensive because I had no medical experience, but I did wear glasses and contacts for years, and I had office experience. I decided to check out the office and applied for the job. After a very brief interview by the office manager, I was hired. The rest, as they say, is History.

Years have passed since that time and Molly eventually left California and moved back to back home to Texas. I also left that office for a position in a different field with better pay, but did go back into optical at another office a few years later, and have remained in optical ever since. It's either a strange twist of fate that I met met Molly and completely changed career paths, or perhaps I really was looking for something else outside of retail. In addition, after 11 years with Mary Kay Cosmetics, I am no longer a consultant, but I have a greater understanding of what that world is like, and have a better respect for it.

Molly and I still keep in touch with phone calls, and she always makes a great effort to get the old gang from the office back together when she does come back to visit.

This one's for you, Cowgirl Molly!
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Pamela said...

Wonderful how fate turns in our worlds eh.. & very neat you still keep in touch!

Irene said...

I guess when you have great friends you make the effort to keep in touch!

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shopper said...

Molly definitely made a difference in your life. She sounds like a very colorful character. It's good that you've kept in touch. ;)

Oh yeah, Allen Jackson?

Irene said...

Oooooh... Just under the wire for March! Winner!