Kathy Bassett: Jobs don’t have to be boring

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Kathy Bassett

Kathy Bassett's column, "The View from Maybell," appears in the Saturday Morning Press.

At my very first job, I made 50 cents an hour and thought I was rolling in the dough.

At 16, I  went to work in a little neighborhood grocery. After the owner felt comfortable enough that I could run his store, he would take off a few hours each day and go do something else.

It was a fun job because the people were fun. Whenever there were no customers, I was supposed to take the eggs out of a huge crate and put them into egg cartons. Oh, well, that was boring, so one day I came up with the idea of making folks laugh when they got up in the morning to cook breakfast.

People loved it when they sleepily picked up an egg only to find messages written on them such as  “Good Morning,” “Hello,” “How are you this fine day?” “This is no yolk!” “The yolk’s on you.”  

I really think the little man’s business increased as people came just to see what was going to happen next. I’m sure one wouldn’t get by with things like this now. The world is too stressed out.

I like things to happen. I like excitement on the job. I worked admissions in an emergency room of a hospital and that was more exciting. When I wasn’t answering the phone, passing information over the intercom or admitting patients, I did the insurance billing.

One evening, a lady brought a very scared little girl to admissions and as I was filling out the papers, when I got to the part where I had to ask what the problem was, the mother told me the little girl had a bean stuck up her nose.

I’m sorry. I know it wasn’t a laughing matter, but it struck me as funny when it shouldn’t have happened, and I lost it. I laughed until I almost fell out of my chair. I couldn’t quit. The mother started laughing. Pretty soon, the little girl smiled.  

A nurse came running down the hall to tell  me that people all over the hospital were smiling and laughing, because the “Intercom had accidently been left on!”

I was also dispatcher for the Colorado State Patrol and a Sheriff’s Department.

Of course, that is a very serious job and one that you wouldn’t want to have too much fun, but it was a very small, one person office.

Some nights were pretty slow. My supervisor was sort of cranky and demanded everything be done in perfect order and “no mistakes allowed.”

So I tried very hard to please her. After I got accustomed to the job where I could handle it on my own alone, and she was home sound asleep in her bed, the patrolmen made the job fun.  

One particular fellow used to call and the only thing he’d say was “Do you want fries with that?” (Only because he’d once arrested a teenager after a high-speed chase and when he finally got him to stop, and walked up to the car window, the kid rolled down his window and said “I’ll have fries with that!”)

Then, I delivered mail up Piceance Creek.

One lady used to sit in her mailbox (it was huge) waiting for me and then ask if I’d come balance her checkbook or have coffee or help her with something else. Several folks would leave notes in their boxes, asking me to bring them milk, bread or some tool.

I loved it. Well, except for the time I ran over a rancher’s dog and killed it. It was a total accident and as I sat there crying my eyes out, the rancher came over to my truck, patted my shoulder and told me he felt more sorry for me than his dog. He refused to let me replace it and I always felt bad about it.    

I delivered not only the mail, but baby chickens, feed and grain, commodities, and in return, I was repaid with lots of smiles and happy people. I’ve always tried to give 110 percent on a job whether I liked it or not.

And, yeppers, this day and age people don’t smile enough. And there are hundreds of reasons to smile even when you don’t think there is.  So no, maybe you can’t write on the eggs or be totally goofy, but you can keep that smile on your face, and that smile will bring lots of adventures.

NOTE: A previous version of this column contained an error and has been corrected.

Comments

Kat 4 years, 10 months ago

Just wanted to make a correction - I don't know who edited my article but I did NOT say I worked as a dispatcher for the CSP and Sheriff’s Department IN MOFFAT COUNTY. I didn't say which county it was, and it doesn't matter, but just wanted to clear up the fact that I have never worked for the Moffat County Sheriff's Dept.

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ImOffTheWall 4 years, 10 months ago

What a BOZO! They didn't edit your submission, you forgot to and now the fraud hits the fan! If not, tell us the dispatch department where you really worked so that we can determine if you are just a bald faced liar or not.

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j4mom7 4 years, 10 months ago

It doesn't matter if there was a forgetful or editing error...it was in the past and it's old news. I just know this article brought back memories and made me smile. And isn't that what it was supposed to do? Thanks, Kathy!

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oldsage 4 years, 10 months ago

Caught again!

This is just another glaring example of the continued fictional stories passed off as truth only to be defended by Kathy herself using numerous anonymous personalities to claim "they enjoyed the articles" which are full of obvious lies.

Again Kathy, Who called the meeting in Browns Park and told all the women living there to shoot at anyone who did not belong in the park? And how did you determine who belonged there or not? Name names of people who are still alive so we can verify your ridiculous claim!

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oldsage 4 years, 10 months ago

Judge for yourselves folks. look at these quotes.

"Finally, the other gal said she’d had about enough of them, so she got a rifle out of her truck and the last we saw of those guys was a big dust cloud rolling over the hilltop. Our house was robbed, our dogs were beaten, with holes shot in the walls and so a meeting was held! We women all got lessons in how to defend ourselves in such attacks. We all carried guns. We were given instructions to shoot at anyone who didn’t belong in the park." "I looked out the window one day and saw a couple of people that appeared to be sneaking up a hill across the highway, so I stepped out in the front yard, got behind a tree and plunked a couple shots below their feet. Talk about scramble — they couldn’t get out of there fast enough."
Tell the truth Kathy!

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GreyStone 4 years, 10 months ago

Pro or Con. It starts with just a simple, innocent post. Then a counter-post reply. Then the bashing begins. Insults. Name calling. A line is drawn in the sand. Sides are taken. Counter-counter posts ensue. Then before long, the original purpose for the original post is long forgotten.

Can't we be more civilized :-)

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dogfan 4 years, 10 months ago

oldsage, get a life! You don't have anything better to do than come on here and bash people? I thought it was a fun interesting story. If you don't like it quit reading it.

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alyda2002 4 years, 10 months ago

Gee! Old Sage must have a thistle caught cross ways. Poor thing I hope someone helps his attitude soon but then some just wish to remain a burr under a saddle. Anyway Kathy I really enjoy your articles and your ability to relate to everyday things and bring much needed smiles and laughter. Keep writing so I can keep enjoying...

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cag81625 4 years, 10 months ago

One more example of John Gabriel's Greater Internet #$@*wad Theory:

Normal person + Total anonymity + Audience = Total #$@*wad

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oldsage 4 years, 10 months ago

Oh, I see requiring the truth makes someone a #S@*wad.

Calling me names is not going to diminish the questions I am asking KATHY!

I stand by what I asked and have been asking ever sense you admitted to shooting at people and claimed you had been at a meeting where all the women of Browns Park were instructed to shoot at anyone who did not belong there. I want to know who, what, when, where, how, and why! What a real news reporter would report!

I also stand by what I stated about the latest story being just another glaring example of the continued fictional stories passed off as truth only to be defended by you using numerous anonymous personalities to claim “they enjoyed the articles” which are full of your obvious lies.

Offthewall had it right by stating "If not, tell us the dispatch department where you really worked so that we can determine if you are just a bald faced liar or not." So, just where were you a dispatcher Kathy?

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GreyStone 4 years, 10 months ago

oldsage,

Hear is (.25)... Call someone who really cares

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