During these difficult times, I’ve heard many people say they are just doing what they have to do.
Through the years of living in Alaska, at one time or another, my friends and I would talk story about if times ever got really bad, “We can always get a job being a greeter at WalMart!” Well, for many realtors on the Big Island, in 2008 and early 2009, things got really bad. Sales and buyers went away. In early 2009, I found my self realizing that times had gotten really badâ€”greeter at Walmartâ€”bad.
So, in early 2009, I started looking for a job on the Big Island. I had 20+ years in various positions in Anchorage network TV stations…hmmm…network TV stations on the Big Island…zero. “Okay, time for something new. Look in the classified ads. Oh my, this can’t be…there’s really only 2 columns of ads for the whole island?” This was the reality of what was available for jobs on the BigIsland in 2009. So, when I was offered a job in the Deli at the Waimea Foodland, I felt like I had won the lottery. I was told that the manager had 50 or 60 applicants a week looking for a job. I had scored to get this job!
It turned out to be just about the hardest job I had ever held for the lowest wage I’d ever made. The first few days after work I was so exhausted I could barely walk in the door when I got home. But I worked with some of the greatest, hardest working people you’ll find on this island, and they all helped me. No question about it, this was nothing but good old-fashioned hard work. During this time of working in the deli I lost 40 poundsâ€”my paid exercise program!
Around this time, I was also looking for a better way to run my real estate business. I had several talks with Katie Minkus about a new company that was just starting up on the Big Islandâ€”Hawaii Life Real Estate Services. I liked what Katie had to say, and so I became one of the early Lifers here on the Big Island.
I later changed over to a cashier position at Foodland, and had the opportunity to meet many residents and visitors of the Big Island. I came to have my regulars and favorites that I would look forward to hearing quick updates on their lives. I learned alot about the people of the Big Island, and was able to meet and talk with people I would never have known otherwise. People, like a woman I met one night, when a man with two small children didn’t have enough money to pay for all his groceries. As he was sorting out what food he would have to leave behind, she quietly came forward and said, “Brother, you have children to feed, let me help you out.”
I feel truly blessed to have made so many new friends on the Big Island. But, a few weeks ago, I realized that it was time for me to go back into real estate full time. Hawaii Life’s business model has taken off on the Big Island, and I think I have promising years ahead with them. So, I’ve left Foodland, and all my friends there. I thank everyone there that helped me so much during my time there…I miss all of you.
But, now I know, that if times ever do get bad, I’ll hope I can get that Wal-Mart job. Because I also know it’ll be hard work, but I’ll probably meet some great people and just love it!