What Color is Your Parachute – Story 5

As suggested by my uncle, I picked up a copy of the award-winning novel What Color is Your Parachute to help figure out what it is exactly I want for my life. The book is recommending that I write a series of seven stories in order to identify some of my own personal qualities. While it doesn’t suggest posting the works publicly, I thought it would be a great opportunity to post more content to this blog. Enjoy 🙂

Story 5: 

In high school, we were required to serve 70 hours of volunteerism in order to graduate. With the reward of scrubs in mind, I wanted to volunteer at the local hospital. I first started off as as someone who delivered flowers to patients and did a variety of other duties, including arts and crafts with patients in the rehabilitation center. I really liked this job because I knew what I was doing was making the people (hopefully) feel better. I would often talk with these people – especially if they wanted to. There was one lady down in the rehabilitation unit who didn’t have much of a family, and I often visited her whenever there was a lull in my workload.

While this was a wonderful position to serve, I wanted a bit more stability in what I did on a day to day basis. So, I was transferred to the hospital gift center where people are able to purchase things likely for the people in house. My duties included answering the telephone, cleaning the store (making it look professional and, well, clean), and providing service to guests in whatever way I can. Often times, I helped guests pick flowers for the occasion they were in the hospital for.

One problem I had with the shop was that the scans for particular items, which were next to the register, were small and, when scanning, wouldn’t work because other barcodes would get in the way. This is when I created a little tool to help me (and others) use the barcodes without scanning other items. I’m not joking when I say this unpatented item is still being used essentially 6 years later – and that is awesome.

One of the skills that I think I still possess, which was clear in this job, was my understanding and care for cohesion within a workplace. I have always been a firm believer that a cohesive office is an effective office. With the permission from the director of the shop, I started our first ever potluck, which continued for the three years I was with the gallery. If not just for the delicious variety of food, it also bonded everyone together and celebrated successes.


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