Wednesday, August 3, 2011


The summer after my first year of college has been focused on getting a job and working as much as possible. After filling out 33 applications for jobs in my local area, I finally had two jobs! At both I was earning above minimum wage and working plenty of hours. I was happily baking in a grocery store chain and working in a golf shop at a local country club. All was going well until I had to take a week off to go on a mission trip, long story short, the grocery store refused to give me time off so I quit. Luckily the golf shop was more understanding so at least I still had one job to come back to.
I soon began to realize my job at the country club was loads better than my other job, only problem is I know practically nothing about golf. My job basically consists of answering the phone to book people's tee times and operating the cash register for when people purchase anything from refreshments to shirts to golf lessons. It's all basic customer service and computer operating skills, but it doesn't hurt to know what I'm talking about when people want to buy golf balls that are good for distance. When it comes to golf I know you want to score par or below. I don't know the difference between the clubs, I don't know the rules for if your ball goes into the river, and I certainly don't understand tournaments, but that is what the head golf pro and his assistant are there for. The other part of my job is to keep the members happy, which unfortunately requires me to memorize names and faces. Members like to be greeted by name, they like you to remember when they buy something they get a discount, and they don't like to be kept waiting while you search to put them in the computer when they show up unannounced.
Luckily I work with some pretty awesome people who are always there to whisper someone's name in my ear before they enter etc. The problem is I'm a very independent person. As long as I can remember I've always been the kind of person who has the answer, for everything. I'm that person that is always right, about everything. Except when it comes to golf apparently. This job has been tougher on me then I expected, because let me reiterate I know nothing about golf. I hated answering people's questions with "I don't know" or "I'm not sure let me ask someone else" it killed me. So one day I'm fumbling through someone's question about playing in the Men's league on Wednesday, I'm telling him I think only club members can play or maybe it's only members of the United States Golf Association...we both know I have no idea, but I don't want to interrupt the assistant golf pro because he is busy with someone else. Finally he finishes and sets the man straight. Then I'm alone in the golf shop with the assistant pro and he is strictly lecturing me, suggesting that instead of fumbling my way through a question I should just ask him, he doesn't mind. He'd rather me ask him then have me struggle my way to an answer. Before I know it I'm crying so I take a break. The assistant pro is concerned, he is afraid that him yelling at me has upset me. I try and calm down and explain I'm not mad at him and he didn't make me cry. "Then what is it?" he asks. "I'm crying because I'm so frustrated at myself for not knowing answers and having to ask for help, I'm tired of not understanding golf, " I reply.
Wow, I realize this has been my life. I always know the answers and this is the first time I can remember in my life that I don't have the answer, and I don't like it one bit. The assistant pro has only known me a few weeks at this point but he can already see this quality in me. Not to drag my brother into this but I've always been living up to his perfect standard. He was validvictorian of his class and got a full college scholarship. I was in the top ten of my class and received no scholarships. That doesn't bother me that he beats me in some areas but I don't think my parents see it that way and that is what bothers me.The assistant pro and I discuss all this and more. It leads to more crying and laughing and before I know it we're hugging, we've come to an understanding. I'm a very detailed person and the assistant pro is more about the big picture, working together is difficult but there are areas where each of us excel and can help the other. We now make a joke about that afternoon "Remember that day I made you cry?" he says or I'll joke with him and say "Don't make me cry again." But we both know how important that day was and I'm so thankful for the understanding I gained about myself.
The world of golf and country clubs is entirely different from any world I've ever known, however it's lead me to understand myself more clearly. With more practice I'll learn to answer questions and remember names and faces. It will take some time, but I'm up to the challenge.