By Bob Decker Advertising Specialist
March 1, 2014
It’s been a few years since my journalism class sophomore year of high school. That was the last newspaper article I wrote and, not to tell my age, but that has been a couple of moons ago. The topic for our columns, I was told, is pretty well open. I figured since this was my first piece working with The GC News-Gazette I would tell how my trail of career paths lead me to 40 Public Square.
I grew up near the midpoint of Clarkson Ky. and Millerstown, Ky. The small community is known as Horntown. Not sure why it was named Horntown, but I had some neighbors growing up Dorothy & Ernest Horn (I still smile when I think about them). They had a large family, one offspring in particular having 8 or 9 kids of their own. That might have something to do with the naming of the area. I grew up on a small 10 acre farm having maybe 3 television channels to watch and never lived a day with indoor air conditioning. Certain things today are taken for granted. Things that were a rare commodity way back when. Speaking of sparse items, my family was never one to have much money. Most anything I wanted I had to buy with my money. That led to an early career for me in the tobacco and hay field. Farming was my first paid job which started when I was about 12 years old. I also had a couple of yards I would mow for some loose change. When I turned 16, I was told by my parents, “If you want to drive, you have to get a job to make the money to buy a car.” My response was,”what about my football career?” I had been playing school football for a few years and who knows I might have went all the way to the NFL.
One problem though: girls. To see them, hang out with them, or date them you almost certainly had to have your own transportation. So I got my first public job with the Army Corps of Engineers at Rough River Lake. To this day, it was the best job I’ve ever had in many ways. The job taught me to be a jack-of-all-trades. We might cut down a tree one day, and the next, roof a building. Unfortunately, the job was government funded and was short lived.
I then got myself a job at the greatest place on earth, Walmart. I had also started my own business on the side right out of high school called Decker’s Powerwash. I bought a pressure washer and provided service for cleaning vinyl siding, decks, and sidewalks. I continue this business today, as well as an annual firework stand called Bob’s Little Tent Fireworks. While working at Walmart, I got married to my beautiful wife, Melissa. I saw very quickly that to treat my lady to the finer things in life, I need a better job, so I entered the world of sales and factory jobs. I went through several of both job types but never without putting food on my table and gas in our tanks. All the while my wife was pursuing her education and trying to decide what her career would become. This took some time, and as it did, I continued to work. I re-entered the retail world and started working for Houchens Industries, Movie Gallery and Home Depot. Through all this, I managed to take a college class here and there, somehow working toward my education major. More recently, for the last 10 years, I have worked in the insurance field. I have sold all types consisting of State Farm, Aflac, and various health insurance. Until last October, I crossed over into one of the oldest professions around, no, not that, newspaper! I have the privilege to be a part of the twice-a-week, full community paper. In business for well over 100 years, quite impressive isn’t it?
I am still in pursuit of that college degree and will see it through one day, hopefully sooner rather than later. In the meantime, most of my time spent away from work is focused on my 3-year-old twin boys, Benjamin and Samuel. Many people have asked me why so many jobs, and some employers have questioned it, too. Truth be told, most times, for whatever reason, I moved on because I wasn’t being challenged or didn’t enjoy or get involved with what I was doing for a job. If I thought I could do better and got the opportunity with another company, then so be it. If I felt someone else would be better suited for the job, I have stepped down. The way I look at it I have gained a lot of experience over a vast number of fields. Studies show on average people will have seven jobs in their lifetime, many just a couple. Why? There is nothing wrong with changing up your daily routine. Especially if you’re going through the motions day after day. The belief that it will hurt you is false. It’s never been an issue, and I have turned down more jobs in the last 20 years than I can remember.
Now don’t up and quit your job Monday, I’m simply saying don’t be afraid to take a chance or to mix things up. I see people every day that do not like what they do for a living. You can see it on their faces. If you don’t love or at least like what you do, it’s not a career, it’s just a J-O-B. We spend nearly one-fourth of our life working. There are more ways than ever to make a dollar today, and if nothing catches your eye, then start your own business. You can get tons of tax advantages if you do.
In closing, I know this has been rambling and seemingly pointless, but if you take something away take this: The world gets tougher every day and is full of negativity. We all need to try and make someone else’s day a little brighter. If half of us had that as our daily goal, the entire planet would be a happier place.