Teenage toast bag
I’ve had a lot of jobs. My first was working in a kitchen shop where I would do various things, though none of which was selling anything because I was a teenager that couldn’t cook and knew nothing about kitchenware. So one of the main jobs was as the ‘Toast-a-bag’ girl, which in hindsight, they must have given me this task so I wouldn’t talk to the customers about the real kitchen stuff and ruin a sale. A ‘Toast-a-bag’, if you’re asking, is a little plastic bread shaped pocket that you put a sandwich in, usually one that contains cheese, and put it in the toaster for an easy, non-messy way to make a toasted sandwich. I’m pretty sure the name of the product makes my description redundant as, well, it’s a good name. You can then turn the bag inside out and pop it in the dishwasher. I swear I’m not still working for them, I’m just painting a picture for you. I would make the toasted sandwich in front of a crowd of anything from 0-3 people and then hand out samples of the sandwich. I would usually stand at the door doing this, trying to entice boys in, as I learnt pretty quickly that not a lot of teenage boys enter a kitchen shop of their own accord, (and not many will come in even if there is cheese toasties, just so you know).
My second job, when I was 19, was working on and then running a flower stall. These two different roles happened very quickly. I worked on the stall for a few weeks and then the guy who ran it decided he wanted a break to do other stuff and asked if I wanted to take it on. Being 19, I couldn’t see any reason why after a couple of weeks working on the stall that I couldn’t run a business. The beauty of youth. When you’re so sure of yourself, wonderfully fearless and optimistic of the possibilities - and also utterly stupid, thankfully. It was great. I sort of want to thank teenage Kate for saying yes to that. Now I’m in my thirties, I know that I have a habit of talking myself out of things because of this reason or the potential of that reason. So I’m glad that it was one of the times I said ‘Yes!’, because without that experience, I don’t think I would be sat here with my own floristry business.
I have been thinking a lot about choices and opportunities recently and I think when we get older, we take less risks and second guess ourselves a lot. Perhaps we feel like we have more to lose than a 19 year old girl, living at home with her parents. I’m sure there is something in that, but I have decided that I’m going to make an effort to - at the very least, notice the opportunities, choices and experiences that are offered, and hopefully, if only occasionally, I can channel my teenage self and say ‘yes’. I will let you know how it goes…