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~ Employment …
Welcome back to Don’t lose your balance. My name is Mallory Durrick. And I hope that you’ve been following along with the first four episodes. This is the fifth in a series based on my life. And I can only imagine that you’re reading the title of this episode is probably the single most boring topic known to mankind. But it is completely relevant. It helps show the progression of totally fucked up to where I am today. And as it pertains to what is working, what’s not working things working, and things not working out. Perhaps a reinvention of myself and probably more like others than not. A reinvention of reinvention, a trip around the world a few times to find balance. It’s always about the balance. This episode will likely not be long, but it’s important since I married so young at 22. I should also mention that I met my husband when I was a waitress for a northern New Jersey restaurant called the Magic Pan. It’s a chain restaurant. And if you were born, you know around the 1960s you probably know it and you probably loved their famous Chicken Divan. But I didn’t meet him there. I was working there as a server. It was a crepe restaurant in the Bergen County mall. I think the mall is still there in New Jersey. And I was working while I was in college and I was earning my BA in marketing and communications and what that job taught me as a waitress that I was great in sales. I could sell better than anyone and I gave customers exceptionally amazing service. The regulars that visited every Saturday were automatically put into my station and it was a wonderfully rewarding time for me.
After my wedding, we decided to move out of the New York metro area and we moved to Philadelphia and I had no job just yet. And my husband at the time could work from anywhere so he could support us. I was very lucky. I interviewed for a sales job as a cable advertising rep for a local company that many of you would now know as Comcast. We were the pioneers in cable advertising and I was really good at it. I was great at it. I was selling to all the ad agencies in Philadelphia, Delaware and New York. And my big break for my job was when the state of Pennsylvania had done their big media buy. They bought cable advertising all across the state and I handled it directly for that area in Philadelphia Metro, with the media buyer at one of the top agencies in Philadelphia, the agency no longer exists. It was a first for the state and it was a first of many and no one bought cable ad time but the local mom and pop shops but I had found my niche inside the agency world and I really delivered for them and they could count on me and if a lead came in, I got it. I sold it. I made my most money during the political year of 88 Ronald Reagan was in office and Senator John’s john Hines was running for office and he would later be killed and a horrible airplane crash over my elementary school. And I’m only saying that because I remembered working with the buyer for John Heinz and how horrible I felt and ironic it was that he was killed over my school.
You know, there was so much money that was free flowing back in the 80s. And everything we bought, it was expensive and we dined in top of the line restaurants and Ebel watches were gracing my wrists and I have no idea why but we spent money as fast as we earned it so much, we couldn’t even spend it all I worked in he worked and we made a lot of money and we spent a lot of money and it was great fun. It was really great fun.
And we were able to even remodel houses and buy nice cars. I worked in cable ad sales for about four years and I really loved it and I was great at it and then I got pregnant intentionally. I got pregnant intentionally and it was my decision to quit my job and stay home with my baby. It did take my husband a little getting used to because I made a lot of money for someone in their 20s And he was really nervous. He was nervous, but I was not I knew it would be okay. And it was it was better than okay, he thrived. He traveled all the time and I was alone a lot. I left the company about 10 months after my boss left, and we were exceptionally good friends and our husbands liked one another. And we often went out to dinner prior to the babies being born for those expensive dinners and lunches. And it was a great time. And one day when I was at her house, she was wearing these bracelets, and they were made from antique buttons. And I said how beautiful they were. So she had told me she had bought them from Macy’s from a small table, you know, when Macy’s was I don’t know, having these events for small entrepreneurs. And she said she paid about $90 a piece or so. And I said to her, you know, we can make those and she looked at me with some skepticism, but we eventually did make them we figured it out. And so began my first foray into being an entrepreneur. I was likely more hopeful than she was in the early days, but we successfully managed to sell all of our inventory the first time we introduced our button bracelets to a very popular local boutique boutique, and we left that boutique astonished that they had even bought every piece we made. We were onto something and we traveled to New York and we bought directly from the best source in the world called Tender Buttons. And if you watch the movie, Julie Julia with Meryl Streep, there is this one scene where she is making hats. You know, before she did all the cooking. That was filmed attentive buttons. That scene was filmed at Tender Buttons. They had buttons from every century, and we learned about buttons. Every button was unique and everyone wanted our jewelry. We had a good run. But we really weren’t aligned with the business. She wanted to make it a business and I just wanted a little of extra spending money like a hobby so we separated and for a short period of time I made my own jewelry and she went on her own. She was way more successful than me. And she still is she is incredibly successful. And I love her.
Being a stay at home mother was fantastic. I loved every day because I didn’t have the burden of having to find someone to care for my daughter. I mean, I can’t say I loved every day. But I was very focused. And it was a very blissful time for me. It was after the birth of my second child. I think that the postpartum that I’ve spoken about hit me and it hit me hard. It was left untreated and pretty much undiagnosed. And I worked out a lot at home working out exercising and doing step videos by Reebok and Jane Fonda. They were video cassettes and I was in really good shape physically, but I was not in good shape mentally. I don’t remember too much of the early years. I just remember my sister moving away and feeling really sad and really alone. We are close, my sister and I and I just felt awful. She was gone. You know, I felt empty. And I missed her a lot. She’s very extraordinary, my sister and she is the most accomplished daughter and my mother says os. She is the most accomplished. And it was many years later that I found myself completely ill equipped and without a resume to fill or to find work. I had a 15 year gap. I taught step classes at two different gyms. The drugs were in my life at that time. And after I had gone to rehab, I found myself in a very unfortunate place of having to go back to work because I had to support myself and I believe it was two or three years after rehab. You know, I wasn’t really hireable no one was going to hire me because it was so long that I had been in an office and it was a terrible feeling, no light and a dark tunnel. I remember crying to my parents that no one would hire a single mother that had been out of the workforce for more than a decade. But they believed I could do anything I put my mind to because I am their most talented daughter. Yes, I am their most talented daughter and my mother says so.
I worked at a yarn shop for about $10 an hour and I was really good on a computer exceptionally good actually. And technology has always come easy for me. But I only knew one thing and that was how to sell but if you know how to sell, you can sell anything. You can sell pens, toothpaste, air, you can sell add time, space, you’re selling time and space. I stayed in advertising having gone from cable to now print media magazines and newspapers. I did think about going back into cable but I swim better in small ponds. And by that time, you know, Comcast was Comcast. It was too big for me and I was offered a job but I did in fact turn it down. I spent the next five years from job to job to job to job and I was hopeful and I was feeling always hopeful. And in hindsight, I very much learned many skills along the way. I also learned that I could adapt and I wasn’t happy but I was in fact employed.
I interviewed for sales positions that I didn’t want and one company said you’re great for the position but it was filled by somebody else. However, they themselves had another opportunity in marketing, they needed a marketer. I knew I didn’t want to be in my 50s being in sales and not that there’s anything wrong with that, actually, there’s a lot of money in it. It was the occasional rejection that was too tough for me. And I’m not the kind of person that can easily let things go or roll off my shoulder, it would take a lot of practice to break that habit. I don’t think I’ve ever actually accomplished that task. And maybe with age and maybe with this podcast, I will learn to be really thick skinned. So I worked for five years in marketing, I learned how to do email marketing. It was the early days of Facebook, there was no advertising back then. But I had to learn to use Adobe software InDesign for newsletters, icontact, or something similar for email marketing, I learned HTML, Dreamweaver, and WordPress wasn’t yet even on my radar.
So I’m trekking along in life. And I’m in recovery from the Vicodin. And I’m on the Suboxone. And life seemed to work for me and I was still massively in debt. But the you know, the IRS, they’re pretty nice when you cooperate with them, I was able to settle my financial burden with them. And I finally felt like I got to break a lucky break. I also found a person to help me understand how to manage money. She wasn’t a financial advisor, she helped me understand my relationship with money, I didn’t really have the money to hire her. But my pain was greater than anything. And I needed to understand that it seemed to slip through my fingers faster than I could even earn it. And clearly, I hadn’t understood or had the skills for what I needed now more than ever, which was balance. And that was financial balance. So she taught me how to pay off my debt and how to look at my spending differently. And I get it, it’s easy to spend when the money is coming in. But sometimes no money came in. Most times, no money came in, and I have no idea how I made things work paying my rent, but I did I always paid my rent.
I work at a pawn shop, I sold stuff for them. I sold jewelry to them, and they get sold merchandise on eBay. And it was my job to put their shit in boxes and I wrapped it up and I put a label on it. And I put it on the cart for USPS or UPS and to pick it up and it was so mindless. It was such mindless work. I probably spent more money on gas to get to that job, I’m sure of it. But I needed to pay my bills. Meaning I needed to make rent, and I lived month to month to month for many, many, many years. And even though I think that that job, I was paying $12 an hour was beneath me, I didn’t care. I knew that I had to pay my rent. I managed I managed to be okay. And my ex and the kids they had moved away and my sister was gone and my friends were non-existent. And I was on my own I was I was really on my own except for my parents and I always had them and I thank God that I had my parents.
Within a few years things did get better. And this is what better look like I worked full time for a marketing agency. And about 30 hours a week as a freelancer. I did work two jobs. It wasn’t bad. I was paying out my debts. And I was feeling like I was getting out from under I was just breathable because I still have the debt hanging over my head and my credit score. Wow it was low, like in the five hundreds, like no credit cards, I had destroyed all my credit. I had to recover from that. And it takes at least seven years for debt and liens to be wiped away from your credit report – seven full years. Thankfully, since I hadn’t declared bankruptcy, I could get to the light. I just wasn’t sure how but I now knew when. So about seven years ago, I had lost that freelance job and left the other one and found myself right back in the vortex of fear drug free though, but not alcohol free. It was too problematic for me. But that came later. I was definitely jobless. And I couldn’t believe it. And once again, I got lucky. I had one client, they followed me after I left the agency and they hired me to build out a website for them on WordPress. And someone had told me if you learn WordPress, you can make a living at it. So I taught myself how to do it and it was hard. Then I got another client and I applied for every job I could find in marketing or web design from Craigslist. I would do anything I worked for any amount of money and the only requirement for me was that I have to work from home, I couldn’t work in an office. I wouldn’t work in an office. And it was mostly because I was far more productive when I could work in a quiet space, no commuting away from the distraction of others. And I had realized at that time I was indeed an introvert an introvert doesn’t mean shy I am not shy and I I feed off the energy of my own time alone for myself. Working focus much like what I’m doing now. I’m not easily distracted and I have one thing that has always been on my side I have a verve for learning as s to take on a new task and conquer it.
You know, I’ll never give up. I once took nine hours to upload one file I learned everything not to do and only one thing to do, right. It’s kind of like that line and in the movie. I don’t remember the name of the movie, but It could take 5000 times to make a light bulb but it only took one time to make it work. I love d that line. You know, clients come and go and so does the money. From a waitress to a salesperson to a stay at home mom to a drug addicted nobody and back into the workforce. And through all of that I navigated myself through disenchanting relationships gone wrong, self esteem that was always in the toilet, body weight underweight, eating disordered, overweight, I smoked cigarettes, I drank wine, I switched to vodka. Sometimes in the morning, it was either too much or never enough and not balanced.
I think of it like this. If you’re going to be drug addicted, be the best that you can be. And if you’re going to be a podcaster, do the best you can. If you’re going to build websites, make them as beautiful and functional and make your clients happy, In return. They should pay you for your time. Some do some don’t. But I know what I deserve. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to enjoy life. And it looks a lot different on this side of the fence on the other side of crazy. You know what’s on the other side of crazy? Sanity, peace and balance. I may not live glamorously and I don’t live with fortune or fame. I never will, I will always live with just enough. The reason I know this is because I learned something from people even on clubhouse. I’m limited in what I can do. And it’s not because of anything other than there is only one me I’m not interested in hiring people or having a staff having to fire people being responsible for their livelihood is difficult. I want to worry about my own. And I just need to know I can wake up every morning and do exactly what I love, which is this. Building websites marketing and using my creative skills, learning new software solutions and testing new platforms. Even being a beta tester for clubhouse, like all of us. And launching this podcast and sharing my journey and helping others find their balance along the way and feeling grateful. I run a gratitude room. It’s a practice I continue the quest for total and utter balance through that. I look back on all the jobs being fired, being hired being passed over. It’s all a training ground for helping me to learn to be my best self, my most balanced best self. I hope that in listening to my employment history and where I’ve been how I got to where I am today, it helps somebody. It helps somebody see that there is light in a lot of the darkness and with the fact that a lot of people have been out of work now for a long time, there are opportunities out there that you may never have thought you would be of a you know right fit for. Or you may have found yourself in an unusual circumstance of doing something that you finally had the time to do.
And I hope that for everyone that they all live a very happy and joyous life doing exactly what they love because life is too short to be miserable, doing something that you hate.
Join me next time and if you found value in this episode, subscribe and write a review or share it with somebody that you know who you think would find value in all of it and help them find balance in their life.
I look forward to next week and sharing some more about what I’ve been through and how I may be able to help you. So have a great day everybody and thanks so much for taking the time to listen.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
About The Author
Hi, I am Mallory Durrick. I am a creative. A Marketing Strategist and Web Designer with a small and modest boutique Marketing Agency living in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I am the creator and narrator of this podcast, Don’t Lose Your Balance. This is a culmination of decades of self-help books, countless doctors, numerous hospitals, including rehabs. Once a wife, now divorced, a mother, a grandmother and an addict in recovery. These are things that I am and have experienced.
I’m sharing it all. Baring it all. Hoping to help others; not lose their balance.
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