Along this time I started working around 11th and 12th grade. Odd jobs here and there but my first long time job was soliciting blood donations over the phone for the American Red Cross. It was an easy job, although mundane. Call a number, give them the pre written spiel, perhaps get a donation, perhaps get a rejection. Mostly, it was rejections. It was fine. You learned how to deal with rejection.
This is where cut my teeth in Customer Service. This is how I learned to speak to people, how to sell, how to have objectives and quotas and how to meet them. I hated working the weekends. Friday night, Saturday Morning, Sunday afternoons.
But. Am forever thankful for the skills learned here. This was where I started in a 4 year career in customer service and technical support. This was real world education that prepared me for a life of running a small business. I attribute a lot of the gym’s success with the skills I learned with customer service and satisfaction. Even a small thing such as the way you answer your phone leads to an aire of professionalism to the business.
With the little money i was making i was able to develop some more of my interests and hobbies.
In my preparatory scholastic career I had developed an interest in technology. Computers, programing, networking. Everything about them fascinated me. I would spend hours on the internet reading, researching and discussing all facets of technology.
Another thing that consumed my time was music. I had began involving myself in the local punk and hardcore scene. Every month was a show, turned to every week a show, to every other night a show. Whether it was my highschool band playing a show at a shitty café venue or back yard show, or perhaps it was me helping my buddies with their merch. I loved it. I loved music, shows, the crowd and the whole experience. With accesbility of information through the internet, discovering new music was easy, and finding shows from touring bands was now relegated to zines and the la weekly.
The DIY, working class punk culture was ingrained in me. It was something I understood and still hold very closely to me.
Through the hardcore scene I discovered MMA. More specifically Japanese MMA.
Pride, Shooto, Pancrase I was fascinated. Up about to this time I had
forgotten my love for martial arts as a kid. It was raw, violent- yet beautifully executed. The fighting montages were captivating, the production quality was insane. It was like pro wrestling all over again, except this time it was real. Real fighters, real fighting, with a martial arts lineage and history to back it all up.
I was hooked.