Looking Back: Adventures in Ham Land, Adjusting to Life in My Hometown

(Following is my column, which appeared in the Tues., Dec. 11th edition of the Devils Lake Journal http://www.devilslakejournal.com/ where I am a reporter/writer. For more info about my hometown of Devils Lake, North Dakota, visit http://www.devilslakend.com/)

Last year when I took out my oodles of Christmas decorations, I wondered what was in store for me the following year and where I might be next year during the holidays. I hoped (desperately) that I wouldn’t spend yet another year being underemployed or unemployed and find myself once again drearily decorating my apartment for the holidays. I simply couldn’t bear the thought of it.

I was fortunate last year to have had a full-time seasonal job at a business I affectionally nicknamed Ham Land, where I had also worked the previous year’s holiday season. Part of the job entailed working at Ham Land kiosks in area grocery stores. The store where I primarily worked was in a very upscale Denver suburb. Up until the few days before Christmas, when it got insanely busy, it was actually a pretty easy gig.

Due to the slow nature of the work, I spent a lot of time observing grocery shopping behavior. One thing that really struck me in that particular store was that most women in this tony neighborhood didn’t schlep to the grocery store in their sweats. In fact, many of them were dressed to the nines in designer clothes with immaculate make up and nails and perfectly coiffed hair. They also thought nothing of dropping big bucks to purchase the rather expensive Ham Land hams.

Since the hams were located in the meat department storage area, I got to know many of the grocery store workers quite well, although some of them didn’t take the time to learn my name. One of them called me Ham Chick and some of the shoppers called me the Ham Lady, neither of course being very appealing!

I occasionally had the company of other kiosk vendors. One guy was about 100 years old and extremely hard of hearing, so he didn’t make for very good vendor conversation. Another guy, who sampled sausages, was so annoying and obnoxious I wrote a blog post about him. If you like, check it out at https://jobhuntingwordnerd.wordpress.com/2011/12/

So here I am one year later, having been employed full-time in my career field for about eight months now at a job I enjoy, all for which I am extremely grateful. And, even though I often miss Colorado, I also am grateful I’m not a holiday ham chick this year!
Happy Holidays!

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2 Responses to Looking Back: Adventures in Ham Land, Adjusting to Life in My Hometown

  1. Shurette Reither says:

    Awww… but I miss those times when I got to drop in for your coffee break!

    • ljager1 says:

      I would give (almost) anything to be back in CO, but not if I had to go back to Ham Land!! It was fun when you came to visit me! I wonder if they miss me at the Castle Pines King Soopers! 🙂

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