It’s speculated that time is a circle; that if you go far enough into the future you come back to the past. So often, the expression “circle of life” or “coming full circle” is used to connote the repetition of life through shared experience or shared lifetimes. For me, it’s much the same.
My first job, way back when Mastodons still strode the Earth, was as a bag boy for Publix. It was all paper bags in those days (which were so much more effective for bagging, by the way). I spent close to 2 years working in that esteemed position before moving on to greener pastures.
As a diligent and conscientious bag boy, those were days of figuring out what needed to go into what bag and knowing who my customer was. Soft goods together, fruits together, bread on top. Cans and boxes together, but not so many as to make the bottom rip. Cold stuff got double-bagged. Little old ladies (of which there were many in my store) got more bags with less in each. Big burly guys got the big bags well-stuffed.
These days, it’s no different. I begin this week assembling my Halloween gift bags. Once again, it’s all about knowing my “customers” and figuring out what goes in each bag. Toys and coloring books for younger kids (action figures for boys and puzzles, games or crafts for girls). Plush animals and candles for older girls. Sport cards, flashing novelties and “advanced” toys for older boys.
And everyone gets comics. Knowing my customer means more comics for the better readers (older boys and girls) and less for the smaller ones (who can’t carry all that weight around – don’t forget all the other stuff in the bag).
Whether that’s full circle or not, it’s clear that my first job and my current (last) job are still the same.