A professional obsession

Last weekend, I got to do a shift of my second job – I run the market stall of a local tea company, The Art of Tea.

My relationship with the company started out as a customer-business one. I regularly bought teas from the lovely owner at the market, often buying more than I expected due to the high quality and real flavours in the brew. Then one day, while chatting and making a purchase, we decided I’d be a great addition to the team (and allow my boss the luxury of the occasional weekend off). So every few weeks (usually once every 6-8) I run the market stall on a Saturday. I don’t know how to describe the time I spend at the market other than it must be what people feel like when they find that thing they were born to do, the career that makes them feel alive, the work that doesn’t feel like work. Even though it involves a very early start, and the days can be too hot or too cold (the joys of being outside!), customers usually come all at once then not at all, I give my bladder capacity a good test out, and food planning can be a bit tricky, its the most fun I’ve ever had with a job. I get to talk about one of my great loves all day, and get people excited about having a cuppa, which can be one of the best things to do for your health, both physically and emotionally.

A lot of people have a second job for practicalities – money is tight, or they need more flexibility for their children, health or other reasons. For me, this is a love affair. Its fun. Its like in highschool, how I never had to make myself study for English or History or some of the Science modules, but maths was always a struggle – I just connect with the topic, love the product, and I generally love talking about tea! And in working for The Art of Tea, I get to sell something I genuinely think is great – I certainly wouldn’t have been a long time customer if I didn’t approve of all the brand stands for.

I’ve had other retail jobs in the past, at uni and in that fun global recession a few years ago, but they were ‘for money’ jobs. Because I needed to eat, or have clothes to dress in, I needed uni books. And I never really connected with any of them. But I love selling, talking about, or sniffing and playing with tea. I also have to say that doing it with the company I work for is a huge part of it – working for someone who is as enthusiastic as me about the product, who just has a love for tea and wants to make her business the best it can be is truly inspiring. And sometimes, I even get pay from it instead of pre-spending it all on a pretty new pot or a new flavour.


About Jenna

Seeking a new way of working outside the standard 9-5. Writer for hire - blogs, internal procedures, social media posts, training manuals or anything else you an imagine.
This entry was posted in Tea and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A professional obsession

  1. artoftealady says:

    Ah, Jenna, never a truer word twas said ” it must be what people feel like when they find that thing they were born to do, the career that makes them feel alive, the work that doesn’t feel like work.” Oh, and “I just connect with the topic, love the product, and I generally love talking about tea!”. That’s exactly how I feel!!
    If I can also humbly add… tea is love, we love to brew it, drink it, talk it, smell it, share it and above all connect with people through all of those processes.
    Behind the Salamanca Market scene the Art of Tea, source it, blend it, pack it, drink more of it, talk more about it and I know its a cliche to say we do all that with love, but we do. It a real belief with us … we love the whole “tea for enjoyment and health” thing. Can I call it a mantra? Maybe not, sometimes a mantra feels like we are trying to convince our selves of something perhaps, where as the “tea for health & enjoyment” is a feeling I know all of my small tea-m at The Art of Tea have. I mean there’s only 4 of us – but its true, and Jenna you have so eloquently and joyfully expressed your love of it at Salamanca Market.
    And yes, it certainly can be cold, hot, windy, and there is the issue of “when can I rush off to the join the queue, lol”, but the best part is having all those conversations about connecting tea with people. Its so fun, and satisfying.
    Having perviously had a professional life as a senior scientist in a air conditioned office… Im much much happier in the fresh air on Saturdays doing all that tea talk, too! Fortunately for me it isnt my second job!
    oh and here’s an old blog of mine…. that I really need to attend to more regualarly.. but first I better go and make a pot of tea 😉 http://realqualitea.blogspot.com.au/2011_04_01_archive.html

  2. That’s fantastic Jenna! I am so happy for you 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s