What ‘jobs’ have you filled?

jobsJust a little exercise in sharing your skills, experience, and revealing possible secrets — not that I truly expect anyone here to say they worked as a prostitute or gigolo, or that they paid their way their school by pushing drugs.  Although, that would be kinda fun stuff.  🙂

So where have you worked, what skills have you mastered, what tasks drove you batty, what helped pay the bills and what did you do to bring home the bacon?  We could have some ‘ah-ha’ moments, some smiles and get to know something new about one another!

You know what else?  If you’re working on your resume or your Curriculum Vitae who better than your blogger friends to help ‘flesh’ it out!?



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17 responses to “What ‘jobs’ have you filled?

  1. I started making money by babysitting. Who didn’t? Rate I started at was 25 (shit! my keyboard doesn’t have a cents sign!), and when I moved on to higher earnings I had worked my way up the ladder to 50 (ya know, cents) per hour.

  2. One whole year during high school I worked at an auction house every Saturday and on Wednesday evenings. Wednesday evenings were easy ’cause it was only livestock — everything from chickens to cows and horses.


    grumble, gripe, complain. I was 16 years old and you bet I was out late Friday night!

    I needed to be at the auction by 5 am. And, I was never late. Yes, sometimes I went there instead of bed. 🙂

    The auction started off with what was termed ‘miscellaneous,’ but surely would have earned the designation of garage sale junk if garage sales had come into ‘vogue’ by then. The day progressed to small animals — rabbits, et al, and finished (always after dark) with cattle and horses.

    In the office my job was to list each item brought into the auction. I went out in the pre-dawn hours to inspect boxes full of ‘garage sale junk’ and write it down — no typewriter, nothing but a pencil. Sometimes you needed to be really intuitive to even know what this particular shit was!

    That was the most tedious job I’ve ever done. Writing pages and pages and pages — lists of garage sale junk.

    My reward for being extra careful in listing every item was that when the sale bills came into the office I could match them up, I could justify what sold and what didn’t and what monies were owed and what wasn’t.

    The afternoons and evenings were easy! Describing a rabbit, a cow, a horse and documenting whether or not they had been seen by the vet (a requirement!) and their health status was legal…

    I worked that year at that auction house on Wednesday evenings from 5 to 11, and on Saturdays from 5 – 11. 🙂 That was 6 hours on Wednesdays and 18 hours on Saturdays!

    I earned 65 cents an hour.

  3. My first job at age 13 was bailing alphalfa. I got 2 cents for each bail I touched. At the end of the day my nostrils were so filled with plant material that it was quite unpleasent. My bath water turned a dark green when I bathed afterward. The same year I worked for a farmer, “binning” wheat – he paid me at the end of the month I worked for him with a 100 dollar bill and some change. I bought my first stereo with the money and my life changed after that.

    The next summer when I was 14 I helped a guy lay carpet. I moved furniture, hammered the carpet into the space next to the wall, picked up scraps and was mainly an extra set of muscles.

    The summer I was 15, I did the same carpet job.

    At age 16, I started to work at an IGA grocery store that was at Ridge and Central. I sacked groceries and did some stocking of shelves. I started this job while I was still in school. I worked there until I was 18.

    At age 18, I started college, but worked at a psych unit as an orderly. I was good at calming upset people down. I always believed that talking was better and easier than tackleing and tying people down. More than one nurse would start a fight with a patient, and then snap their fingers at me to “take them away” – I would explain that I planned to handle it my way and if he/she wanted them carried away, they could do that by themselves, because I did not start the fight. Eventually nurses and patients came to appreciate how I preferred to do things and I knew for sure what I wanted to do in college.

    In 1979 I graduated undergraduate and headed for graduate school. I had an NIMH training stipend in graduate school that paid for my tuition, my books, and gave me $600 per month to live on [all tax free]. This was my living off the government period. I never felt like I had more resources than what I had during that 2 year period. During this time I also worked, periodically, as an orderly in a psych unit. I was also the head of a volunteer suicide crisis line – which started my long term interest in this subject.

    After graduate school. I worked at the mental health center in Hutchinson, KS from 1982 until 1984 – the longest decade of my life. Then I worked at what is now ComCare from 1984 until 1992. At ComCare I did clinician work, later administrative work, and determined then that the administrative work was not in god’s plan for me.

    In 1992 I went to work at the hospital and CMHC where I work now. My son was born in ’92 – an old friend called me and asked if I knew of anyone who might want to work for there place on weekends. I thought a little bit and volunteered to do that myself – the idea being that that my son’s mom or me could be with him all the time and we could save a fortune on child care. The added benefit was that I could get to know my children, at least more than my dad knew me.

    I am still at the above job – 17 years later. That is more than twice as long as I have worked anywhere else.

    To occupy my time during the week, I have written internet courses on mental health topics. My friend in California calls me when she needs something on ethics training. For her, I have done ethics courses for mental health folk and dentists (thankfully, WSU with their Dental Hygienist program, had plenty of resources for the latter group).

    Also I teach adjunct psychology classes for Newman U. I have had offers to do the same at WSU, but that has not worked out yet. I have been working on a computer psychiatric epidemology simulation geared toward teaching research to undergrads, programmed with the open source “Python” language. If I had blogged less, I am thinking this latter project might be done by now. Oh well.

    When you get old, your Vita gets long, does it not?

    • Ya know, Iggy, you are so soft-spoken, people must calm down in order to hear what you have to say, and it’s worth lstening to. Your whole demeanor is calming, no arm waving when you speak, measured movements. I think you and your profession were meant to be!

      On the other hand, I would be mostly mute if I couldn’t talk with my hands and arms, and … 😦

  4. “Saturdays.

    “grumble, gripe, complain. I was 16 years old and you bet I was out late Friday night!

    “I needed to be at the auction by 5 am. And, I was never late. Yes, sometimes I went there instead of bed.”
    * * * * *

    This reminds me of one of my favorite stories about my dad. In high school I was expected to work for my father on Saturday mornings. We started early, like at 6:00 a.m.

    When I was 17, I got in real late one Saturday a.m. like at 2:00 a.m.

    When I woke up, my dad asked me, “Well, did you have
    a good time last night.”

    I thought, ‘you bastard, I am going to rebel’ – so I said, “Yes, I had a very good time.”

    He replied, “I think that is great, because anyone who comes in at 2:00 a.m. and then has to wake up at 6:00 a.m., should definitely have had a good time.”

    My dad is 75 years old, he’s a jokester, and he still cracks me up. However, he did not, that long ago Saturday morning.

  5. lilacluvr

    When I was a sophomore in high school, my uncle was the manager at the McDonalds. He needed a sample girl.

    I was to greet the customers in the lobby, smile alot and offer them a free sample of our newest menu item – fish and chips. Well, the fish and chips item landed with a big thud but if I remember correctly, the filet-o-fish sandwich was on the menu soon after. I always disliked McDonald’s fish sandwich because they put cheese on them.

    The funniest part was my older brother worked the grill at this McDonald’s and everytime some boy asked for my phone number – my brother stuck his head out from behind the grill and yelled very loudly that I was needed in the back.

    Ahh, older brothers are such protectors – aren’t they?

    I also remember this little bit of trivia – McDonald’s had a drink called the Green River. It was a lime carbonated drink and it was the prettiest color of green – like a neon green. I don’t think that menu item lasted very long either.

    Here is another bit of trivia – my uncle was one of the first graduates of Hamburger University. Does anyone else remember this? I wonder, does McDonalds still have this place?

    Funny, I have not thought about this experience in my life for the longest time until I read the topic thread.

    Isn’t the memory bank funny? When we least expect it – we get a dividend on something that has been stored for years.

    To think a question on a blog in Kansas 40 yrs after the fact can bring out a memory as if it just happened the other day.

    Remembering this experience has given me some moments of laughter and some good memories of my deceased brother. God, I miss him.

    BTW – I remember when Big Macs were introduced and they were 49 cents!

  6. 6176746f6c6c65

    I started out doing farm work; baling hay, working harvest, etc., which didn’t last long (allergies just about did me in). Then, at age 16, Dillons through graduation from high school. Did about everything one could do (yes, in an ’emergency’, even worked in the bakery, normally done by females back then) for the grand sum of $1.15/hr. The summer after high school, went to work at Oxwell, where I filled in for the shipping/receiving clerk who was off that summer for corrective surgery, making $1.60/hr.

    When I went to undergrad, the first year work study job I had was tutoring athletes; an eye opening experience. The summer after, and until I left for the USAF, I worked in a mortuary. I believe my duties are best described as a ‘first call removal’ person.

    During my USAF days, I clerked for a law firm ‘off duty’; a PI plaintiff’s firm, this cemented more than ever my knowledge that a litigator I was not.

    After my return to law school, my major ‘job’ was assisting a professor who taught a business law course in the B-school write a text book; I was a research assistant for him, and my name is in the credits as I recall.

    I’ve been in private practice since law school, a ‘transactional’ lawyer ever since.

  7. tosmarttobegop

    One night I made the statement to a co-worker, “we are all whores”.
    He objected and I countered that you come to work for money even when you would rather not. You do something that may feel like it is demoralizing but you do it because that is what you are paid to do.

    He thought about it for a few minutes, then said “God I hate you!”. LOL

  8. I worked at the soda shop / grill in the back of the neighborhood drug store. Cool job because that’s where all the teens hung. 🙂

    That was also the only job I was ever fired from. I lied about my age, saying I was already 16, and worked there the last semester of sophomore year and most of the summer following. The husband of the woman who owned “Lou’s Grill,” was a high school teacher. He went to school that August before my 16th birthday and lo and behold I was his student and there were my records…

    The very day he fired me because I was illegal, I went next door to the Ben Franklin dime store, told the owner I had been fired and why. He asked if I could start that same day. I worked there until I was married — only a couple of years later.

    Yes, married at only 17. In January before completing high school. I was also asked not to attend school that last semester — pregnant girls in those years simply weren’t appropriate in school and were thrown out. My baby wasn’t born until the end of August and there was no reason I couldn’t have attended through May graduation, except it was just inappropriate!

    • Fathers of babies could, of course, continue to attend school. That wasn’t inappropriate.

      • lilacluvr

        I remember those days also. My sister-in-law had to have a home tutor during her senior year for the same reason.

        You’re right – the fathers of these babies were welcomed to continue on as if there was nothing going on.

        I never could figure that one out. For the girls it was a matter of out of sight, out of mind – I guess?

      • jammer5

        Pregnant teen girls=evil
        teen fathers=football heroes
        It’s a wonder you weren’t sent off some nunnery until the baby was born, where the evil would be beat out of you, and Godliness smacked into you. Such were the ways of intolerance past. Women were considered second class citizens back then, and in many ways, that still hasn’t changed.

        Look how Hillary is treated. When she gets pissed, she’s being unreasonable. When a man does, he’s being manly.

  9. jammer5

    I did the paper delivery thing as a kid. Mowed lawns, walked dogs (couldn’t own one. Mom hated any animal). Worked at a bowling alley, lubing automatic pin setters, repainting pins, cleaning lanes and anything else they wanted me to do. Then Air Force, and semi-adult life 🙂

  10. mule taker

    Petrol pump attendant(no longer exist as a job),babysitter,painter,part time soldier,road-works navvy,building site dogsbody, and for the last 28 years tool and die maker.The latter is the worst of all.

  11. David B

    ¢ use one of mine…

  12. Thank you, David. 🙂

    Adult jobs — Until my divorce I did babysitting in my home, did ironings, cleaned houses, as those were jobs ‘fitting’ a woman whose place was in the home.

    Boy, did I grow up at the wrong time.

    When it was me and the kids, I worked as a nurse assistant, a secretary, a bank teller, Creative Coordinator, Expediter, Proof Reader, Customer Service Rep (and later Mgr) during the day as full-time jobs. Evenings and weekends I typed papers for college students, waited tables, worked for Kelly Girls doing a myriad of temp jobs from demonstrating cameras to inventory to completing mailings…

    After my marriage to Griffin I was Office Mgr, Meeting Planner and Director of HR.

    And now I am a bum. Ah, sweet success, finally.

  13. I worked at a locally owned pizza joint. The owner hired two sisters who lived nearby to run it in the afternoons/nights.

    Neither of them liked working Sundays, the owner was getting ill and letting them run the show.
    So they made me the manager on Sundays. Why not? I was going to be 17 soon.

    $2.60 an hour when I managed. Hired two of my best friends. The place didn’t burn down.

    I also painted, was groundskeeper at a church and worked in retail. Hated every retail job I ever had.