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10/16/2007: "Working for the Weekend"
I saw this idea over at All Rileyed Up and figured I'd kick in my list. I'm always looking for ways to list things, because I'm a nut job that way. And also I'm a giver, as you know.
All the jobs Iíve ever had, in order (with comments!):
Babysitter - wasn't that everyone's first job?
Data input... person - I'm not sure how to explain this. I was in high school at the time, and my father was a database software test manager. When you test databases, you need data. Several times he got his company to pay me at a piecework rate to input things like names and addresses and build a test database. It was only years later, when I was a tester myself, that I finally understood what I had been doing. At $0.25 an address (a dime for corrections) it would sound like you couldn't make much money, but I think I got something like three or four hundred dollars for a couple weekend's work. It was a lot of data and a lot of money for a sophomore in the 80's.
Floppy disc copier - Another job my Dad set up for me. His company was putting out a beta software release and instead of outsourcing the copying of the floppy discs (this was in 1986, people!), he convinced them to let me do it for a weekend. My GOD it was boring.
Toy store clerk - read all about that debacle here
Hostess at Bobby McGee's restaurant - dressed as "Mistress Abigail" (in colonial costume, not leather you heathens! At this point I was still only 16!) A few weeks back, when I noted that I'd been working for a long time, I meant it. I wound up quitting this one because I was going to Europe for 3 weeks during the summer between my junior and senior years and didn't plan to work my senior year of high school. My boss didn't want me to quit at the time and said I didn't have to, but I wanted to. This job came back to haunt me after high school.
Craft store inventory... person - a lot of summer jobs don't have actual titles. They're just suck-ass jobs that you have for a few months. I did inventory at a Michael's craft store the summer before I went to college. It lost it's appeal about 2 weeks in, but I got to snag a lot of Jordan Almonds from broken bags intended for homemade wedding favors.
Dorm cafeteria worker - part of my work-study deal at UCSB (oh, you didn't know I went to UCSB? Well, I did. For a quarter. I'll tell you about it in November. Hey, I need something to write about every damn day, right?)
Back to hostessing at Bobby McGee's - I returned to the same place, dressed as Mistress Abigail again, switched to Scarlett O'Hara (a costume I freaking LOVED, despite the fact that a hoopskirt in a busy kitchen is a recipe for disaster. More on that in November), fell in love with my boss (more on that... maybe never, actually), lost my virginity (directly attributable to the restaurant, though not with the boss and not at said restaurant. And don't hold your breath in November for that story), and generally spent about 18 months completely confused. Good times...
Simultaneously, I worked as an...
On-call librarian - Yes, there is such a thing. The switch between the debauchery of the restaurant and the... the LIBRARY, people... It was a head-spinner, that's for sure. There's a story here, too. About a stalker. More fodder for November! Stay tuned!
While I was a librarian, I was also working as a...
Clerk at the student affirmative action office at Cal State Hayward - I got this job by the skin of my teeth and everyone there resented me because I wasn't dark enough. I think I only kept the job for a quarter before they found a reason to get rid of me. Oh, the irony. It was data entry again (using WordStar - remember WordStar? It sucked ass). I was glad to leave.
For one day (one day!) I was a...
Telemarketer - I tried to sell the local newspaper by phone. I loathed the job. I felt dirty at the end of the day, went home and called in to quit. By the end of the week the outfit had folded anyway. I was not sorry.
By the way, for those who are counting I had three part time jobs while I was a full time student at Cal State. I was young. I was busy. I had no social life, but I was actually really happy during that time. The restaurant gig eventually turned into a backstage job and I became a...
Restaurant Accountant - I graduated from McGee's hostess to dealing with the accounts. I had a key to the place and was usually the first one there in the mornings. I had to count the tabs and money, reconcile the tills, fill out the paperwork, hand over the loot to the (early and surly) Brinks guy, input the inventory (and I'm still fast and accurate on a 10 key because of that...), etc., etc., etc. I was actually good at that job, because I'm organized and I liked being behind the scenes, hanging around during setup, working with the day guys (and they were all guys. I liked being the only girl around. I was thin then...).
I was also sexually harrassed by a boss there... lord, I have so many stories...
Eventually that branch of the McGee's chain closed and I moved to the San Ramon branch. It was around that time that Cheese Boy moved to California and everything changed. By that time I had quit all my other jobs and was working solely as an accountant but the commute was a pain, I was trying to finish my degree and my Dad found me a job as a...
Software tester - I did this job for over 10 years. I eventually moved into management. LONG ass story here. God, I could just tell you stories about all my stupid jobs in November and write every day. Maybe I will. Although it will probably bore you to tears. Just like my NaNoWriMo novel...
Anyway. The software testing thing lasted many many companies. And countries. By 2000, I was in France as a software test manager (that still kills me! I mean... why?? Why were they paying me to live in France? There was no actual job there! AAAAhahahahaaaaa!).
Anyway. Again. So I was in France. And I changed jobs. Again. To become a...
Software program manager - arguably the worst job ever. Not because of the job. Because of the company. More on that... oh God, I really don't want to think too much about that. If I get really desperate in November I may revisit this time in my life, but I can't say I want to.
I got laid off from that job, finally. I wanted to get laid off; that was the funny thing. I was triumphant when I was laid off. I'd worked for the same company for 6 years and my compensation package was big. Big enough to take some time off, which I intended to do, but then a start up in the city offered me a job and since Dave was starting his own business... I took it. For the money. And I hated it. But once again, and for almost a year, I was a...
Software testing manager - God. The less said about this time in my life, the better. Mostly because I can't tell you too much about it because when I wasn't sobbing or drowning my sorrows in cheap wine I was trying like hell to keep my (admittedly gorgeous but dumb as they come boss's boss) happy. It was not possible and so I finally quit. With no job prospects in sight, I decided to re-evaluate and eventually went back to school to become what I am now.
8th grade English and History teacher - my current gig.
Worst job? My time as a software program manager, by far. That was less because of the job itself than the company and the people. Dear God, the people. Program Management at That Company... you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villany. When you call your boss The Hamster behind his back and sing "You're Not the Boss of Me Now" at top volume as you peel out of the parking lot the morning you're laid off? That's a bad job.
Most fun job? My time at Bobby McGee's. I was single, I was in school, I was busy. McGee's was my sorority, fraternity, job, soap opera... it was drama of the highest order. It was tailor made for me at that time in my life. I could never go back to that life now and I wouldn't want to. But for that time, in that place... for a girl just coming out of private Catholic school... I loved it.
Most satisfying job? I have to say that teaching has been the most satisfying. Good days are so incredibly good. Bad days are over at the final bell. Every day I start fresh and I like that so much. Plus, I like working with the hormonally challenged.
Most exciting job? Probably my midpoint days working as a software test manager for That Company, because of the travel. The list of places I got to travel on business was extensive (more stories! Remind me to tell you about the time I got incredibly drunk on white wine in a hotel bar in Dublin and tried to broker a peace deal with Northern Ireland along with two Irish guys blasted on Guinness. I stormed out at one AM disgusted with hundreds of years of history! I am a classy American!)
Dream job? Right now I'd like to have the resources to be a stay at home mom. The floors would be cleaner, I'll tell ya what. I know the pay is rotten (which is why I'm a teacher... the pay is so much improved!) but I know I'd find the work satisfying...
Wow. In thinking about this, I realize I actually have a lot of stories. Good stories and bad stories and embarrassing stories and coming of age stories. I am my own After School Special! What say I focus in November on some of this stuff? I've always meant to write about it in the past but for whatever reason I haven't revisited it all. Sound like a plan? I'm sort of dying to know if any of the stories will be new to Dave and/or Brat, since a lot of this time was in the years before I met either of them but they know really well.
Of course... the occasional Dessa Break will be included, because no matter what my W-2 says, my real job title? Is "Mommy".
Replies: 1 Comment - Go read it!
on Tuesday, October 30th, Dexter said
Heh, takes me back. This was fun to read, so here's my list:
Paper route. Neither rain nor sleet nor pretty much anything else kept me home at 5am.
Joke store magician-in-residence. I kid you not. Didn't last long after a kid who really knew his magic bested my admittedly poor skills. I was better with the cards.
Fast food cook. Many people started here.
Stock clerk (pet food and auto accessories).
Stock clerk again, but in Santa Barbara when I was at UCSB. Between out-of-the way location and my lack of transport, lasted one day.
Fast food cook/cashier.
Media Center guy. I delivered projectors and the like to classes on my own schedule. Nice job until I was out of school.
Busboy, Good Earth Restaurant. One of my favorite jobs. Oh the stories...
Busboy, 1129 Restaurant. The name came from its address on State St.
Clerk, gas station/mini-mart. Last job in SB before becoming homeless and then migrating back north to seek my fortune.
Film pickup/delivery. Before there was 1-hour photo, there was 1-day photo.
Hotel room service. Not a bad gig, but the internal politics never ended.
Tech support/trainer, Club AT Computers. Kind of a jump, you might think, but it turns out I have a knack for computers.
Tech support. This was fun and over 11 years I parlayed it into a bunch of other jobs.
Tools engineer, same company. I was analyzing data and building databases for fun in tech support, so the Development VP got me to transfer.
Tech writer, same company. In some ways the biggest mistake I ever made. But it eventually led to my meeting Kristin, so all is forgiven.
Network Applications Administrator, same company. Fancy name for doing whatever needed doing. Added to the network, evaluated email and scheduling packages, built Lotus Notes applications, designed and built Help Desk (subsequently stolen from me by lecherous manager and his whore), implemented first intranet.
Web Producer, same company. This should have been a breeze, but political storms were abrew, management came and went, projects came and went, and I decided it was time to see the world.
Web producer. Worked for a former boss who somehow didn't have a clue that his staff were all insane. Left after 9 weeks to their great dismay.
Senior developer/SCM Automation Lead. I was hired to do a relatively simple job, but my manager made sure that everything sounded far more complex and grandiose than it could possibly be in the hopes that someone would take him seriously. I wonder if management ever realized how much they were paying me to live in France and do nothing. Seems I started a story about this once...
Residential Appraiser. Current gig. Not bad, except for the evaporated market. But even when I was working 70 hours a week, it was still waaaaay better than working for someone else. :-)
Worst job: It's a tossup. The Sr Dev job because of the powerlessness I felt. In a situation with a lack of direction, I've always been able to do *something* interesting to either get unstuck or transferred. I never thought I could get in a situation where I felt so useless. And the Net Apps Admin job, after my work was stolen and my reputation sullied. Bitterness...
Most fun job: Tools engineer, definitely. I was young and had a dozen projects going at any one time. Adrenaline, yeah!
Most satisfying job: The Net Apps Admin gig, until it went south after 6 months.
Most exciting job: I don't think I've ever had an exciting job. I'm a techno-geek/nerd.
Dream job: Some kind of investigator or researcher. If I could go back to school (and back in time a bit), maybe I'd be a detective or scientist or something like that. Or write non-fiction novels.