Thursday, June 01, 2006

For whatever reason, I am feeling nostalgic today. In that spirit, I am listing all the jobs I've held (and the ones that held me hostage) over the years. My first job, I was 10 years old and kept it until I was no longer age-appropriate for the gig at 15. I didn't keep another job for five years until much later in life. I'm a bit of a vagabond and I get bored easily. I'm much better suited for the life of the independently wealthy, but alas...

Listed in chronological order by numeral:

1. TV anchor for local kids' news show on the NBC affiliate. I learned to read a teleprompter. I had personality. I was probably not well-liked by my five co-anchors. I earned $15 per show.

2. Games worker for amusement park. I took the money and pushed the button to start the mechanized horses' run from the gate to the finish line. I earned around $400 a month and I wasn't required to contribute to the family income in any way, so I blew it on junk every payday. That set the stage for many paydays to come.

3. Student work/loan program worker at a campus day care. Never again.

4. Retail worker--The Limited. Paycheck spent on clothes.

5. Retail worker--The Gap before it morphed into Gap. I hated my manager. Went back to...

6. Retail worker--The Limited. A year later, my hated Gap manager became my hated Limited manager. What the fuck, right? Did she follow me? I quit when my grandfather told me to hurry up and graduate already.

7. Retail worker--Uzzolo, a lighting store near K Street in Washington DC. I tried to be a full-time student, but I wasn't very good at going to class. One day, I was in line registering for the new semester and the line was really long and somewhere in my waiting time, I decided to take the semester off.

8. Retail worker--Mrs. Field's Cookies. Yum. Back in school by now and moonlighting at The Limited for the discount. Then quit The Limited because I got a promotion at Mrs. Field's. I got to make the schedule and make bank deposits. Then I got to take a lie detector test because someone stole the night's deposit. "They" thought I did it since I showed up the next week with my brand new charge card purchases that I was so excited about. I failed the polygraph, but kept my job through common sense. Who steals the night deposit and spends it on new bathroom towels?

9. No more college jobs. My grandfather was getting a little upset. Pick a major, please, and get your lazy butt home, is my paraphrasing of his demand.

10. First after-college job? Back at The fucking Limited. But I was management, god-doggit. So we were opening a new kids' store and I was in charge of recruiting freight unpackers and clothes hanger-uppers. I posted signs on the job board at one college and it was so hot that day, I went home without posting signs at the college across the street. Wow. That first college--lots of people wanted to be box unpackers and clothes hanger-uppers. My lead manager told all callers to come on, let's get this done. She panicked when her store was filled with students from what happened to be a historically black university. I don't think she'd ever been around that many black people at one time. Ever. I got taken to lunch. Not as a reward, but as a what the fuck were you thinking? Man, I thought she wanted the boxes unpacked and the clothes hung up, not a meeting of the Junior League. Whatever. I forget if I quit or got fired shortly thereafter.

11. Oh, yeah. I remember now. I quit because I got offered a marketing (my belatedly chosen major) job with a small newspaper. Commission only, my dad was paying my rent. Job over soon enough.

12. Retail worker--bookstore. I got to read on the job and didn't like putting a day's worth of books back on the proper shelves after the store closed at freaking midnight. I was drinking by then and getting off work at one in the morning was a serious crimp in bar time. I hadn't yet figured out I could drink at my apartment any old time I felt like it.

13. Full-time writer hanging out with full-time painter. I was scribbling in my journal while watching him paint. That doesn't pay anything. I was charging everything from rent to wine to dinner for six to my dad's credit cards. He never said anything to me, but he must have mentioned something to my brother. Next thing I knew, I was on an interview for my next job after another what the fuck conversation, but with my brother this time.

14. Customer service--FedEx. Hard to get any writing done while tracking some dude's Lands End turtleneck like it's the end of the world.

15. Courier--FedEx. I liked that job since the writer in me had committed suicide during a customer service call gone bad. But I got into a scrum with my station manager and quit on principle. I miss the health benefits, but I kept my honor.

16. Staff writer for a church. Not bad. I had to answer a short ministry survey like "how many people have you brought to Christ" or something like that. I skipped the question and still got the job. I'm guessing that wasn't really a prerequisite.

17. Abstinence director for a conservative Christian ministry. Abstinence can mean so many things, but they meant abstinence from sex. Hmmm. Another survey. This one really long and personal. I answered how I thought I should answer at the time. The director told me that God told her to hire me. Go God. I don't think God told her to pay me less than $30,000, but I guess he does the hiring, she sets the salaries. I got fired for getting pregnant while being not exactly married to the guy I was fucking while being completely depressed about so many things, that unliveable salary being chief among them. I didn't get fired for getting pregnant. I got fired for refusing to apologize for sinning or whatever.

18. Technical writer for creative temporary agency I found on the 'net while surfing with the round belly. They didn't care about no baby daddy drama, only that I was good at translating engineering documents into English.

19. Current job as technical editor. Trying to revive/rebirth the writer who left me those many years ago.


Writing Blind said...

Why have I never gone through and read your archives before? This is absolutely hilarious.

Anonymous said...

So tell us .... What happened to the baby????
This was an important event in your life and you never told us how it worked out.

fringes said...

You can read all about "the baby" here. He's a five-year-old kindergartner these days. Thanks for asking!