I like to think that I’ve had a pretty interesting working life. These days I manage projects from home and write as much as I can, but in prior iterations of my life things were a little, um…different. I was doodling today and started to make a non-chronological list of some of the jobs I’ve had. A few are bizarre, some are pretty cool, and some are just…well…you be the judge.
Car wash attendant – This was my job the summer I graduated from high school. Let’s see…it was always at least 100 degrees, we had to wear long pants, I was the only female who worked there, and I couldn’t drive. You do the math.
Western Union clerk – Oh yeah, a great idea to put the gal who can’t balance a cash register to save her life in charge of all those funds going
to Mexico around the world. I still have nightmares about this one!
Comic book shop owner – BEST. GIG. EVER. If you read the previous post about this, then there’s not a lot else to say…other than it’s something that almost no one (except that fat guy on The Simpsons) has done.
Gold miner – To be accurate, a very POOR gold miner. (And seriously, besides my #1 ex and those guys on TV, who else do you know who can say they’ve done this?)
Costume maker – Not Halloween costumes, but those fancy big-headed Ice Capades and Disneyland animals kind. This was another one of those, “You did WHAT?” positions. In truth, there were a lot of fumes, and I learned that I’m not nearly as artistic as I thought. About the only good thing at this job was the wonderfully creative, fun team that I worked with. Oh, and they let me (badly) use a dremel…so I got to break my No Power Tools streak. Unfortunately, one day while in an acetone-fume-fed rage, I stomped up to my boss and told him to, “…put a fork in my ass…I’m done.” (I’m so proud.)
Graphic artist – I worked for a television station and then a bunch of printing companies. These would have been a really great jobs if I’d had any idea of what I was doing. At least when I worked for the TV station I got to do some cool stuff like go on commercial shoots, record voice-overs and (shakily) run a camera from time to time. My claim-to-fame was writing, directing and voicing over a tire store commercial with bootlegged footage of The Little Rascals. There were, needless to say, no tears from my employer when I left that job.
Call center representative…then supervisor – Thankfully, I was originally one of those folks who answered your catalog order call, instead of the kind who call to interrupt your dinner with questions about what kind of computer or toilet tissue you use, or worse, to sell you something. Every once in a while, someone interesting would call in…I got to talk to Harry Shearer (of Spinal Tap and The Simpsons fame), Nancy Sinatra’s mother (size 6 panties, please), the famous director Billy Wilder’s widow, and Dan Ackroyd’s manager (who ordered him a pair of men’s XXL tummy control briefs). There was also that guy who liked to talk a LOT about ladies’ shoes…but we’re not gonna go there. Later I got to hire the kind of call center employees who DO call to ask you annoying survey questions during dinner (“But if you HAD to choose between Charmin and Angel Soft…?”) My job was to tell those callers how to do a better (aka more irritating) job. (Well, I’ve made no secret of the fact that I enjoy being bossy!)
Waitress – You know that really sweet waitress who makes you feel right at home and is fun to talk to? She’s perky and chatty, but gets (visibly) freaked if more than three people sit at a table, and then she manages to mix up the orders and doesn’t remember that you asked for the dressing on the side? Yeah…that one. She (thankfully) figured that shit out and got out of the biz. (Thanks for the 32 cent tip.)
McDonald’s employee – Not great even if you don’t mind smelling like a french fry 24/7. I do take some pride, however, in knowing that I made quite the scene when I made my exit from this job. A Friday-night high school football game left our store jammed, with a line around the building. Everyone was waiting a long time for their food when a guy in the crowd started yelling at me because his hamburger was taking so long. Then a few more joined him…like I was the damn Hamburglar or something! I got flustered, dropped a milkshake on the floor and, before I realized it, there was no turning back! I screamed, “I QUIT!” and threw my hands up in the air as I stomped out. I remember it something like this (apologies to the memory of Mr. Wilder…whose wife ordered a tasteful button-down collared shirt):