Monday, March 19, 2012

Jobs: Part 1


So I had my review at work this week.  It went well, but that’s not the story.  The story is that I’ve been working for the same company for fifteen years now.  I started there the day after I graduated college.

Now, before you say, “How boring,” let me explain.  It’s not like I have done the same exact thing over the last fifteen years.  I have had a wide variety of responsibilities at my current place of work and I even worked in four different buildings over the years.  But it got me thinking about two things: have any of my friends had the same job this long?

I can think of two people I know in my circle of friends who work have the same employer now as when they started their working careers.  Wait, make that three.  One, who doesn’t really like her job, one who works for the Military-Industrial complex, and one guy who I’m pretty sure is looking for a new job.

Why don’t people stay at the same jobs for a long time now?
Then I started to think about all of the jobs I’ve had in my life.  Now, granted, it’s been a long time since I’ve worked elsewhere and I’ve had the same boss for the last fifteen years, but I did get a variety of works experience when I was younger. 

Being a Newsie!

I was a badass on this big boy. 
I started by delivering newspapers.  My brother was a carrier for the Countryside Reminder, a weekly paper made up mostly of advertising.  He’d be on his bike and I’d be pedaling behind him on my Big Wheel (insert big wheel picture).  I was four years old.  Sadly, the Countryside Reminder ended its print run, and my brother lost his route.  As I got older, I had my own route, delivering the Weekly Advertiser, a paper I’m pretty sure every recipient immediately tossed in the garbage.   I had 120 townhouses to deliver to every Thursday before five p.m. at a rate of four cents a paper.  I earned a solid four dollars and eighty cents a week, paid bi-weekly.  It felt great to deposit nearly ten bucks in my passbook savings account every other Saturday morning.  Later on, I split a Daily Herald route with a friend.  Two days a week he’d do it alone, two days a week, I’d do it alone, and three days, the big paper days (Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) we’d both do it.  That worked well until the paper wanted its deliveries to happen before six a.m., effectively squeezing out any kids from the route.  Besides filling in for someone occasionally, I was done with the newspaper business.

In junior high I spent a lot of time doing the easiest job I ever had: babysitting.  Come play with your kids, eat your food, watch TV and get paid to do it.  Now, mind you, the kids I was babysitting were not babies or infants, but five, six and seven years old.  It was so easy.   They would tire out by eight o’clock and I’d get to watch whatever I wanted on TV and talk to my friends on the phone.  My favorite family had a stockpile of microwave popcorn and Sunny Delight always in the fridge.  On a good night, I could make ten or twelve dollars.  Sadly, that is what baby sitters earn an hour these days.  Baby sitting ended for me when high school rolled around and, well, I wanted to go out with my friends on the weekends.
I never read this book

One summer I spend time working for a temp agency.  I had some great jobs there.  I worked moving furniture at a tent sale for a furniture rental company.  It wasn’t too bad, until the last night, when a huge storm rolled in overnight and the parking lot where the tent was set up flooded.  We came in the next morning and had to clean up the mess while loading these wet couches and arm chairs into trailers so they could move on to the next sale.  Great times.

Other jobs that summer included working at a warehouse stacking box displays for shipment to Borders and Barnes and Noble.  I never hated Tom Clancy until seeing the cover of "Debt of Honor."  I touched at least  five  thousand copies of that book in a single day.  Plus, if we set the display up incorrectly, we had to start over.  I was also one of the few English speakers at this job.  I learned lots of Spanish curse words.

Worst Job

Imagine this filled with rolls of paper instead of the Ark of the Covenant
I once worked in a paper warehouse sweeping.  That’s all I did.  From three o’clock to seven o’clock I manned a giant push broom, like they use to clean up a gymnasium floor, and swept the warehouse, starting on one end, weaving up and down the aisles and slowly working my way to the other end.  It took the entire week to do the whole warehouse.  The next week, it started all over again.  Oh my god, was it boring. Remember the closing scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark when the ark is stored away in the never ending warehouse?  That’s what this was like.  I wasn’t allowed to use headphones because the operators were out on bobcats, stacking rolls of paper, loading and unloading trucks.  What kept me going is they promised me I’d get to run the washer, a ride on sweeper they used once a month to wash the floor, the next time they needed a wash.  A few days later I came in and one of the operators was on the washer.  That was my last day there.

Look for Jobs Part 2: Coming soon...

Thanks for reading!

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