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Twelve Odd Jobs


Twelve Odd Jobs

My list of job experience makes me laugh a little. My kids asked me about the jobs that I had had in the past one day, and I found the list really amusing. I think that you may as well.

1.     At fourteen, I got a worker’s permit to work for my mom at the retail store that she managed. It was an outdoor clothing outlet. I did lots of folding and straightening.
2.     After I cam back from overseas at sixteen, I got another retail job at the London Fog outlet. I was in my senior year and I kept telling my manager that I needed just one day off over the weekend, and I didn’t care witch. She kept scheduling every single Saturday and Sunday for a few months until I got fed up and quit.
3.     I worked for my mother again after that, in a Corning Revere outlet store. I remember that one being pretty dull, but on the bright side it was relatively drama free.
4.     When I moved to Detroit my first job was at a little diner run by a Greek Orthodox family. I got paid under the table and made terrible tips serving. There were three restaurants on the same street with signs out front. One said, “good food,” one said “better food,” and one said “best food.” The one I worked at was “better food.”
5.     I worked at a blockbuster video at the same time. That one was monotonous when it was slow, but went really quickly on busy evenings. We were always running out of quarters in the cash registers. I had to take a hair sample drug test to get that job.
6.     When I moved to Oregon I went to work for my Dad and Bonus Mom. At first I ran the counter in the flower shop, then I learned how to design. After that managed the coffee cart that the company owned, and went through a heck of a lot of baristas. Eventually I ended up helping to manage the office. I did books and payroll. I learned a lot from that job.
7.     Later,I went to work on a cruise ship as their floral designer. I sold bouquets, and gave design demonstrations as well as taking care of the arrangements around the ship. The job was supposed to be a six-month contract. I ended up doing about nine so that I could train other “floral officers.”  I learned that living on cruise ships is a really unhealthy lifestyle. I did meet one of my very good friends there though.
8.     Back home I started working as a hostess at a café in Northwest Portland. I met a lot of neat people there. The owners were a separated couple, and there was so much drama going in in that place it could make my head spin.
9.     My first job as a bartender was working in a hip-hop club. My boss was a real jerk, but I got along with him okay anyhow. He was terrible to the employees. I remember being completely overwhelmed by how much Courvoisier my clients could drink without even appearing to have a buzz.
10. When I moved to Atlanta to be with my mom for a while, I got a job waiting tables at TGI Fridays. It was when they still made us wear the red and white shirts and suspenders and stupid hats. I met my husband working there.     
11. In Portland again, I drove school busses for a short stent. I was great with the field trips, but route driving just made me too nervous. People blow school bus stop signs constantly, and I was always worried a kid would get hit. The women that I worked with there had serious balls. I knew a driver who had managed to pull her bus over and save a kids life by giving him the Heimlich maneuver when he choked on a jolly rancher.
12. After we sent our first two foster boys back to their grandmother, they had been with us for about a year, we decided to take on boys from juvenile court. They were kids who had had an arrest that was related to substance abuse and they stayed with us while undergoing treatment. I had to supervise them twenty-four seven while they were not in class with their counselors. It was a challenging job and I learned a lot from those guys.

That was it, well officially anyways. Now I have a hundred different jobs as a mom, and I have finally come to understand that I was meant to be a writer all along. I think that it is a shame that I allowed the advice of my past teachers keep me from it for so long. But then, all of the different experiences that I had bouncing around when I was younger did earn me a heck of a lot of writing material.




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