Former Lives

Did you know that I worked at a grain elevator? Yes. I weighed corn and soybeans. There were a lot of truckers. My co-worker, Dog (real nickname) and I would play baseball in the scale room. That means that in between customers, we would use a ruler and pieces of corn for our exciting baseball games. Just goes to show you that you can make just about anything fun.

I've also been a server (Don Pablos all the way baby), an office manager, a clerk at Snyder Drug, a sales person at Maurices, and a Creative Memories consultant (for like a month). I worked in a print shop (back when collating and stapling was done by hand). Then I was in social work, case management for people with mental illnesses. And then I became a Mom and a postpartum doula. I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but I realize this isn't all that interesting.

I wonder what kind of work my boys will do? I hope they do something they absolutely love. Like eating. Maybe some sort of food tasting or critiquing? Or monkey trainers. They totally love monkeys.

What jobs have you had? My inquiring mind wants to know. It really does. I love knowing stuff.

33 clicked right here to comment:

charrette said...

LOVE the grain elevator job!

My first job was a record attendant in a family history library. (My heart got blessed several times each day for helping people find the book containing their ancestors.) We used to have "chariot races" gliding down aisles and aisles of filing cabinets full of microfiche records on rolling office chairs!

I was also the accompanist for a voice teacher, and had to learn to sight-read all kinds of music, and play every piece on the recital. High pressure, but a GREAT job for a high-school student.

I was a secretary for 7 weeks.
Advertising artist for a furniture store.
Art director of a magazine.
Advertising art director at a major university.

Then went off on my own, running a design studio out of my house, creating fundraising brochures and sexy gala invitations for people like the L.A. Philharmonic, The Hollywood Bowl, and the Golden Globe Awards.

Now I'm a mom living in Utah who paints most days, teaches painting at the local university, and lives on a wooded acre that's more like a park.

My hubby and I are very big on doing what you love, and I'm pretty sure our kids will follow suit. Our youngest already wants to be a veterinarian, an architect, or "an Italian food critic"!

He could easily do all three!

charrette said...

Sorry I wrote you a whole post there. Oops!

Great topic.

Kristina P. said...

I've worked at a fast food burger joint, at a call center, as a tutor in an elementary schoo, as a tracker for youth correction's kids, as a DCFS caseworker, and I still am a social worker in a different capacity. Fun!

Lisa said...

Oh! Fun question.

I've done a few different marketing research jobs (I actually loved talking to people on the phone--I think because I wasn't trying to sell anything)

Most of my other jobs were working with kids. I babysat non stop from age 10 up. I taught preschool at Head Start. I was a live in nanny. I was a mother's helper (live out nanny), and I tutored two darling little Chinese girls before they went into kindergarten. (I wonder what all those kids are doing these days!)

I know I missing some jobs, Oh! I worked in the cafeteria of a major language training center (MTC in Provo) and did filing/mailing in a collection agency. Loved that one.

Debbie said...

I love this topic, too, so I'm de-lurking in order to contribute. My first job was as an office cleaner, then (blessedly briefly) as a hotel room cleaner. Both of these were in high school. During college breaks I did various receptionist and office clerk jobs.

My first job after college was as a researcher for a TV producer in LA. I researched "mothers of gang members" and "single mothers by choice" for documentaries for Lifetime TV network. I also did a little work in casting and location scouting for that same TV producer. I had an exciting temporary job as a production assistant making a documentary about Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, in a special where they were interviewed about their favorite cartoons and the history of their cartoon-making. I basically fetched coffee and wrote out cue cards, but I still loved it. PLUS I got CREDITS with my name in bright lights (well, no, but in text on your TV screen) which thrilled me to my toes. :)

When my TV employment dried up suddenly, I was a secretary for an ad agency, working on Gallo wines (including Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers) and Lawry foods. I met the actors playing Bartles & Jaymes (anyone remember them from the commercials?) and generally had a fun time. Unfortunately, I hated Los Angeles, and the fun jobs didn't make up for that.

I moved to D.C. and worked for the National Academy of Sciences for almost 4 years as a Project Assistant (essentially a secretary). I met college presidents, a Secretary of Defense, and various other big wigs in academia and government. It was fun, and I loved being a secretary because it was my job to organize people and tell my boss(es) how to organize their lives. Rockin'!

My then fiance (now husband) and I left DC and moved to Montana 15 years ago, where I got the job I basically still have, as a technical writer for a software developer. I now run the department and we design and spec software for police, fire, EMS and other public safety agencies around the U.S. I LOVED the job when I got it (PAID to be a writer!). Now as a manager, I'm more paid to watch other people get to be writers, and it's gotten a bit old. As have I!

That's it for me. (Sorry this is so long!) Can't wait to hear from other folks!

Peanut said...

I remember being told in high-school that people have on average 7 different jobs in their lifetime. I didn't get it then, when life was all focused on preparing for my career, but I've since had a least 7!
A receptionist, where I lost a lot of calls while trying to transfer them and tended to fax sheets upside-down, so they came out blank at the receiving end. A camp dishwasher then cook, which was all about boy-watching (we even had a code). Of course a babysitter. While I was in University, a tutor, support worker for a child with autism, special needs worker, and chicken processor in the summers (my favourite job, no joke! I wish i could go back for a little while). For five years now, an RN, and now a mom.
Quite a variety there.
And while my main focus right now is being at home with the kids, I do hope one day to either specialize or do my master's in nursing. Lots of time to worry about that later though. For now, I'm mom :)

Peanut said...

Oh, I forgot the absolute worst job that I had very briefly in University: housecleaner at a fraternity house. Imagine how bad you think that would be and then multiply it by 1000! BOYS ARE GROSS!!!

Abra said...

I worked at Burger King, then waitressed at a Chinese Restaurant. Then I started lifeguarding right out of high school. I've coached synchronized swimming, competitive swimming, I taught diving, and swimming lessons, aquasize, arthrisize, deep water running, aqua-box, and aerobics, Now, I work for a catering company and cook for thousands of people a day. I still like to coach and one day aim to become a kinesiologist focusing on sports medicine using this to enhance my coaching!
I was reading your post thinking, "Wow! She's done so many things!"
It's funny how it adds up over time!

K and/or K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joolee said...

Wow, Mostly I'm responding to tell you that I, too, was a clerk at Snyder drug! But I've done a lil bit of everything....from maid/waitress/entertainer at a dude ranch to the admissions office at college. Occupational therapist at a home for boys who were abused and neglected, hardware store, waitress at a fancy Italian joint, PCA for boys with Downs and autism....the list goes on and on. But you know what some of my fondest memories are from? The weeks at the dude ranch when I swapped jobs with the dishwasher and got to slop the hogs after dinner. Seriously, I guess the beautiful Rocky Mountain backdrop more than made up for the slop. And the hogs.

K and/or K said...

I've had 36 jobs Heather! This might deserve a blog post of my own! Great idea.

PS-36 and I'm only almost 31, it's not like I'm 99 or something. Because I'll prolly still be blogging when I am. Or whatever the work escape will be then...

Heather of the EO said...

You people are so interesting!!! I love this!
Kelly, I just knew this one would be interesting with you. Post worthy indeed! 36 jobs??? Craziness.

Sabrina said...

WOAH! I was a corn detassler and then I bet my corn went to your grain elevator!
I've had sooo many jobs. Really bad ones, some ok ones and one I really like right now.

I was also Joolee's dorm mate, and that was a full time job in itself!

happygeek said...

MY high school job was paging in a local library. (I put books away. Whoo hoo.) I could beat almost anyone in an arm-wrestle from all the lifting. IT's a good way for a 5ft1 geek to get new respect when she outwrestles a guy on the volleyball team.
I have also been a cook/server/janitor/grounds keeper at a retirement home, worked for Transport Canada licensing pilots, been a receptionist, file clerk and taught grades 2, 5/6, High school Drama, Business Ed, Computer, English, Social Studies and health.
Made it 33 years without working retail! Yee haw.

a Tonggu Momma said...

I've had 11 different careers, from a university newspaper editor... to a youth ministry coordinator... to an office manager... to pre-k and kindergarten teacher... but the absolute worst was when I worked for the Foundation for Physical Therapy. I had to call people up, typically during the dinner hour, and ask if they'd be willing to sit on hold for a minute until my boss could get on the line to ask them for money. I can't believe I put up with that, but it was my first real job during high school.

Melanie J said...

I asked my son what he wanted to be when he grew up and he said a popsicle man with a cart. He also said if I wasn't dead when he was grown up then he would give me free popsicles. Score!

Melanie J said...

Oops, guess I didn't complete my task. I've been the hostess in a Chinese restaurant, cleaned carpets on my college campus, worked part-time retail, full-time retail manager, advertising dispatcher for the city paper, telemarketing (for a week), call center person (for a week), teacher (five years)and now I'm a "writer". I'll remove the quotation marks when I get my first check for something I've written.

PsychMamma said...

Ready? Floral designer, interior designer, waitress (Applebees), receptionist, sales & marketing assistant for computer software, office manager, chiropractic assistant/therapist, x-ray technician, full time student, grad school student, professor and now SAHM. Whew. No wonder I'm tired

Kimberly said...

Hee hee...monkey trainers. That made me giggle.

Kimberly said...

Oh, forgot to list mine.
1) Office Lackey
2) Furniture Store Receptionist
3) Furniture Store Assistant Manager
4) Babysitter

Yeah. That's it. I've lead a dull life. =P

Rachel said...

Admit it, Dog really was a german shepherd, and the baseball games were a glorified version of fetch.

My worst job ever was while I was in school. I transcribed dictation notes for psych doctors. Most of the notes were intake assessments for inpatient psych patients. Typing our description of brutal suicide attempts--depressing! The only perk was the all the free lunches from Pharma Sales Reps.

JustRandi said...

Hey, I was a Creative Memories consultant, too. Also Mary Kay, but I don't really like to talk about either. ;)

MidnightCafe said...

Oh, this is fun! Here's my list:
* babysitting, of course
* book bindery - collating, shrink wrapping, boxing & sorting
* hotel housekeeping at the Country Inn
* after school elementary Spanish teacher
* volunteer crisis counselor for a sexual assault center
* in-home behavioral therapist & PCA for a child with autism
* match advocate for Big Brothers Big Sisters
* in-home family therapist
* childbirth educator

Lauren said...

I've had a ton. My mommy brain has been sucked dry today so I can't remember how many but it's been a lot. A few favorites: A sandwich artist(subway), one hour photo girl, mystery shopper, parking nazi at Michigan State (I got caught sleeping in my car during my shift).....

*MARY* said...

I used to mix milkshakes but now I potty train children, just my children though so no inquiries.

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

Oh, this is a fun post Heather! Okay, my jobs are kind of boring and random but here they are (not neccesarily in chronological order):
1. assistant to the CES Director
2. systems analyst
3. TV News reporter
4. hotel desk clerk
5. call center supervisor
6. Reservations Manager
7. Hotel General Manager
8. Regional manager in a travel related field

The Mama's said...

I used to wait tables at Don Pablo's, too!

I also worked as a can-can dancer at a dinner show, a lifeguard, a fragrance model, a camp counselor, and now a psychotherapist.

BaronessBlack said...

Here goes:
Project Coordinator/Dementia Advocate – All-age Dementia Advocacy Project
Charity Administrator – The Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius,
Human Resources Assistant – Churchill Hospital,
Secretary/ Assistant – Kids@Art, Responsible for recruiting artists and matching them to schools – good one, this!
Telephone Charity Fund-raiser (and Employee Representative)
EFL Teacher
Cashier – The Golden Nugget Casino
Licensed Croupier – The China Palace Casino
Internal Investigator - Nairobi, Kenya
Teaching Assistant - Austria
Project Manger - Scope Imports, Houston,( I got to phone up and say "Houston, we have a problem!") based in Kenya
English Language Teacher - Lithuania

K and/or K said...

I was wrong! I forgot a couple and there are really 38. Here is my reply to your command, THE LIST:

1. Perkins
2. McMillian’s
3. Happy Chef
4. Willmar Rec. Dept
5. JCPenney
6. Target
7. Merry Maids
8. Herberger’s
9. Willow Run Apts.
10. Marriott Food Service
11. Bethel College Library
12. Don Pablo’s
13. ChiChi’s
14. Bascali’s Brick Oven
15. Smoking Cessation Survey
16. WA Frost
17. Ciatti’s
18. Luci Ancora/Ristorante Luci
19. Punch Pizza
20. Millennium Mortgage
21. Deluxe Co.
22. Gap
23. Abercrombie & Fitch
24. Public School #1
25. Bethel Building Services
26. Public School #2
27. Public School #3
28. Substitute Teaching
29. Substitute Teaching #2
30. Public School #4
31. Public School #5
32. Focus Groups
33. Luna Rossa
34. Byerly’s
35. Afton House Inn
36. Sunset’s
37. Salut
38. Current job

S'dizzle said...

Muarices! I loved that store as a teen.

McDonald's was my first, dishwasher at "the Kitchen". When I got to college I worked in the dining center of course and physical plant until I scored the ultimate work-study job in the post office. Bath and Body works for a very short time, YMCA with the kiddies, cleaning/errand running lady for an elderly woman, tutor, babysitter, office whipping girl, and baker and cupcake decorator.

Still working on finding that dream job that actually pays my bills and massive student loan debt.

Bonnie Lewis said...

so far? at 23? 5. I am on a roll. but i dont care! i love it! i am super good at many of these things, but maybe oneday I will find a job that I am REALLY good at and then I will keep it. until then, I'm just learning new tasks!

MoziEsmé said...

I think Esme would sign up for monkey training, too.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I have leased apartments, sold electronics, worked for a production company, planned corporate events, sold airline tickets, written about sports, sold 403(b)s, worked in record stores, written about parenting, and worked as a sales assistant at PaineWebber.

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