So a few weeks ago (I actually started writing this the week Steve preached this) Steve said during his message that the average American will work 14 jobs in their lifetime. Confident that I’ve nearly doubled that amount, I hereby start this posting of jobs I have worked. If any of you remember me working somewhere else, let me know, I’ll gladly add it.
First we’ll start with jobs I held for a decent amount of time:
1. Hummingbird Cards and Gifts – as a child my parents owned a couple of gift shops (Think Hallmark only cooler)… I did some odd jobs around the shop as I spent most of my afternoons and weekends there. Officially though I was the corporation’s Vice President – no joke, my parents wanted to keep it a family business, but needed 3 officers total… What can ya do?
1. McDonalds #1 (Independence, MO) – I spent 12 months in “the hole” which was the drivethru window in the back, where you’ll spend 8 hours alone, talking to people you don’t see until they hand you money (and change their order)
2. AMC Independence Commons 20 – when I turned 16 I left Mickey D’s and got my first supervisory position… I was a concession stand shift supervisor. I fired my first employee at this job. He stole a hot dog and my boss made me fire someone I went to school with, but was a year ahead of me… and I wonder why I wasn’t more popular in high school.
3. McDonald’s #2 (Lynchburg, VA) – This time I spent about 8 months jockeying the grill with my then roommate, Bob Turner. It was spending cash for a life of leisure @ Liberty University.
4. Bethel Baptist Church – Handyman… I forget my official title. But I fixed plumbing, electrical, whatever problems and set up the rooms for all their events… I probably should have told them I had no idea how plumbing, electrical or construction stuff worked… Oh well, I know now!
5. Lakewood Oaks Golf Course – I was a glorified mower… but man was this a sweet job. I spent most days riding around a 72″ deck diesel mower, soaking up sun and listening to blaring punk music on a cassette player… for those of you who don’t know what a cassette player is… you probably don’t know what REAL punk music is either.
6. Ritz Camera – Turns out in Kansas City, there’s a season for golf and a season where mowers aren’t needed… So I went to work at Ritz Camera. I was a salesperson (and a darned good one if I do say so my damn self). I did some developing, but didn’t enjoy it nearly as much.
While at Ritz and Bethel Baptist Church… I began self destructing. I transfered with Ritz to Roanoke, VA for reasons that will remain unspoken of… for now.
7. Video Update – After I quit Ritz (which I still can’t figure out why I did) I ended up at Video Update… a small video store chain. I didn’t really like it here, but they gave me 40 hours a week (which may have been why I left Ritz)… Then they gave me way too many hours a week. Everyone (except me) quit one night. Literally, everyone. I showed up the next day to open (I worked days) and no one showed up to open the door. The store manager wouldn’t answer his phone, so I tried the district manager (kiss ups know all the right phone numbers). She happened to be nearby, so she came and let me in. Long story short, I worked Monday thru Saturday for a month, open to close. The DM gave me Sundays off (she either covered or the store stayed closed). I ran the store, I hired new part timers, etc. Then she (the DM) went and hired a new store manager instead of promoting me. At this point I knew someone the store manager for the Blockbuster down the street… so off I went.
8. Blockbuster – Assistant Manager. I worked here about 6 months. My life completely fell apart and I moved in with another of the assistant managers. He helped me get back on my feet, but we sorta quit Blockbuster in a gloriously rude and completely justified manor.
9. Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens – Sales Person. Yes, you read that right. I used to sell cemetery plots, funeral services, and life insurance to old people. And I was good at it… but that is one depressing job. I only lasted 2 months.
10. Allstate – needing money quickly I took the first job I could get… I worked in the customer service department of Allstate’s call center. (Can anyone guess why I hate talking on the phone? Well, you’re only 1/4 of the way there.) I met some cool people and some really dumb people (ask me about the woman in my training class that had never seen a computer before)
11. Applebee’s #1 (Roanoke, VA) – yup, I worked at Applebee’s twice as well… This time I waited tables… I refused to work non-smoking because smokers tip better and there’s no chance that they’ll leave you a tract as your only tip (I learned this the first week I worked there).
12. First Union Bank Call Center – Yes, I took a job at another call center. I think Roanoke is the call center capital of the world (next to India). This time I did sales and customer service. I quit when I moved back to Independence, MO (I finally got my head on mostly straight).
13. Target – I worked as a Team Lead (basically a department manager) over the Christmas season in the Toys, Sporting Goods, and Seasonal departments (yeah, I’m a masochist). I wasn’t supposed to be a temp employee… but wouldn’t you know it? I got fired the day my benefits kicked in for a bogus reason.
14. The United States Postal Service – Not as cool as it sounds… I actually worked in their call center (I know, I’m retarded). They liked mandatory overtime that they didn’t give you notice about and punishing you for not being on the phone every single minute of your shift… So I quit
15. The Internal Revenue Service – I already had already passed the government screening and it was tax season… so it just made sense. I worked as a data entry temp inputting peoples tax returns (BTW, this explains my unnaturally fast typing and data entry speeds… though I am rusty these days). I quit this job in March because Ann and I wanted to go to New York City for spring break and I couldn’t get the time off. Ah, to be young and without responsibilities…
16. Chevy’s Fresh Mex – I think I may have skipped something in there… but it’s hard to keep track. I started as a waiter here, but turned 21 whilst employed at Chevy’s… so I took up tending bar and made a crapload more money.
17. Colorado Steakhouse – Ann and I moved to Chicago and I got a sweet job tending bar at an upscale steakhouse. We were pretty strapped for cash, and I ended up being able to eat steak every night for dinner for free… in hindsight, I probably should have saved some to take home to Ann. This job seemed perfect, they worked around my school schedule and all was well… During this time I also socked away money from my tips to buy Ann’s engagement ring… so she never thought I made really good money here, but I did. Then, for some unexplained reason, Steak and Shake bought out the chain and closed all the stores. Great, now I’m out of a job and in a new city!
18. Applebee’s #2 (Matteson, IL) – I quickly got a job tending bar at Applebee’s. Definitely better money than waiting tables and this was half the distance from our apartment and much closer to a train going downtown… so this is easier for working while in school. Ann and I are now married and are going to a small church. We met 2 people there that shaped our lives forever, and other than that, going there was a mistake. The people started a great campaign to make me feel guilty over my job… even though if one is smart enough to read the Bible, one can see that drinking alcohol is never listed as a sin… Not practicing self control and drinking too much is a sin, but it’s the lack of self-control that’s the true issue, not the chemical substance, alcohol. Also as an ethical and upright bartender, I became self control for many of the patrons… I mean it is illegal to serve drunk people alcohol: I could lose my job and face criminal charges, and who needs that headache? Anyway, I ended up quitting due to the guilt trip laid on me… so I was out of work again.
19. Service Merchandise – My friend Jimm Shepard (one of the two people from the aforementioned church that was a blessing in our lives) worked at Service Merchandise. I forget the official title, but he was basically the Operations Manager… he did all the dirty work basically. Well he hired me to work in his warehouse (I thought), and I received some very hands-on and in-depth training from him. Only to find out he was in line for a promotion to another store and he was training me to take his place. So I did. I worked at Service Merchandise for just over a year. I loved it there and probably would have kept working there, even though it kept me from going to school, but they went out of business. So, I made a down payment on a house with my severance and spent 6 months on unemployment working around the house, fixing it up. Then I had to get a job and go back to school… yay!
20. Moody Bible Institute – I worked as the admin assistant to the head of the Distance Learning program. I thought I’d be terrible at it (my boss told me later she thought I’d be terrible at it too, but took a chance). It turns out, I don’t work like an admin assistant, but I got the work that needed to be done, done in new and timely ways. I also used the perk of free distance learning courses to get my butt out of school a little faster than previously expected.
21. Imago Dei Media Group – Jimm and I formed our company. We started doing web design (actually the idea of forming a company sprang from trying to keep tax money straight on projects we worked on together…) and quickly grew tired of that. We worked mostly with churches, but did some corporate projects as well. We moved into video production and live video support and eventually into audio, video, phone, and network systems design and installation. Jimm excelled at this last part. We kept plugging away at this for several years, during which time we both took some side work to help make ends meet.
22. Contracted Handyman Stuff – Okay, I never really had a title doing this work, but a guy that Jimm and I went to church with (new church… reunionchurch.net) a guy who did repair work for retail stores, restaurants, and other assorted buildings… So Jimm and I started working (mostly 3rd shift stuff), repairing tile, drywall, wood trim, painting, etc. at various restaurants. My favorite was painting an unlit Red Lobster parking lot in the middle of the night with only one halogen light (our first video light before we bought a real lighting kit)… we did a terrible job, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, this helped make ends meet, but was really tiring and wasn’t all that fun. So I started exploring other options.
23. Freelance Production – I weasled my way in on a video shoot via a friend of a friend’s ex-girlfriend (Thanks Roger!)… I swept floors and fetched food and set up tables and chairs, but it was a start. I started working as a production assistant on a lot of commercial shoots… I made nice with people in the various departments and eventually started getting calls to work in the art deparment… So I built sets, organized props, designed sets, and a host of other things… I loved art deparment work! Anyway, I worked on what ended up being a Coors Superbowl ad, I worked on some Turtle Wax commercials, I even worked on a few things for the History Channel. It was fun and it paid pretty dang good… but it was flaky. One week I’d work 5 days, the next I’d work 1.
24. Lake Pointe Church – Well eventually it became apparent that Jimm and my futures lay along different paths. So I started looking for a job… and within 2 weeks found one. Seriously, it was the weirdest thing. The first batch of resumes I send out and I get a job from it… I figured no one would look at it until after Easter… boy was I wrong! Wes Hartley got my resume and called me immediately for a demo reel, so I sent one out. The day he got it he called and strong-armed me into coming to see him (and bringing the wife of course!). We came for a weekend and flew home Monday and when I got there I had an email with a job offer. I have been here now for 17 months or so and I love it! Like no other job before. It’s the hardest, most stressful job I’ve had, but it’s also the most rewarding and fulfilling job I’ve ever had. I get to do what I love every day, and I know it’s making a difference.
So that’s it for jobs that I actually held long enough to say that I worked there… There are exactly 4 more that I held for a week or less, which brings me to the magic total of 2x Pastor Steve’s statistic. Here they are, in no particular order:
Selling meat off the back of a truck – 1 Day
Selling knives door to door (or to friends @ knife parties) – 1 Day
Cutting room @ the Jacuzzi plant – 1 Day (I moved Jacuzzi’s from one conveyor belt, onto the cutting table, then onto the next conveyor belt and then picked up the scraps. I did this all by my lonesome as the other guy in the room only cut the tubs. I had to do this in a full respirator and radiation-style suit to keep fiberglass out of my lungs and skin… I threw my back out the first day and never bothered to go back.)
Security @ a steel mill in KC, MO – 1 Weekend (I was fine with working 3rd shift security until they told me I would quite often have to kick out doped up transients that came in off the trains and that I wasn’t allowed to carry any weapons… no gun, no nightstick… just a big ole flashlight against some crazed hobo on PCP… yeah, no thanks.)
So there it is… 28 years old and a job for every year… sorta.
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