Wednesday, June 13, 2007

It Built Character...or something

"You've had an incredible number of jobs in your life," B said to me the other day. This, after the revelation that I had once worked a holiday season at Victoria's Secret. I started trying to mentally catalogue them. I really have had an absurd number of odd jobs from the 13 year old me trying to save money for Calvin Klein jeans to currently supplementing sorrowful adult income. Here are a few I can remember:

1. Babysitting.
It started with my own siblings. I joke that I raised my youngest sister and that's why I don't need to have my own children. It branched out to my cousins and eventually a friend of the family. Defining moment: "Josiah, you cannot start a campfire on the deck." "My mom would let me..."

2. Server at Fillmore Cafe.
My childhood bff's parents bought the little cafe and turned it into a 1950s style diner. For a couple of years, I poured endless cups of coffee for the farmers who spent the better part of their day there, gossiping like old women. Highlight: a jukebox that automatically played both Blueberry Hill and Aerosmith's Crazy about 15 times a shift.

3. Cashier at the Fillmore grocery store.
When the Cafe was sold, the new owners hired me to work in their grocery store. There were three aisles. And one shelf for VHS movies for rent. I learned to slice roastbeef on the meat shaver. I learned to count backwards to give back change. Favorite part: Selling sandwiches to the same farmers I used to pour coffee for.

4. "Sandwich Artist" at Subway.
The summer between my senior year of high school and my freshman year of college, I made sandwiches. It sucked. I did enjoy the people who ordered fries with their subs. Do you see a frier?? Best exchange: "We also own the Subway in your college town. We could arrange a transfer if you'd like." ""

5. Psychology Department Secretary.
I had my own office. I made a few copies, graded a few tests, and helped recruit soccer players (as one of the profs was also the coach). Most of the time I played solitaire. I felt like the two hours a day I had to spend there really cut into my social life. High point: Sneaking a boy I liked into the office one night when we were looking for a place to make out and sitting in the dark holding our breath when security came along to check the doors.

6. Office staff/Volleyball instructor at Kanakuk Kamps.
It kept me from having to live at home in the summertime. I lived in a cabin with a bunch of other girls my age, had very little to do with the campers, and spent most afternoons lying by the olympic-size pool. Frequently took days off to go outlet shopping in town. Biggest coup: Sneaking out of the locked gates for midnight runs to Sonic on a regular basis.

7. TGIFridays.
It supplemented my pathetic graduate assistantship stipend. It kept me in groceries and booze. I had lots of flair, but I don't want to talk about my flair. I've said it before and I'll say it again...Mel, April, Shelley, and Jeremiah are the only good things that ever came out of that job. Low point: Bursting into tears when the kitchen manager berated me at the end of a double shift for not adequately scraping out the empty salad dressing containers in the salad bar. May Lemay rot.

8. The GAP.
I worked the summer and back-to-school season. It was like the mothership calling me home. I spent WAY more money than I made. When I started teaching part time I had to quit to save money. Skill learned: I'm not a sales person at heart, but I can sell almost anything to a man. "Wow, those jeans look great on you! You should try them in this color too."

9. Victoria's Secret.
The holiday shopping season brought me to VS from Black Friday to New Years. I worked in beauty. No boob measuring for me. My boss had a lazy eye. I could never tell if she was looking at me or my co-worker. But, at least I got a 50% discount. Worst part: Asking to put lotion on other people's hands. That really fucked with my personal space issues.

10. Game Stop.
Also a holiday season job. This was probably my favorite part time job ever. I got to alphabetize the video games and use the plastic machine and hair dryer to seal the used games. Greatest compliment: "You work here?" "Yeah." "You don't look like a girl who works at a video game store. He (pointing to the dorky manager) looks like he belongs here, but not you."

11. Outback Steakhouse.
Yes, me. I worked in a steakhouse. I wore the stupid jean shorts and even stupider "bushman's" buttondown shirt and those ridiculous pins. I stayed for less than 6 months. Humiliating moment: Losing my grip on the enormous, full tray I was holding on my shoulder and sending ranch salads and new york strip steaks sailing across the dining room.

12. Catering St. Louis.
For exactly two months I served hors d’Ĺ“uvre and wine spritzers to rich schmucks at wedding recptions and events. I did learn how to knot a tie for my uniform, a skill that continues to serve me well. Funniest moment: When a very spoiled Busch (August?) asked me to bring him a Heinekein from the bar. I laughed at the irony (Alanis Morissette-type) and told him I was busy.

13. Spyglass on the Park.
I spent about a month in the most unprofessional restaurant in the world. The manager got blasted at the bar over the course of every shift and harassed the female servers. The clientele was mostly skeevy, newly-single 40-something men who lived in the apartment building next door. Best decision: After one particularly bad shift, I just never came back. No 2 week's notice or anything. I'd always wanted to do that.

There you have it. I still have two jobs, but both are related to my fields of interest. It's unfortunate that there's no place on the resume for all of this work experience.


  1. Amelia - friend, not sisterJune 13, 2007 at 9:50 PM

    Wow, that is a lot of jobs! I am impressed, I didn't know about most of them. I am disappointed that stripper or tattoo artist is not on there yet.

  2. you're such a workaholic...that's're addicted to workahol :]