Remembrance of Dispatches Past

Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 08:48 am
I was looking back at my job history, the one from before my current job (outlined here: http://able2know.org/topic/119088-1) or the previous one (outlined here: http://able2know.org/topic/105411-5#post-3400157) and what struck me immediately is the fact that, with a few exceptions, I don't hang onto jobs terribly long. Some of that is due to being laid off or moving or moving onto something better. Sometimes it's other things.

Anyway, without further ado, a little something on some older work experiences and the weirdnesses that went along with all of them.
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Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 08:56 am
Sounds interesting. <brings a chair>
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Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 09:02 am
My first non-babysitting job was my first semester of college. I was just walking down Commonwealth Avenue (I attended Boston University) and some guy stopped me and asked me if I wanted a job.

I was all of 17 years old and said, "Sure!"

Fortunately it was not selling my body or doing pornos or the like.

Instead, it was to walk down Commonwealth Avenue for four hours per day, wearing a sandwich board sign.

I agreed to do this. It paid $4/hour. Hence I was making a big $16/week! Mad money! Money that was mine mine mine!

The sign was pretty heavy and made of plywood, with canvas straps that went over my arms and another strap that went around my waist and I think it was tied in place to keep the sign from flapping too much. It had signs painted onto canvas that were pinned onto the actual board, so that the board could be changed. I would go to my boss's apartment, early in the morning on Saturdays, and get the sign, which was sitting in the vestibule of her apartment building (great security!). Sometimes there were flyers to hand out but usually there weren't.

I would then take the sign with me and put it on at the end of Comm. Ave. near the Kenmore Square end of Campus, and would proceed to walk from there to West Campus and back again (maybe a mile, mile and a half each way). I would do this something like eight or ten times and then call it quits.

I recall people never wanted the flyers, but I wasn't supposed to just pitch them so I did what I could to hand them out and be done with them as quickly as possible. I also recall doing military marching-style turns at the ends of the walk -- a job where all you do is walk is pretty dang boring most of the time.

I dressed up for Halloween (I wore a baseball cap with moose antlers on it). I also recall being leered at and asked repeatedly if I was wearing anything under the sign. Sheesh, it was autumn in New England. Ya think?

At the end of the semester my boss had a dinner for all of us who worked for her. Apparently there was a small empire at various campuses (campii?). A gal walked Harvard, a guy had MIT, someone had Tufts (sounds like a disease -- He has tufts. Well, I hope he'll make it. The doctors are doing all they can.) and someone else had Northeastern, etc. It was a vegan dinner as I remember. Everyone who worked there, except for the boss, was in school at whatever school where they were assigned.

We quit for the Winter, and then I lost touch with her and I was also too lazy and inept to figure out that if I wanted more work that I needed to call her and get it set up. So that was the extent of my advertising experience, although it was listed on my resume for years, even for a year or so after I started practicing law.

It was also, by far, the easiest job interview I have ever had.
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 01:22 pm
jespah wrote:
It was also, by far, the easiest job interview I have ever had.

And what's even more, I can see no signs of frustration in your description of the job. Maybe it's a career path you want to return to?
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 02:27 pm
I recall it fondly in the sense that except for leering weirdos on Comm. Ave. the people were basically nice. At the time, $4/hour was above minimum wage, too. I recall I used to blow it on things like pizza and shampoo (shampoo was not used as a topping or side dish).

Plus I had to have been in great shape (I don't remember, but I must've been, in order to walk that much every week, carrying a weight like that). Hmm.
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Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 09:04 pm
listening in!
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 11:32 pm
Pulling up a chair and a cup of cocoa..
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Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 09:40 am
Ah good morning. Welcome to my self-indulgent trip down Memory Lane. Smile

My second job was the Summer after my Freshman year in college. I was back home and needed something to do so I got a job as a Day Camp Counselor. It was a Y right across the street from where my father worked so I used to carpool with him and his buddies. I was learning to drive at the time so I would practice highway driving on the Long Island Expressway. There's nothing like a terrified 17-year-old tootling along a busy highway while three or four bored middle-aged engineers yelling out from the back and passenger's seats, "Go faster!"

Because of my -- ahem -- maturity -- I was put in charge of two junior counselors. There were more boys than girls (and more male than female counselors) so we had boys, and my underlings were also male. One was maybe 15 and definitely should not have been working with kids. The other was I think 16 and had an identical twin brother who also worked at the camp and who seemed to kinda like me (I was an older woman! Wink ). Nothing ever happened with him although I do recall a makeout session with one of the fellows who took care of the swimming supplies (I think he was about 16 or so).

We had nine charges, all second-grade boys and each and every one of them a handful in their own special way. About the only time I ever got any peace -- which was debatable -- was when I changed for swimming, which of course I did on the girls' side. Then since I was not a disciplinarian for them, the girl campers would be all over me ("But Mona said we couldn't -- can we?" etc. etc. etc.) I never worried about changing in there until Mona herself pointed out that there was no roof to the changing building so either someone could climb up or we'd be spotted by low-flying aircraft. I think Mona was a lil paranoid.

We had to do a talent thing at one point in time, and we were bored and unprepared so we got the boys together and my fellow counselors and I taught them the "We Don't Need No Education" part from the Pink Floyd song, "Another Brick in the Wall".

I also recall a very rainy day. Well, there's not a heckuva lot you can do when it's raining (for this Day Camp, we'd go to Queens and they'd bus us out to Long Island. Sometimes I'd meet them out on LI. Either way, though, it was swimming and fields and not a lot of indoor stuff). So we took the kids to the movies. The Empire Strikes Back was playing, and one of my boys had already seen it.

Picture the scene. It's quiet and dark. Princess Leia and Han Solo are about to share a tender moment. All are hushed in anticipation, when from right next to me, a shrill, seven-year-old boy's voice yells at the top of his little lungs, "They're gonna kiss! Ewww!"

It was right about then that I realized that I would never, ever again work with kids who were that small.
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