Notice I said Jobs I’ve HAD, not necessarily jobs I’ve loved. But loved or not, they were interesting.
- Cherry Picker. Now that was fun. From 6th grade until after High School, I spent two to three weeks every summer picking tart cherries on my aunt and uncles farm. To this day I avoid cherry drinks and jello. But what fun. Sometimes a cousin or two would be staying with me, sometimes not, but always fun. Beyond the job was lots of family fun and I loved it.
- Cherry sorter. One summer while I was teaching part time, I needed a summer job and landed at a nearby canning factory. Sitting between two large and noisy cherry pitting machines may not seem to be ideal working conditions, but I did enjoy it. The job was mindless and I was able to make mental plans and lists and sing to my hearts content at the top of my lungs. No one could hear at all.
- Waitress for a summer. Not so fun. I hate hot weather and this was at a nearby state park that is an area summer mecca. Rainy days were the worst when campers descended upon us. Only upside? The next door dune buggy business gave all the waitress’s free rides in lieu of tips. Whooo Hooo!
- Teacher. Not so great. All my training had been with upper elementary. I was given lower elementary. Basically I ended up with the sweathogs (remember Welcome Back Kotter?) of the kindergarten. That is why I no longer teach.
- Telephone Operator. That’s right, for several months, when I started working at “a local communication company” I was able to channel my inner Ernestine and be a telephone operator. I value the experience, as it was just before the new auto switchboards and we really did use cords to plug into customers and to make calls. Very fun.
- Toll Investigator. I loved digging into to problems and tracking down who made calls. This was in the day before calling cards and not much automation. I had to research who made calls that were taken off bills when people called the phone company. Most involved simple errors, but I did enjoy tracking down the ones who actually were committing fraud. Maybe that’s why I enjoy CSI so much, only I had no blood.
- Coder/Data Coordinator. Everyone hates those people to who to ask questions for surveys. While I never had to make the calls, I did at one point have to help design the questionnaires. I even scored a trip to New Orleans (Pre-Katrina) to attend a class on creating the surveys. Mostly I just took the results of the calls and prepared reports for the marketing department. Fun and Fascinating.
- Local History Clerk. My current position, even if it is only a few hours a week. I get to help people research genealogy, as well as copy and enter info into our data base regarding births, deaths, marriages, anniversaries, and military information. I love it, even when the people—patrons and staff—are a little trying.
- Dispatcher. I worked for a time as the second shift dispatcher for a local propane company one winter. Part advisor (No, I don’t think checking for a leak with a match is a good idea.), part service rep (Yes I can take a credit card payment over the phone), part ogre (Hi Ron. Sorry to wake you but I have a gas-out you need to go to right away.) Interesting indeed.