The list o’the day is all of the paid positions I’ve held over the years, starting at age 14. I tried to do this chronologically, but some overlap time-wise.
- concession stand cashier at a private swim club–I rode my bike to work and back 7 miles each way on most days. Up and down all kinds of hills. Wherever did all of that energy go?
- taking rings off of pistons in my father’s garage–at $2/hr. Slave labor, I tell you.
- painting my father’s garage and staining our barn–once again, slave labor. I think I got paid $40 for each. Both took weeks to do, from sun-up to sun-down. But I guess it kept me out of trouble.
- cashier at a Roy Rogers, then moving up to Shop Trainer. I was so excited at the time to have such responsibility.
- cashier at a fast food restaurant in Pittsburgh my freshman year of college. Although I really wanted to cook instead of be a cashier, the manager told me that he was going to make me a cashier because I had blond hair and blue eyes. That should have been the trigger to make me run far away, but for some reason I stayed. Maybe because I had no money. I quit 6 weeks later, after getting jumped late at night walking the 1 measly block back to the dorm.
- working the stacks at Hillman Library at Pitt. I did this for years and I loved it.
- line worker at a vegetable processing plant–32 degree temperatures, 12+ hour days, 6 days a week during summer break during college. Those paychecks funded almost a full year’s tuiton. I was one of the few English-speaking workers, so I learned to cuss a blue streak in Spanish. Oh, and I hesitate to eat that brand again after seeing some of the things that happened in that plant.
- security at the campus bookstore during peak times. The job entailed standing by the door in case anyone set off the alarm. Boy, did those hours drag . . .
- working for the editor of a medical journal. It was me and him in a suite of rooms. He was more interested in the effort he was putting into the house he was buying than he was in the job and was rarely even there. I should have replaced his name with mine on the title page.
- marketing promotion–I stood on the streets of Pittsburgh giving out Snapple. It was a blast and the pay was pretty good.
- telemarketer. I tried telling myself that it was a great job because we raised money for non-profit organizations, but I wasn’t able to fool myself for long. It’s a real downer to be told “no” for 8 straight hours.
- data entry at a bank–I worked from 10PM – 4AM inputting check amounts into the computer. Easy job, but I spent many an early morning standing by myself in the dark at a bus stop downtown. Scary.
- rental car agent–I only lasted 3 months. If someone would have clued me in on the tiny detail that I’d be using my college degree to wash cars and extract used condoms out of the crevices between car seats while wearing suits I could barely afford, I probably wouldn’t have taken the job to begin with. Oh, and I almost got car-jacked, too. I quit the following day.
- another marketing promotion–this time for Pace salsa. Also a blast, but not as fun as the Snapple one.
- sales in the metals industry–I landed here kind of by accident almost 12 years ago. I never thought I would be here this long, but here I am . . .