Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Ten for Tuesday: Jobs!

A giant cupcake-stuffed welcome to all the new followers! I'm almost at 112!And thank you so much to everyone for posted about my Great 1-1-2 Mate Giveaway, and my last Creme Egg to Karen for her lovely words yesterday about my fledgling blog.

Since this is Tuesday and I've already started drinking, I'm sorting to my fall-back meme: Ten for Tuesday. Last week it was books; this week it's... jobs! Now, I know that doesn't sound very exciting but I always love hearing what writers do in their day jobs, or what they did in the past.

So here are 10 jobs I've held in the past, in no particular order.

1. McDonald's cashier. When I was 16 my parents insisted I get a job. I balked for awhile and then, with all the antipathy of a teen, went for the easiest and only place I got an interview: McDonald's! I was terrible. All that racing around, back and forth, scooping up fries and grabbing burgers... not my thing. The best bit, though, was the free food! Apple Pies, um um good!

2. Cold caller. In what must have been the most boring job on the face of the earth, I worked for a portrait studio ringing up past clients and asking them if they wanted their photos redone. I don't know how old the records were, but a good 20 per cent of the time, the client was DEAD! Much hilarity ensured, as you can imagine.

3. TV reporter. Sounds glamorous, doesn't it? This job involved trekking though the wilds of the southern US in swampy heat, lugging a camera and tripod. I will never forget the day I was told to put my hand in a fire ant's nest to show just how ferocious they could be. Or when I resorted to filming a tree that had clearly been fallen over for the past decade because I had to 'get some damn pictures' of the morning's wind storm.

4. Medical editor. Looking at photos of DREs (and you don't want to know what that stands for - let's just say it involves the nether regions) and waxing lyrical about pediatric burns, this was the job where I perfected the art of looking busy whilst doing absolutely nothing. An invaluable skill!

5. Painter. Working for about £1 an hour, I scraped and painted houses whilst perched on a rusty, knackered ladder. I lasted for about two weeks before quitting.

6. Educational recruiter. Come teach in the UK! It's not bad! Really! That's why I'm recruiting, not teaching, haha!

7. Spa receptionist in a very wealthy part of London. You want Botox? Hyaluronic acid injections? £1000 please. Oh, you have it in cash?

8. Shoe salesperson. Oh, the shoes, the shoes! This was a brilliant job. I could stare at the shoes for hours and not look demented!

9. Account Executive at a PR agency. Yes, that was my title. What did that mean? That I could charge my clients an exorbitant fee to flog their product.

10. Teacher. Since I'm starting to run out of jobs, I'll throw this into the mix even though I've mentioned it before. My most valuable implement? A staple gun, to keep them in their seats whilst ramming Shakespeare into their brains.

Tell me your crazy/ horrible/ funny jobs!


  1. Ha! I love the story about calling up dead people to see if they want a retake. :D

    I've had quite a few jobs, and I hated more than half of them. I think two of my least favorites was working for Toys R Us and having customers treat me like trash, and cleaning bathrooms for my college and having my supervisor (an old lady) practically breathe down my neck and constantly say, "You missed a spot!" Ugh.

    Good riddance to those jobs.

  2. Dishwasher, dog sitter, chicken chaser (exactly as it sounds), baker (vampire hours, lasted two weeks), substitute teacher, secretary (where I got fired for doing more work than was necessary -- seems I was showing up the others and they couldn't deal with it.)

  3. I love this 10 for Tuesday idea. I've worked on the markets, sold high-class dresses in a posh ladies' dress shop, been an office work, a teacher but the best job of all is writer.

  4. LOL. I love your take on your jobs. Funny. LOL.

    I was an interior design major in college, who now works in the medical field (coding medical stuff. haha)and really wants to be a writer. YAY. LOL. I guess life happens, huh? :)

  5. I don't like to think about how many jobs I've held; it makes me feel like I've done nothing of any substance with my life and me no like feeling that way.

    Suffice to say, I did the fast food thing, I do the restaurant thing, and the best job I had was my college internship where I got to mess with entertainers' contracts and made contacts with people at the Robert Morris Agency, among other places. That was funsies to the nth power.

  6. Congratulations!! 112 followers and growing - Yay!!!

    My, you;ve had like a whole gamut of jobs there!! Puts me to deep and utter shame.

    I suppose I could add that I lasted 2 weeks as a cashier in Tesco and 3 weeks (covering for a friend) as a cafe assistant - yes before the big coffee places took over - I remember making something like 20 teas, 10 coffees, three with milk, two with hot, one black per order per lunchtime when the builders came in (the cafe was next to a building site! LOL!).

    Take care and yay!!! for your followers!!!

    Take care

  7. That TV News reporter DID sound glam, until I read further! OMG! I hope you told them to pound sand, and quit.

    I worked in the corporate world for a long time...pantyhose and suits every day. Office Hell.

    Plenty 'o' jobs, but the most fun was being a bartender in college.

    And being a mom is the hardest, and most rewarding job I've ever had..

    Happy Tuesday,

  8. Wow. That's quite the resume. With all of that behind you, you have plenty of experience to draw on for writing!

  9. I'm afraid my resume is pretty pitiful - except my current job as Mom. Before that, I've been a seamstress (thousands of zippers and a finger), pet shop custodian, maid, cashier, department store saleswoman, and zoo custodian. I think I'd like to work in a library next. :)

  10. LOL. Great post! Makes us all look so 'real' when you hear about the jobs we used to have, I think! I worked in fast food, dished ice-cream, served drinks, and suctioned saliva. Funny, I just noticed all my jobs had something to do with the mouth!

  11. Baby Photographer. Eight babies a day for over five years. It was amazing. I was inspired by each and every one of them.

    It was also the best form of birth control you could imagine!

  12. Right after high school I worked in an advertising agency as a copy setter. It was a small, laid-back place, with a big collie hanging around in the office, a very chill job I did like.

  13. I am SO loving hearing about all these random jobs! Thanks guys!

    Anne, what the heck is a chicken chaser! Yes, I know you said it sounds like it is... reeeeeallly? Please elaborate.

    Lola, a bartender sounds fab. I could do that! Although I did work as waitress once and I constantly spilled drinks on people, so maybe not...

    Saliva spitters, loo cleaners, baby photographers -- what great novel material. Keep them coming!

  14. LOL! Quite an assortment of interesting jobs.

    My worst was one night (a Friday) behind the counter at a favorite pizza joint in a college town. It was a mad house and I was a nervous wreck by the end of the night. Didn't go back.

  15. Oh no - I always feel for those on-location reporters. It's just torture for them and do I really need to see someone standing in a storm to know how dangerous it is out there? I would be happy it was filmed through a window.

    Calling for photos when there people had already died? I'm sure hilarity did ensue!

    My worst job was working at a carnival - especially the hot and sticky cotton candy booth.

  16. I've only had four different jobs. I worked at Burger King for five years. Then Little Caesar's Pizza for about 7-8 months. Hated it, and went back to Burger King. lol. Worst job was between those, when I worked for about two months at my future mother in law's fabric store. Did I mention I know nothing about sewing? Yeah. That didn't work out too well. lol. Now, for the last 24 years, I've been a respiratory therapist. Overall, I like it. When I do my round of treatments, there might not be anything to do for an hour or so until the next round starts. Of course, that's ideally. In reality, we get calls for other stuff all day long. Still, not bad as far as jobs go.

  17. Well, in no particular order: Cashier, tech support, babysitter, housekeeper, telemarketer, assay lab technician... things like that. Now, wife, mother, stay at home type person... lol author. :D

  18. Love this job list, Talli. Cold-calling dead people... can't get much colder, right?! Oh dear! Now let's see, I have, in date order:

    Delivered catalogues (well mostly. I think some we hid.)

    Worked in a shop (also constructed a cunning bed upstairs in the stock room out of 'back to school' jumpers and tracksuits.)

    Helped make costumes for London's west end musicals (the rhino from The Lion King was originally mine. I killed my fingers for that costume!)

    A runner for an Ad agency. Oddest job was probably being sent to choose a naked male manniquin in a huge warehouse full of random dummies, being left on my own freaking out slightly and then my phone ringing and being told to 'choose a good-looking one'.

    Or (same job) there was being flown to Paris at midnight, my only luggage being edit tapes, orange candles and a Can-can costume. How to explain that one...

    Actually I've done lots of rather odd jobs! Maybe one for a blog post another time (I'll link back here if I do. :)

  19. When I was in high school, I got a job through a friend on a farm. A chicken farm. My job was to collect the eggs, easier said than done. Everything was fine and dandy until a storm came through, ripped down a tree that crashed into the fence where the monstrous coop was. I chased chickens for almost two weeks. There were hundreds scattered all over the farm. In case you ever need to catch a chicken, use a butterfly net. It doesn't hurt them and you can easily slip your hand under the frame to get them by the legs. That's the easiest way to handle a chicken. Upside down. They can't peck you if you've got them by the feet.

  20. Muttie's first job on leaving school was to calculate the average price of a banana every week (when she worked for Fyffes).
    She worked for McDonalds but got fired when she refused to dress up in a fat burger costume and pick up the litter on Princess Street Gardens (busiest street in Edinburgh).
    One of her friends tested condoms (the mind boggles) another put the walnuts on walnut whips.


  21. I guess the most un-normal job I've had was inventory specialist. You know those folk who walk around in grocery stores with a giant calculator strapped to their hip, counting cans of beans? Yep...that was me!

  22. Over the years, I've had pretty good jobs. Probably my favorite was a high school job at the local Dairy Treat. Even it wasn't awful since it was a small town and all the workers were kids.

    Straight From Hel

  23. My oh my that is quite a few jobs! I worked for as a CSR for Youthful Essences and proactiv solution, that's where I met my hubby!!! Not a weird job, definitely intersting but not weird!

    You had some good ones!!!

  24. Oooo - a new use for my stapler! :)

    I've mostly done the waitressing thing - although I did work in a hotdog stand on a golf course one summer.

  25. by age:
    12 - motel cleaner
    13, 14, 15 - dishwasher
    16 - river surveyor
    17 - photography sales rep
    18 - waitress
    19 - water purifier sales rep
    20, 21 - security guard
    22 - deli clerk
    23 - student
    24 - assistant safety director
    25, 26, 27 - office coordinator
    28 to current - advocate

  26. Wow! You've had a lot of diverse jobs! Let's see for me:

    Supermarket Cashier
    Survey Caller
    Fashion Bug clothes seller
    Worked at the mall selling clothes
    managed ticket sales for a theater

    And now I teach flute!

  27. cleaning lady at old folks home
    counting people in a bank
    bundling shingles at a mill
    high lead logger - choker bunner
    clown (still do this)
    entrepreneurial counsellor
    cook - short order and fancy too
    ran a daycare
    psychotherapist (presently)
    own and run a murder mystery biz (presently)
    write for govt. interactive web pages (presently)
    WRITER (does it count if you don't get $ yet?)

  28. Well you have 115 followers now. Well done you!!! I love your stapler gun. Great jobs. Oh and you got to call dead people. A movie there I think!

  29. Custodian in a county jail. Yeah, had to clean the booking area while they were doing body cavity search of a guy they brought in for drunk and disorderly. Pretty much burned into my mind. Worst job EVER!

  30. My best job was helping to restore historical documents. Most uncool was filing itty bitty pieces of paper for a collection agency. Ick.

  31. I've only baby-sat and worked in retail. (Oh, retail...) I hope to add another job to my list soon.

  32. ha! this would take me a long time.Maybe tomorrow.If you remindme. :)

  33. Your jobs are so much more interesting than anything I've done. Mine have been mostly computer-related.

    On the upside, this has given me a good idea for a blog post for tomorrow! :)

  34. I've been an assistant archivist at the archives of the norwegian uni of science and technology, which was incredibly dusty, and boring. I've also been a kindergarten teacher, and a telephone recruiter for a NGO in Norway called "No to the EU". All in all, The last job payed well, but I've never had a job I enjoyed.

  35. Talli, I have an award for you over at my blog. Hope you haven't gotten it yet, if so, you can shoot me later. Just wait . . . until I've had some more coffee first.

  36. Congrats on your new followers! I'm jealous of you! ALways wanted to be a TV reporter, now not so much!

    I've been a TV extra, computer saleswoman, college receptionist, radio newsreader, web editor and tech support agent (funniest so far). I truly hope that being a writer will now top all these!

  37. You've had an interesting assortment of jobs, as have your readers.

    Poor you, having to work at McDonald's! I also had to get a job at that age. Mine was working as a "counter person" in a dry cleaner's. I recall the day a customer brought in a wet bedspread and wanted it cleaned!

    I've had many more jobs -- too many to list here! :)


Coffee and wine for all!