The things we do for money, am I right? I was on Facebook this morning and posted a comment on a high school friends timeline about a job I had done, many years ago. It started me thinking about all the different jobs I’ve had over the years and I thought it might be fun to look back at that with you. So, I’ll start at the beginning. I was given a set of drums for a birthday present by my grandfather at age 13. After two solid years of practice, in which my parents no doubt thought about selling me on eBay, if there had been an eBay in the dark ages, I joined a rock band. That was the start of two of the greatest years of my young life. Music made me happy. And getting paid for it, doubly so. It also made other people happy, including girls, and of that I will say no more. If memory serves, we played for $200 to $400 a night, $50 to $100 of which was mine. Pretty good money for a teen. Needless to say, it didn’t last and I had to move on to other things.
At 18, I received a large sum of money as a settlement for a car accident I was in when I was 16. Even then, I was looking for a way to live without working so I quit my job as a gas station pump jockey and ran off to North Carolina to stay with friends. My friends knew this rock band that was looking for a drummer and encouraged me to try out. It was not my intention to stay in North Carolina however, because the heat and humidity made me wonder if Hell would be much hotter so I didn’t do it. It turns out that some time after my return to the land of snows, that band was picked up by B.J. Thomas, a famous singer responsible for songs like, Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, and Hooked On A Feeling, and they went on tour with him. I often wonder, what if…
Back in Minnesota, I took a job with an electronics and materials company regionally famous for making aerospace and electronic circuitry product. I worked as a process operator, electroplater, chemical process technician, etc. Once during that time, I was laid off due to lack of work and I took a position at a formal wear store in downtown St Paul, the capitol of Minnesota. My boss smoked pot in his office, while I learned how to hem tuxedo pants, sew buttons, fit clothing, press clothing, work as a sales technician, and once took part in a Bridal and Formal wear fashion show. That, to my surprise, was a lot of fun. The pay stunk however, and luckily I was called back to my electronics job. A few years later I moved to Massachusetts and took a job as a supervisor at an electronics firm. Again, a job that didn’t work out, so back to Minnesota I came, where I was welcomed back to my old job.
I’ve done a number of jobs to fill in points where good paying, long term employment was scarce, including, laying carpet, and washing dishes. At age 45, I was permanently laid off. School was never something I enjoyed, spending most of it wishing I was somewhere else, but at 45, I went to college to become a Medical Laboratory Technician. I enjoyed it, which maybe had something to do with maturity, I don’t know, maybe. While I was in school I worked for the world famous Cabela’s Outfitters, selling archery equipment, knives and Black Powder shooting gear. I loved it. If I could have made a living at that, I would have stayed. Alas, that was not to be, so I became a lab tech which involves sticking people in the arm with needles, sticking swabs down their throats and up their noses, and testing blood and bodily fluids. When you go to the Doctor, you tell them your symptoms, and the Doctor orders tests. The lab tech collects the samples, tests the samples, and tells the Doctor what’s wrong with you. The Doctor then tells you. Doctors don’t do the testing, I don’t care what your favorite medical TV shows says. Doctors don’t take xrays, they don’t do ekg’s, draw blood, test blood, do mammograms, or anything like that. Technicians do, and then tell the Doctor what they found. Then the Doctor tells you. Nuff said.
After retiring from the medical world, I worked at a retail store in town for a few months. Bleah! I have no interest in working anymore. Now I live off what I’ve done in the past and make a few bucks selling my books. I read, I write, I still play music from time to time, I walk, do yoga, and just enjoy life. Retiring at 61, required some planning and some bad luck ( I believe I’ve covered that bad luck in previous posts.) That’s it, my working history. Not as colorful as some, maybe more so than others, but it’s mine, and I fully claim it. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done and I’ve discovered that if there has been a purpose to any of it, it is to learn and grow, and even though I don’t earn money any longer I’m certainly not done learning and growing.