I work hard for the money, so hard for it honey…

I was talking to a student today and we got talking about jobs. She seemed, for lack of a better word, embarrassed by some of the jobs she held. I get it, but at the same time I’m not ashamed of any of the jobs I’ve held. Have they all been great? No, but at the same time I truly believe they all taught me something. Also, I remember a comment my friend AJD made, “How many jobs have you had?” Well, here’s the list:

Caddy – Only job where I felt like a slave. Definitely helped to establish my dislike of people with money.

Cut Lawns around the Neighborhood.

McDonalds I – lots of good memories from this. Work with my best friend Bill. Dated two girls from the store, even got a prom date from the deal.

Wendy’s – Only job I’ve ever been fired from, but it’s a longish story.

Grocery Store – Wow. I worked there for two years. Stock boy; bagger. The first union I joined; A very cute girl from the bakery was 21 and bought me booze. Thinking back, was she hitting on me?

Toys R Us – at Christmas time. Yes, it was as bad as you are thinking. Having said that I don’t think I’ve laughed as hard at any other job before or since.

Janitor/Grounds Crew at Water Treatment Facility — during one of the hottest summer in history. I used to strip on the way home while driving. In hindsight, probably not the smartest move while speeding down Interstate 90. Also made me disillusioned with local politics. This was the best job the chairman of the Democratic Party in my home town could do?

Lawn Care – First job I did in college. A sweet old couple needed someone to cut the grass, plant flowers. First, and probably last time I will ever use bone meal. I still don’t like to think about it.

Friendly’s Restaurant – I literally did everything at this place; made sundaes, cooked, waited tables, opened, closed. To this day I can’t stand the scent of eggs. Hangovers and cooking short order may seem like a good idea, not so much.

Newspaper stuffer – ever wonder how they get the ads into the Sunday paper? Neither did I, but I know now. Also received one of the worst insults I’ve ever had at a job. Doesn’t make me sad in the slightest that this job has since been completely automated.

Internship with the Mayor of Athens, OH – At least I got course credit.

Internship with my local Congressman – yeah, it pretty much sucked. The biggest disappointment was that I drove the guy around the district one night for a bunch of meet and greets, took him home barely got a thank you, wasn’t reimbursed for gas (wasn’t paid in general), and was told I could come back to the local office, no chance of WDC. tool.

Cook at bar and grill – Jesus did I drink a lot at this job.

Waiting tables at a local restaurant – while waiting tables at Friendly’s. I was waiting tables for 50+ hours a week. How the hell I stayed sober while doing this is nothing short of a miracle.

McDonald’s II – At Michigan State. Only a couple of months but it was football season, so yeah, it sucked.

Cafeteria worker – started washing dishes, cooked short order, cooked main meals, became a supervisor. Learned more about cooking from this job than any other.

Night desk – great job to have while in grad school. People get weird at about 3-4 AM.

Barista – Coffee, coffee, coffee!! Co-current with the night desk. I became a creature of the night, strung out most days on caffeine and cigarettes and wrote my MA thesis.

Waited tables at Country Club – for the first 18 months the money was great, then they changed the pay structure and it kind of sucked. Also tended bar, which meant pouring glasses of vodka and gin and calling them martini’s. Made an extra $100 by staying late and waiting on the poker game.

Teaching – first job in Chicago; have pretty much been teaching a class or two ever since.

Retail at the WB store – my first and only foray into retail. The boredom is soul crushing.

Security guard at Wrigley Field – lots of fun and made me a White Sox fan.

Advertising gopher – nepotism at its finest

Inside Sales – not quite cold calling, but let’s call it tartar. Also one of the worst bosses I’ve ever had.

Project Coordinator – after the first year, I dreaded going to work every day for the next two.

Librarian – At first, it was great. Then I had the stupidest person on the planet as my boss. Kind of took the joy out of the whole deal.

TA – everything but the pay was great, especially working for ROB. The King was worth the price of admission.

Advisor – amazing I’ve been at this a year. Seems like longer, but in a good way.

Wow. I’ve done quite a few things and I don’t think I’m done yet.


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