I am working now, but only part-time. Teaching at the community college. Which I like, don’t get me wrong. But it doesn’t pay much.
Since there is no such thing as part-time child care around here, and my pay is barely enough to cover the expense of child care, my work is, as Paul says, not much more than a hobby. Mean time, I’m still looking for a job.
Thing is, although I have a Master’s degree, I am not much more than a new grad, and there are few professional jobs in this area.
Lately, though, this job search thing has spurred me to consider all of the jobs I’ve held. Maybe you’ll find my varied career interesting. Maybe you can see a direction in all of this or at least a way I can spin this into something I can do in this small town.
- McDonald’s drive-through. I was 15 and my Mom had to drive me to work at for the morning shift every weekend. My first paycheck was $70 and I was thrilled to have it.
- Desk clerk at the airport Holiday Inn. I held this job summers and holidays through the first three years of college, and then for a year after I dropped out. This hotel had a happening bar/nightclub at the time, and my social life centered around it. I dated two consecutive DJ’s, a married man (unknowingly), a bar manager, and a law student, all of whom I met at this club.
- Sales clerk at a Fine Art Craft gallery. I saw Paul there one day with his girlfriend and flirted as best I could, wishing we were not both otherwise involved.
- Medical assistant, salesperson, and eyeglass fitter for an optometrist. There I met a “functional alcoholic” eleven years my senior and dated him for two years.
- Publisher of a Newcomer magazine. This sounds glamorous and right up my alley, but my employer and I quickly parted ways on this one when we simultaneously realized that “Publisher” actually means “ad salesperson” and that I am a lousy salesperson, especially when it comes to cold calling.
- Sales clerk at a department store china department. An older coworker took me under her wing and encouraged me to leave town, dump my loser boyfriend (the aforementioned alcoholic), and try to go back to school. Which I did. The first two immediately, and eventually the latter.
- Service desk clerk at a gourmet and specialty grocery. I ate quite well at that job. Oh, and hooked up with Paul by then. He would visit me there in the early stages of our relationship, and I would buy the ingredients for romantic picnics that I took to him at his work on my days off.
- Assistant manager/barrista/gift basket designer at a (much smaller) gourmet shop. I liked working in the small shop and the creative element of designing baskets. The owner, who was also a floral designer, sometimes let me come and do flower arrangements, too. But the shop was small and there were few customers per day and it was clear it wouldn’t last.
- Assistant manager at a Barnes & Noble. Again, you’d think this would be my dream job, my kind of thing, and I did truly love being around all those books (and frappuccinos, yum). But they worked my ass off with 60-70 hour weeks and killer retail hours (nights, weekends, holidays). I lost weight, caught pneumonia, and barely saw my family while working there.
- Human Resources Assistant at a publishing company. This was a good company, an office job, and there were clear opportunities for advancement. Perhaps I could have even been able to move to the editorial side of things someday. But the company was purchased by a larger publisher, who wasted no time in closing us down and laying us off.
- After this I decided to, finally, go back to school and finish that undergraduate degree. So I took a job as a departmental secretary at a private women’s college. I eventually obtained my bachelor’s degree from that same college, and applied to graduate school where I held three different jobs in the form of internships.
- Internship # 1: Support worker for families of children age birth-three who were hospitalized and at risk for developmental delays. This kept me in the hospitals much of the time, working mostly with teen moms of premature infants. It was sad, but important, and I learned a lot about myself
- Internship # 2: Counseling intern in a group home for people with brain injury and concurrent problems (aggression, drug addiction, mental illness, etc). I learned how to deal with someone yelling in my face, how to break up a fight, how to restrain someone without harming either of us.
- Internship #3: Neuropsychology intern. I loved this job. I worked in a hospital and in the outpatient clinic, doing testing with people who had brain injuries or other suspected neurological problems. I learned how to give intelligence and other tests, how to write a professional report. It was interesting and fun and I was treated like a professional. I loved my boss, too. He was laid-back and easy going, but one of the smartest people I have ever met.
- First job after graduating: Organ donation counselor. In this job, I carried a pager and went out to hospitals at all hours, to talk to families who had just lost a loved one about organ donation. It was intense and important.
- Bereavement program coordinator. This was a different position at the same organ donation organization. After Owen was born and Paul became ill, the on-call hours were simply too much for me to handle, so I moved into this office position. It was sad.
- Stay-at-home mom for six months. This was probably one of the hardest jobs of all.
- And now…Part-time community college instructor.
Would you hire someone with so many jobs in her background? For what?