Monday, December 17, 2007


One of my favorite authors, Charles Bukowski, wrote a novel titled Factotum. The main character Henry Chinaski, lives his life working one odd job to another. Most of the time, he'll stick around a job for a few weeks, collect his pay if he's lucky and quit or get fired.

Sometimes I get a good laugh thinking of the jobs I got paid to do over the years. Gosh, have I worked an odd job or two, and typically for longer than a few weeks.

My first taste of, cash in hand, came when I was a babysitter starting from about the age of 12. That path stuck with me for a number of years and when I moved to Colorado, it even grew into the profession I once called nanny. I never really cared about giving up Friday nights when I was a teenager, I looked forward to spending my hard earned cash at the mall on a Saturday night instead. Now, I wish I could find a good solid babysitter, to look after my girls, while I enjoyed some free time, or a Friday night out with my hubby.

My college years proved to be the most unique employment opportunities. My odd jobs paid my rent and in some cases even paid my schooling through work-study programs.

When J and I lived in Saranac Lake, years ago, I worked two jobs. One, at a gas station. I was fortunate enough to leave that job for a work study as a library assistant, back in the days of card catalogs.

After the big move out west, that's when I landed my full time nanny job. I took babysitting to the next level. The family I worked for is still a part of my life, so that's the wonderful side of being a nanny. But there are more random jobs I worked, sometimes in conjunction with my nanny job or when I was a full time student at University of Colorado at Boulder.

A second part time job while nannying, cashier at Ideal Market.

The job my husband is most proud of me having is my work study position at the Boulder Public Library. I was a rear-projectionist, which is a fancy term for a person who switches out the reels of film while they are playing, yes mid-movie. Not much fun, sitting in a dark closet for hours.

My two other work study jobs were more typical. Administrative Assistant in the School of Education and Cashier at the Theater and Dance Box office. Both of them had there perks, like opening the ticket office on Saturday mornings to buy tickets to concerts.

While working at the T&D box office, I had the opportunity to meet a woman Sophie, the manager of an Urban Outfitters that was opening in town. She liked me, hired me, and I had the fun experience of opening a store, from the sawdust on the floor to stacked and stocked shelves ready to go. I hate retail.

Then, there was the stint as a housecleaner, while going to school. I worked with a crazy Hungarian woman, who loved cleaning the bathrooms and paid cash, at the end of the day. Ten bucks an hour cash was as good as gold to me at that stage in my life, to top it off, I never cleaned a toilet.

I also worked as a prep-cook, cashier, waitress, dishwasher, and pretty much everything except main cook at a tiny little Burrito place called Alexanders.

Ultimately, my employment path lead to bigger and more professional ventures. I landed a few part time jobs in education leading up to my big first contract. I was even a substitute teacher for a semester, which can be an eternity in that world.

Then I called a school named Monterey home for a few years, until I was blessed with a pregnancy, which got me out of working for a real unorganized and clueless leader.

They say everything happens for a reason and it sure did in that case. Thank you SJ.

Lastly, a brief stint as a Body Shop @ Home consultant. If you have an at home business in a sales field, bless your heart. I just wasn't cut out for it.

Now, I stay at home with my children. I wouldn't trade it for the world..although a magical paycheck in the mail would be a beautiful thing. The jobs I failed to mention were purely coincidental or emotionally supressed, one or the other.

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