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13 Memorable Jobs


1. Apricot cutter.  My first job. I was ten and I lasted three whole days before I got sick. When I got well, Mama and Daddy said I didn't have to go back. So, I didn't.

2. Babysitter. Once, I couldn't find a kid when we played hide-and-seek because he shimmied up a tree. That seven-year-old taught me to look up.

3. Newspaper columnist. I was paid 10 cents an inch to write a weekly high school column for the hometown newspaper. Even got a byline. A friend and I started the Baling Wire in our sophomore year,  and I went solo from the last half of my junior year to high school graduation.

4. Tutor. I took both paid and volunteer positions, mostly the latter.


5. Hand Pollinator. Every summer, Mama hired teenagers to hand pollinate cabbage, zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins, corn, and other vegetables for her seed company. She finally hired me the year I graduated from high school. I actually liked the work.

6. Office Clerk.  I had several part-time jobs while going through college.

7. Transcriber. The first, maybe only, job from which I was fired. I kept editing out the uh's in the taped interviews that I was transcribing. They'd warn me not to do that. Pigheaded, I was.


8. Clerk-Typist. That was my first full-time job after graduating from college. It was slim pickings for a woman with a liberal arts bachelor's degree living in San Francisco in 1976. One of these days I'll write more about this job. For now, I'll just say I filed a complaint with either the State or Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which resulted in me getting a raise along with several months of retroactive pay.

9. Literacy/Job Search Skills Teacher.  Twice, I created a curriculum and materials for a basic literacy and job search skills summer program for at-risk teenagers, who were mostly immigrants from the Philippines.

10. Youth Counselor. I worked for a community-based nonprofit in San Francisco, helping at-risk teenagers and their parents negotiate the public school system. Most were immigrant families from the Philippines. I often felt like a fraud because I did not speak Tagalog nor did I have the experience of being a child and teenager in a large City. And, most of my clients were male!

11. Substitute Teacher.  Oh my gosh! Substitute teaching was all I could get when I finally earned my teaching credential. Teaching jobs were few back then.


12. Developmental Editor. This was my dream job. I created, developed, and edited student and teacher materials for a small special education publishing house. I got a teaching credential so I could eventually do curriculum development, which required that I do at least a few years teaching in the classroom. I got to bypass all this when the publisher hired me, first as an assistant editor. My career got established with this job.

13. Freelance Writer and Editor. After four years of intense apprenticeship learning the ins and outs of publishing, editing, and creating educational materials, I decided to go independent. Being recently married, working long hours, and commuting also factored into my decision. That was 34 years ago. I retired over a year ago, but does a writer ever retire?

Check out other bloggers' list of 13 things at Thursday 13.


Comments

  1. So interesting. Your list really tells a story. My most interesting job was as a night watchman. The one that defines me the most was a day care aide and then teacher.

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    1. It was #3, the columnist, that defined me. Definitely. I wrote several career books, which I wish I had when I was younger. I may have gone into agriculture or forensics.
      The Husband had a job as a night watchman, too. Maybe when I was younger and bolder, I would've liked to have given that job a try.

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  2. how fun! you've got me wondering what all jobs did I do??? I did several as a social worker itself but there are all the others. Babysitting is harder than one might think! and I was a nanny for a year too. I gotta go write down what I did. Apricot cutter... boy that's specific to CA. I'm hardheaded too. LeeAnna

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    1. It's a good thing I didn't know any better when I took each job I described. The office clerk jobs were easy-peasy. A few were work-study positions, working for department heads who had no clue what to do with me when I finished my work. It doesn't take much time to file. I was not ever good at being a slacker on the job. I leave slacking off to when I'm home. Yup.

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  3. Wow, I learned a lot about you! I don't think writers ever retire. Heck, I may have to ferret you out of retirement if I ever finish a book!

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  4. Interesting list! You've definitely worn many hats.

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    Replies
    1. Gee, thanks, Julie. I didn't think I had many jobs. There are a few I didn't mention.

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  5. Please . . . NEVER Retire! 💙

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  6. That's the job I would love, creating materials. You're going to have to write more about those jobs, although I'm probably the only one who's interested. I'm glad I didn't have to make the list, as I don't think I've had 13 jobs.

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    Replies
    1. I bet you have more than 13, including volunteer positions and jobs that only lasted a few weeks. One of my favorite jobs was a temporary position as a secretary for a Head Start program. Too bad the director and I didn't hit it off.

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  7. Your type of jobs is a lot more then I had

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    1. I was fortunate that my parents were patient with my quest to find a job that I wanted to stick with. I wonder if they gave up with the idea that I would ever get married. I wish my dad had met the two cool guys I ended up with. Not together, of course. lol

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  8. Hello,

    You have had many interesting jobs.. My first job at 16yrs old I worked in a hospital kitchen, After that I have had mostly clerical type work and computer operator. You are a great writer, I enjoy your blog post. Enjoy your day, have a happy weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Eileen. That's kind of you to say. :-)

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  9. You had many jobs and I can see how you slowly built up to where you wanted to be. Kudos to you for sticking up for your rights with that one job where you got a raise plus back pay. When I was 10, I picked fruit, helped with haying, collecting eggs but I never got paid for it. I was hanging out with my girlfriend who was a neighbour. My family had a sawmill business but I did all the housecleaning and yard work and it would take a day and a half to cut the lawn, more when it was really hot. I know I suffered from heat and sun stroke more than once. I did once tail end the saw and the men were impressed at how fast I was and strong given I was a girl and looked weak but that was tough. I helped my daddy when he went to scale the logs..I would mark them when he was done.. I had to take all the bark off the lumber because we were shipping it to Greece! Later my mom taught me the bookkeeping. In between that I worked for one day at Marineland having to clean all the bathrooms. After the woman told me of some of the horrors she experienced and that I had to pay for my own uniform I left. I did have a job, for 3 weeks as a waitress. They did not train me well and put me as the lone waitress on a Sunday. Every booth and counter space was taken up after church let out. That was my second day working. Needless to say, I actually got a lot of tips that i could not keep and had to share. They let me go and I was fine with that. From my work with the family business, I got the job I have now and have been working here since May 27, 1991

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing your stories, Birgit. I can imagine you helping your dad and your mom. Your lumberjill story I especially love. It reminded me of going with daddy when he worked as a farm irrigator. I love those memories.
      Since 1991, wowza! That's a wonderful testament to your employer and co-workers. Other than working for myself, I worked 4 or 5 years for an employer.

      Delete
  10. Wow, that is a lot of jobs.

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  11. That was a fun read..I hope you keep writing ... don’t retire (even if you only get paid with virtual cheers and smiles and the knowledge that you make your readers happy). I can come up with twelve jobs, but two of them and later three of them were promotions at the same places, so I don’t even know if those count. Definitely way less interesting than your resume, in any case.

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    1. Sallie, every job, including promotions, count in my book. I had more jobs than these, but the ones I didn't mention are along similar veins, farm work, education, community work, and publishing, Once upon a time, one of my fantasies was for one of my stories to be turned into a multi-million dollar movie. It could still happen. lol

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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)

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