Thursday, August 28, 2008

TT17 - Thirteen Jobs I Have Had

Thirteen Things Jobs I Have Had

In honor of the impending Labour Day Holiday...

1. working the mini-cafe at the Minitonas Curling Rink that my grandparents managed. I was 12, and got to pour coffee, do dishes and serve my Grandma's famous Lemon Merangue Pie. So good people used to buy whole pies - in farm country, where everyone knows how to bake Blue Ribbon pastry. Service with a smile.

2. Summer Job ages 15 & 16 - recreation staff for the Community Services office in Swan River. Worked with underprivileged kids, adults with mental and physcial disabilities. Made me consider a career in special ed. The second summer changed all that. Too sad.

3. Waiting tables at the local Pizza Hut - too young to serve alcohol, but it paid the rent. Nothing worse than working as a waitress in a small community. No respect - and no tips.

4. Museum attendant - Swan Valley Museum - gave tours, washed floors, labelled artifacts, and sold stuff in the gift shop. Amazed I still took history as a minor at University.

5. Call centre - outbound calls, selling magazine subscriptions. I have great compassion for people who do this for a living - it is very tough work.

6. Ice Cream factory worker - worked on the assembly line making Drumsticks. Required great eye-hand coordination, and meant standing in one spot for 8 hours a day. However, my brain was free to ponder, and I did some of my best writing during that year.

7. Waitress - Dutch Maid Ice-Cream - did the breakfast shift and ran my ass off, serving bacon and eggs for $2.99, plus coffee. Met the most interesting people - some with very sad lives, some with real life challenges, and others whose lives could have been a major motion picture. Looking back - had a customer prophecy that I would have Ovarian Cancer. Thanks, Tony B - I hope you have been reunited with your beloved wife Helen, and all is well on the other side.

8. Cashier - Kelly's Stereo Mart - started on my 21st Birthday. Got to be around music, talk about music, listen to music, and go to free concerts.These were the days when there was a dozen or so music stores downtown. Anyone remember Opus 69 - Record Baron - Music City - Mothers - Pepper Records - Music Explosion - Records on Wheels - Impulse - Wherehouse - Autumn Stone - Sams - A&A - and others who have faded into the dim recesses of memory.

9. the 1980's - a Decade in Music - Ass't Manager/Manager - Pepper Records - crossed the street, and went down Portage Ave a couple blocks. What a long strange trip that was. A&A Records Madison Square - one of the first "big box" type music stores - a great concept that was doomed to fail nationwide. Did lots of instores with various musicians (Billy Bragg was the best - Mojo Nixon was too cool).

10. the 1990's - A Decade in Music Redux - HMV Eaton Place - the little store that could. Musiplexx - learned all about computers and the Internet and got to stretch my skills in inventory control and product buying. Finally, had to get out of the music biz for a bit. Tuesday to Saturday 2 - 11 pm is no kind of life.

11. Eatons Downtown - sold cosmetics at the Clinique Counter, and then became the Manager of the Shiseido Counter - and made more money than I ever had up to that point selling jars of $200 face cream (I swear it contains whale oil) to wrinkly women. Then friends started leaving copies of an ad at my counter - clippings in my mailbox at home - posted in the mail - and by email for ...

12. Chapters Indigo Bookstores - started as the Hear Music Manager, then ran the Arts section - then did Marketing - ending up as the Regional Manager for Outside Sales and Marketing. Met some cool authors (Guy Gavriel Kay, Terry Brooks, Robert Bateman among many), met a few head cases (Liona Boyd, David Suzuki among many), and got to introduce Preston Manning at an event (I can hear my Social Credit /CCF grandfather whirling like a dervish in his grave). Then they moved my job to Edmonton. I didn't go with it.

13. I became an Earthling. Great job - challenges me every day. Great boss - challenges me every day. Great team - work hard, play hard. I hope to stay there until I retire, or Dan starts another venture and needs a Trusty Sidekick.

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