Thursday, April 29, 2010
Was slow at work slinging pizza yesterday so I did all the 'store chores' I usually do when it gets like that...cleaning, straightening up, prepping stuff we'll need later, etc.
But it stayed slow and there was nothing left to do but let my mind wander.
I got to thinking about other jobs I've had in the time I've worked. I actively tried to list them off and couldn't do it without writing them down and thinking as I went. Some I liked, a couple I loved, some were just jobs and some just sucked.
Then I thought, hey I can blog this, and turn my reflection while wasting time into a waste of time for others to share! And maybe y'all will tell what all jobs you've had and we can hold hands and skip down the time-wasting trail together! haha
1. Bagboy and stocker at a groery store. Remember when the store bagged AND took out the car the stuff people bought? It was a good first job and I did from the time I was 16 until I started college.
2. Computer lab assistant in college. One day I will tell my kids, yes, computers used to be too expensive and not many people had then. You actually had to go to a room full of them to use one for school and a bunch of people had no idea what they were doing and needed help.
3. Laser printer operator. It was the leviathan Xerox 9900 and the place printed/mailed out bills for big utilities, cable companies, phone companies, etc. That job sucked.
4. Cashier and stocker at a grocery store (in Alaska!) It was third-shift at one of only two stores in town. I already knew the work but the reason I liked it was, it was in a whole other world that I was just experiencing for the first time. Did it all summer, and came back to do it again the next summer.
5. Pizza delivery. I got to pretty much do my own thing and make a wad of cash every night I worked, which I used as college boy rent and having-fun money. Remember this one; you'll see it again.
6. Grocery stocker. One last time and it wasn't nearly as fun doing it at home.
7. Cannery worker. Alaska again. I worked in processing, which meant grueling hours with my hands in cold water, chopping the heads off various types of salmon and ripping membranes and bloodballs out from the inside of them. Heady stuff, huh? It did help that I liked some of the other "fish hippies" I worked with.
8. Dishwasher and prep cook at a hotel restaurant. I took it because it was a NOT a job at the cannery, but man, I grew to love it in a hurry. Learned a hell of a lot about food and how to cook it. I still use the knowledge regularly for my own pleasure, and when I'm lucky, I get to cook for other people at home.
9. Cook at a titty bar. I worked the off nights of the full-time cook. It was cool that I got paid to cook and split money the dancers made off the good old, "buy the girl dinner," scam. It was fun watching the nudity for like, 2 hours the first night I worked, but wound up being without a doubt the most boring job I ever had because it never, ever changed. Same girls, same customers, even the same songs.
10. Night janitor/maintenance gofer/snow shoveler at that same hotel. Not my favorite kind of jobs but at least the hotel gave me work during the Alaska winter. The snow shoveling sucked HARD because the town was on the ocean and got something like 200 inches of snow that season. Sometimes I had to do the doorways and sidewalks twice a night.
11. Pizza delivery. Back home again and one last run at finishing college.
12. Screen technician at a sticker factory. My best buddy worked there and got me hired. In spite of making a couple more friends there, the list of chemicals (most carcinogenic and/or volatile) I had to work with, along with the asshole boss from hell, got to me fast.
13. Landscape laborer. Another job a buddy got for me what was supposed to just be a job. To my surprise I loved learning about plants, staying busy working HARD, and making stuff grow. I use what I leaned there in my yard and garden to this day, and might still be working there had a supervisor not gotten me fired because he was paranoid I was going to rat him out for smoking pot at work.
14. Newspaper reporter. Knew I'd liked writing since high school and was good at it but just sort of wound up being a reporter. Loved everything about it. Soon I got hired away by a bigger paper.
15. Newspaper copy editor. It was formatting wire stories for print, laying out pages, writing headlines and editing the at-times atrocious local news copy handed in by reporters.
16. Newspaper editor. The paper expanded its coverage area and started up a brand new weekly paper to do it. They picked me to get it going and I was proud. I did the whole thing pretty much by myself: wrote the stories, did the pages, edited and editorialized, and shot most of the photos. But in time I grew weary of working like an editor and only getting paid like a reporter.
16. Pizza delivery, briefly.
17. Newspaper reporter. The paper and I had a meeting of the minds and they hired me back. I got my old beat back and this time, got to pretty much cover it as I liked. Many times I wrote about people in my town who I knew.
18. Hospital patient after The Wreck. Not really a job and a pretty shitty way to make money haha but hey I only was there 10 weeks.
19. Stay-at-home daddy. This job I'll always consider myself luckiest to have had and also the one I will always know I really made a difference doing. It wasn't daycare that got to see them learn to walk or talk, or took them places, fed them and cleaned them up...it was me! Only later did I learn that most men couldn't or wouldn't have done it; I never thought twice about it.
20. Pizza delivery. The money's better than ever and so is my attitude about working.
I would like to get back writing again someplace, although the newspaper business probably won't be it since you see more and more of their subscribers in the obits every day. In the meantime blogging is keeping my writing skills on life support haha.
And hell, I might find something else am good at and love doing. Life has been good to me that way.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
It had been awhile since my kids had been to the beach. Since I had them for spring break, it was the perfect time to do something about it! They had asked could we go camping again since i had them for a whole week, and I said sure...just didn't tell them where.
We loaded up the car with our stuff, including my tent, and off we went to Gulf Shores Alabama. It was a Monday and traffic was light so we made good time getting there. The kids kept wondering when we were going to get where we were going, and I told them it would be awhile but we did stop a few times along the way to eat and to just get out of the car.
Once there, I went to the Gulf Shores State Park without a reservation, and was pleased to find there was space available. I'd guess 90 percent of the campers there are the RV and trailer types, but I did see a few other tent campers. Camping there is a bargain, $25 a night and the sites have power and water, and I speedily pitched our tent and we then went to the state pavilion nearby to play in the ocean.
The next morning we went to my all-time favorite beach: Pine Beach in the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is 6700 acres on Fort Morgan Road of pristine wilderness--the beach the way the Spaniards found it, as I like to say. It was a 1.25 mile hike from the parking area to the beach getting there, and man, was it worth it.
Imagine 25-foot tall dunes...a beach hundreds of yards wide and miles long with no houses, no hotels, no nothing that nature did not put there. Oh and there were no people the four-plus hours we were there, I guess a Tuesday and the hike took care of that. We did see two wildlife biologists when we left, there to trap, check and study the endangered beach mouse, but they didn't count as people there to go the beach. The refuge is also home and nesting area to three specie of very endangered sea turtles and seldom-seen birds.
Those with children know the kind of fun an 8-year-old boy and 5-year old girl have on a beautiful day at the beach with no people around and nothing in their way, so I don't guess I need to write about that (grin)
By the afternoon they were tired and back to the tent we went, where they voluntarily napped (gasp!) Then it was out to eat seafood and play videos at a fun center (they are still not tall enough to ride the go-karts....awww)
It was time for our second night's sleep in the tent, which we did, soundly. Next morning back north toward home we went to make ready for a trip the North Carolina mountains...but that's another post...here's the beach photos!