J is for JOBS I HAVE HELD

Settle in ladies and gentlemen, this may take a while. In preparing for this post, I started listing the jobs I have had over the years and it got a little daunting, just looking at it. This is not to say that I am a flake or irresponsible – I don’t leave jobs because I get bored or I don’t want to do them anymore. In fact, I am overly responsible, which is not something that I’m really that happy about – there are definitely times when I’d love to be more care free. However, there is a Puritan gene floating through the family somewhere, which I got in spades when it comes to work outside of the home. Unfortunately, it never seems to apply itself to housework – I just can’t understand why?
Anyway, being one of six children and the oldest girl, I naturally babysat in my early years. And not only for my siblings but for neighborhood kids too. I started doing it in earnest when I was about 11. Then there was the paper route my sister and I had. We would deliver the papers after school and early on the weekends. It amazes me – we would go into people’s houses and have lemonade and cookies and we didn’t worry about anything. We did it on bikes – I can still follow the route in my mind. It was a different time – now-a-days, parents would be following the kids in their cars to make sure nothing happened, if the kids could even get a route – I think most papers are delivered by car now.
When I was 14, I was able to work as a chambermaid in a hotel at the beach. This is a crappy job, especially if you hate cleaning bathrooms, and if you find bar soap slimy and gross the way I do. Everyone could tell if one of my rooms had a good day in Atlantic City because my tips would be all in change. I did this summers from 14-18 minus the year I was 15 because we couldn’t stay at the beach all summer that year. One summer I worked as a chambermaid and scooped Ice Cream at the local singing IC parlor. When I turned 18, I spent my summers dispatching for the local police department. It was fun (I was the only girl there) and we only worked three weeks during the month. You did 7 days from Midnight to 8AM, the next 7 from 8AM to 4PM, and then next 7 from 4PM to Midnight. The fourth week you were off. The early morning shift was really difficult because I was sleeping while the sun was out and while everyone else was up and moving. But it didn’t really faze me cause I can sleep through anything. I got to wear a uniform and everything. Didn’t get a gun but that’s all for the best:)
After I graduated college, Dad told me I had to get a real job. So I took a day and made a whirlwind tour of New York City, interviewing anywhere they would have me. I got a jog at Columbia Artists Management Inc. (CAMI) which is right across the street from Radio City Music Hall. CAMI was the manager for classical musicians and artists. I was working as an assistant to the manager for Rudolph Nureyev, whom I got to meet. However, the woman I worked for really didn’t need an assistant and I wasn’t doing very much except smoking (yes, we could and did smoke in the office) and reading the paper every day so, when the human resources person went out on maternity leave, they had me fill in her position. But when she came back, there really wasn’t anything for me to do, and since I HATED traveling in and out of NY every day, I decided to look for work closer to home.
I temped a couple of places, filling in for people out on vacation, but knew I couldn’t do that indefinitely. I worked at Montclair State University for a while as a payroll clerk, but I worked with a woman who was a (excuse the language) colossal bitch. After she screamed at me in front of everyone on the floor because I didn’t put things away exactly the way she wanted me to, I told the woman above her that I couldn’t keep working with her. It was so humiliating (and I really don’t like being embarrassed or having people stare at me, even if they are commiserating with me). So from there, I wound up working as a receptionist in a Vet’s office. That lasted for several years, and during the last two I worked full time and went to school for my master’s degree in Education.
After graduating from Georgian Court College with a ME, I started teaching. Overall, I taught in 4 different schools, most of them Catholic Schools. I taught kindergarten for the most part, and really loved it. I got such a kick when the “light bulb went off ” and they finally figured out what I was going on about with this whole “reading” stuff. Even though I am not in the education field anymore, it still galls me when I hear anyone say that teachers have it easy, only having to work from 8:30 – 3, and getting summers off. All the teachers I know rarely get out of school before 6 and the amount of prep work that goes into a day’s teaching, especially younger kids, is unreal. And we all worked through the summer, because who can survive on a teacher’s salary? My last three years teaching were in a public school where the tension was so strong, I, who almost never get headaches of any kind, started getting migraines. They started off the third year by telling us that if we didn’t get out and get people to vote for the budget didn’t pass, half of us would lose our jobs. What a way to start the year! And it went down hill from there. It just wasn’t any fun anymore, and I was moving out of the area, so I left that school.
I had been working in a gift store on Long Beach Island during the summers and became good friends with the owners, so they let me work full time for a while. But it wasn’t enough to pay bills, eat, live…. When I moved to Central Jersey, I subbed at a couple of the schools here but it is all so political, and if you don’t know the right people (I don’t know any people), who wants to hire someone with over a dozen years of experience when you can get someone right out of school? After 2 years of temping and subbing, I started looking for a full time post outside of the schools.
I temped for a few months at Monmouth University which I loved. I tried so hard to get a job there but all their posts were for people who had years of office experience. Then one of my temp jobs, in a construction office of all things, had the chance to become full time. I started as a receptionist but have since moved up to Assistant Project Manager. I do a lot of tracking … the paper the 4 Project Managers I work with generate, their budgets, and their foremen’s hours, etc. . I really love this job, and I get an office with a door, which never closes, because I’ve been told by the guy next to me that “we don’t do that diva stuff back here!” So people are always dropping in, laughing at the pictures I have on my screen saver, chatting about baseball (how bad the Mets, my team, are and how good the Yankees, the evil empire, are), and just having a great time. Once again, I am the only girl on the project manager team – am I sensing a trend here? but it works for us. And they give me bonuses so I can actually go away on vacation at different times than every child in the northeast.
Also, I get to leave my job at work. Nothing to bring home (except my cool laptop on weekends). Which allows me to go home and discuss my online business, Hey Teach, that I co-own with my sister. If she needs it, because she gets to work for Hey Teach full time, I can help her pack up all the wonderful stuff on its way out to new homes. Or we can go over new orders we are placing or decide if we like a new vendor.
For now, life is good!
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One Response to “J is for JOBS I HAVE HELD”

  1. Beck Says:

    Hey, everything worked out nicely, didn’t it!I always thought being a kindergarten teacher would be a lot of fun…

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