During a conversation with my Domestic CEO, I counted up how many real jobs I’ve had in my
short half century plus of life. It came up to 12, not counting different jobs within the same company. That would add 8 to the total. But let’s stick with the 12 companies.
At the tender age of a baker’s dozen years I got my first paying job. I worked as a gardener for a wealthy couple who were getting long in years. They needed a strong back and a weak mind to help with their award-winning iris garden. The fact that I was only allowed in the irises when one of them was present should have told me something. But, I mowed the lawn and carried compost all summer and was paid for it. How cool was that?
A few years later I spent two summers working at a theme park in the games area. As a lead for Poppa Balloon and Lilly’s Pad, I managed others for the first time (at 16 YOA!). To this day I can recite our call-in’s: “Three balls for twenty-five cents, fifteen for a dollar. All it takes is one ball in to win here at Lilly’s Pad.” Carnival games and those who run them are an interesting lot.
Next came a cookie factory that during WWII turned out millions of crackers for the military. While I was there we made cookies filled with flavored “fig jam”. To this day I cannot eat anything that resembles these cookies. I have stories that would curl your hair.
Somewhere during college on my way to a degree in Professional Biology, I started working on ambulances. In total I worked for four companies, from small farm communities in Iowa to metro Denver, Colorado. I even did a stint as a fire dispatch supervisor.
Then the big career change came and I went from emergency medicine to finance and banking. Now how that happened is a long story! It involves a girl who was in love with a fireman, her father the vice-president of a finance company, and fire dispatch supervisor who wanted to stay married by getting a daytime job. Short version is, who you know is more important than what you know!
So, a finance company, a credit union, and two banks later, I’ve actually come full circle as my current position is in business continuity and disaster recovery. Somewhere during my first banking job, in between writing mortgage loans, I cranked out 33,000 words on an unfinished novel. That was my first real writing. I wrote two editorial pieces that I wanted to send in to the Denver Post, but decided against it as they were pretty harsh. These first few writing attempts were the crack in the dam. The crack has been widening ever since.
Getting back to the original conversation, it dawned on me how varied some of my jobs have been. Every job required me to deal with people one on one. Much of it under stress and extreme conditions. It is the variety that provides grist for the writing mill. It has been an interesting ride so far.
How many jobs have you had? Were they in your field of study? Any unusual ones that have affected you in an unexpected way?