Monday, September 19, 2011

Odd Jobs

Help Wanted...
Help Wanted... by Thewmatt, on Flickr

There are some people who happen upon their dream job on their first try and stick with it for 25 or 30 years. I am not one of those people. While I've never actually held down a full-time, 40-hour-a-week job in my life, I've worked since I was 14. I've had jobs ranging from absurd (hawking deep-fried fish at the county fair) to amazing (costume designer for a short film about human trafficking). I've had good bosses (Bob Evans) and bad bosses (Mitchell's). Some jobs have utilized my skill set (grant writing), others have made me painfully aware of my short comings (waiting tables). I've always dreamed of making a living as a writer, but here's a rundown of the fabulous jobs I've held in the meantime.

  • Babysitter
  • Harvesting grapes at a vineyard
  • Bus-girl at Bob Evans, a popular family restaurant east of the Mississippi
  • Cashier at Marc's, a Cleveland-area store that's a cross between Big Lots and a supermarket
  • Food vender at the Lorain County Fair
  • Camp Counselor at Youth With A Mission Los Angeles, prepping teens to build houses in Tijuana, Mexico
  • Page at the local public library
  • Selling merchandise for bands at underground concerts
  • Featured columnist for the Avon Lake Press, my hometown newspaper
  • Serving ice cream at Mitchell's, a Cleveland-area gourmet ice cream shop
  • Waiting tables at The Mustard Seed, a natural foods market/cafe
  • Usher/box office/concessions at a movie theatre
  • Wedding/portrait/concert photographer
  • Photography intern at the Palisadian Post, a Los Angeles area weekly newspaper
  • Temp assistant for a literary agent while her full time assistant was on jury duty
  • Assistant for a garden antiques dealer
  • Submissions agent for a celebrity photography agency
  • Costume designer/set dresser/screen writer for Traffik, a short film about human trafficking
  • Office manager/grant writer for Sound Art, a non-profit that provides music programs in inner-city neighborhoods

So what random jobs have you held? What are you doing until you make it?


  1. Great list! Once in college I was a human collator. I literally walked around a table with 4 other college students putting packets together for 8 hours. Most. Boring. Job. Ever.
    Hmm...right now I'm a teacher. Was a journalist. It's been a few decades since my gap job days and I do not miss them!

  2. WOW! That does sound boring! I've been at my "day job" at Sound Art for over 6 years now. Prior to that, the longest I'd ever held a single job was 11 months. I get restless pretty quick! But I love what I do now. I think that even if I became a best-selling author, I'd want to work with Sound Art still. I just love what we do.