Working Life

I was chatting today with a co-worker and mentioned something about being trained in sound engineering and production. He commented that I have had a whole lot of different jobs, and he thinks that makes me seem very interesting. Whoa. Someone called me interesting. Crazy!

Anyhow, that got me to thinking about all the jobs I have had, which got me to thinking about listing them. Naturally, the next step in my thought process was to list something I learned about each one as well. Where else can I place such a list but in my Livejournal?

The Many Jobs of JennyLee: Part the First

1992-1993: Full Time babysitter (Outside of Iroquois, Ontario) – a summer job, where I took care of two little girls from about 7:30am until 5:30pm Monday to Friday in their home. I was too young to drive, so they picked me up every day and then dropped me off. I learned that taking care of very intelligent children is quite different from taking care of not-so-intelligent children – these two were both smart. Unlike my step-cousins I also occasionally took care of…

1994: Berry Picker (On a berry farm south of Ottawa) – I worked this job for only a few weeks before I woke up late one morning at 5am, hopped into the car without giving myself more than five minutes to get dressed, and sped off down the gravel road. I spun out within a hundred metres of the house and put the car in the ditch, backwards. I learned that I should never, EVER drive without first waking up. That was the same job where I had my first experience falling asleep at the wheel on the drive home on highway 31, which terrified me. This is perhaps the origin of my extreme distaste for driving to and from work.

1994: Factory Worker, Kraft Cheese (Ingleside, Ontario) – My mom worked at the Kraft factory, and they occaisonally hired students in the summer as extra staff. I was only there for maybe a month. It was a lot like the chocolate factory episode of I Love Lucy, but without all the comedy and chaos and panic. Everything worked smoothly as long as everyone did their jobs. Unless the machines that sliced and packaged the cheese broke down, then we had to sit around and wait for it to be fixed. I learned that my mom’s job was incredibly physically demanding, and it was no wonder she was always so tired.

1994 – early 1995: Retail Sales associate, Tuxedo Junction / The Bay Children’s Wear (Fairview Park Mall, Kitchener) – I started at Tuxedo Junction in the Bay store, terrified of measuring a man’s inseam. Terrified, I tell you. The Tuxedo rental shop shut down after maybe two or three weeks, and I was hired on in the Children’s Wear department as Seasonal Christmas help. Again, I was terrified of customers. I had never been particularly outgoing, and this experience did nothing to help me in that. Part-way through January, they started avoiding my calls when I was trying to find out what shifts I had. Eventually, after two weeks of harassing them, a manager finally told me that they didn’t need me anymore. I learned that I really didn’t like trying to sell people things, and that even big corporations play passive agressive avoidance games.

I then struggled through school for the rest of the semester, and failed miserably at finding work in Kitchener that summer. I moved to London Ontario.

1995 – 1996: Self-employed with my then-boyfriend, selling, repairing and building computers for cheap at a local Farmer’s Market type place, the West End Farmer’s Market. We had a booth there and everything. I started to develop the ability to talk to people at this point. I learned, however, that working with your boyfriend is a horrible idea (especially when he likes to blame you for everything and anything that ever goes wrong.) At other times I covered booths for some of the other people in the market, including the bakery booth and the farmer’s produce booth. I enjoyed that a lot more than dealing with our computer booth – entirely because of the boyfriend.

1996: In an attempt to make some extra money that summer, I got a job at a “marketing company.” They sold golf packages door-to-door, with the promise that eventually if you were good enough you could own your own franchise of people selling packages door-to-door and it would be lovely. They had parties in the warehouse/office every night, and did chants and dances before heading out to sell packages every morning. I did the training and two days of selling before I ran away screaming. I learned that some people are crazy, and they like to sell things door-to-door for no pay but a percentage of the cost of what you’re selling – and I am not one of those people.

Tune in next time for the continuing saga of The Many Jobs of JennyLee! Six jobs in already, and it only spans four years!