Thursday, January 01, 2009

2009 - The Year of More Frequent Fluff

OMG Update! How could I have forgotten the most formative employment experience of my so-called life? At the tender age of 12 I delivered the morning edition of the Freeps (back when they had more than 1 edition, but no Sunday paper). I was out of bed at 4:30am to make my rounds and did my collecting after dinner a fewe nights a week. We had to 'collect' because 'mail' hadn't yet been invented. All that for a princely $20 a week plus tips at Christmas. I don't wanna brag, but there was a time that my route was the largest in the city - Second Street, Third Street, and all the streets in between.

I never make New Year's resolutions because (and I'm being honest here) I haven't the willpower to do what's good for me. By lunchtime on January 1st I pretty much know that 'good' and 'enjoyable' are generally not on speaking terms. You can guess who wins.

But I did set a goal or two for 2009 (more like guidelines really) and one of them is to post a little bit more this year. I get lots of ideas, but typically I procrastinate too much to write them down. As luck would have it, my Innertube Friend David provided the inspiration for 2009's inaugural entry here at the Theater. Consider this a streak of 1.

The objective he set for me: list all the paying jobs I've ever had. He's even giving me the 'out' to keep it vague so as to protect my anonymity. While I appreciate the opportunity to bend the rules a bit, I think my secret identity is pretty much protected by the fact that there are less than a dozen regular patrons to the Theater.

And so, here is what I've been willing to do for a bit of filthy lucre:

Line-worker in a plastics factory for too many Summers. Interesting fact #1: I once assembled Weebles Treehouses. Interesting fact #2: it was the assembly process for these Treehouses that led to a terrible scar on the middle finger of my right hand.

Painted the outside of a local factory (it took the whole Summer). I learned never to use latex paint in the rain.

Worked the counter at a dry-cleaners. Dry-cleaning is not 'dry' by the way.

Did telephone sales for a company that organized country-and-western concerts for charities. Yes, I shilled Kitty Wells tickets on the backs of disabled kids. I am so going to Hell.

Assembled solar water-heating systems for swimming pools. They didn't really work and the company went out of business after I left. Coincidence? Oh, and I worked with biker dudes (nice guys!).

Was a house-painter for a company that specialized in church steeples and those grand old 3-story places on Waterloo Street. You know, the ones with the fancy gables about a hundred feet off the ground? I do not like heights very much.

Got paid $20 once to help change a ceiling fan in the upper reaches of the cathedral at St. Paul's. I do not like heights very much and I'm Catholic, but I liked that my friend gave me the $20 to take his place in this procedure.

Held a co-op IT job at Nova Corp. in Calgary. I was supposed to be learning computer programming, but they had me doing pseudo-clerical stuff. It was okay since they paid all my travel expenses and I ended up sharing an apartment with 3 cute girls.

Held a co-op IT job at (now-defunct) Burroughs Corp. in Toronto. This was the worst job I ever had. I commuted round-trip from downtown Hamilton to North York every day for 4 months. The conveyances required were GO bus, TTC subway, TTC bus, and my feet. It was awful.

Worked as freelance programmer - targeting small businesses who needed basic software on-the-cheap. I discovered that small businesses who buy software on-the-cheap only do so because they have no money. One such (now-defunct) local business paid me with a repossesed Commodore64 they took as payment from one of their deadbeat Customers. Irony does not pay the bills.

Worked as a programmer/analyst for (now-defunct) Robert Hunt Corp. in London. It was a family-owned business that I swear was the prototype for Dallas. While a generally lousy place to work, I did meet my precious Dee there - so it was all worthwhile.

Worked various IT positions - programming, database design, etc. - for good ol' Canada Trust in London, Ontario. After we were bought out and merged into TD Bank, the new proprieters kept me on the payroll. While it was a generally frightening transition, it seems to have worked out nicely after all.

As you might notice, almost every employer I ever had is no longer in business. I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

Oh, and Adam? Tag, you're next.


Adam Kantor said...

Crap. er, I mean, thanks for the opportunity to share my pathetic history of employment. I'll get to work on it... tomorrow.

Sonny Drysdale said...

Did your telephone spiel go anything like this?

"Oh, well if you won't be able to attend the Kitty Wells concert yourself, would you like to sponsor a handicapped child to go in your place? It would mean ever so much."

If so, then I'm sure that you too must have been the object of Bill Brady's wrath. To be dissed by 'Mr. London' on his radio show was the only thing that made that job worthwhile.

Crazylegs said...

Sonny - You nailed it. Sell a ticket to someone - it don't matter who. We worked the phones in makeshift setup in the Old City Hall building. Good Times.

If I knew that Billy B. didn't approve, why, I'd have let Kitty know myself!

So, were you the clean-cut go-getter at the end of my table? The guy who made sales every shift and regularly sucked up the nightly bonus? The guy we all thought was a 'plant' to make sure us hoipoloi never got a shot at the bonus? Yeah - thought that was you.

David said...

That is a great job list, especially the painting of the warehouse. What could be more fun in humid summer weather? Nothing say I.

Anonymous said...