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.