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Monday, April 12, 2010

Jane of All Trades

I have been told by a few people throughout my life that I can do anything. I'm not talking about a pep talk or self-help book. What I mean is this...I have had people literally say, "You are one of those people that can do anything." I would have to agree or at least I think I can do anything. Unfortunately, that is my problem. I get bored with everything. I love the challenge of learning something new and being good at it, but then it bores me.

Do I know a little about a lot of things? Yes. Do I know a lot about some things? Yes. Have I had a lot of experience in many areas? Yes. I realized this one day when someone asked how many jobs I had had. I really started to think about it. There are so many times when I hear myself saying, "When I worked as a ___,..."

I thought I would give you a run down of all the jobs I have ever held both part-time and full-time.

1) McDonald's - my first job as a 16-year-old. Worked a lot and came home smelling like rotten milk from cleaning the shake and ice cream machines out.

2) Japanese Bakery - in high school at the old Gem's store. They had great pastries and I could practice my Japanese with all the bakers. My friend and I also attempted to teach one of the young bakers how to be more American.

3)Record Dept - in another Gem's store. Kevin, my co-worker and I would crazy glue quarters to the ground and watch people try to pick them up. The maintenance guy would always ruin it by using a putty knife to pry them off.

4) Mortuary - owned by my cousins and a great place to study between services during college. Through this I got to know all the guys that worked for the transport company. That's right, they picked up and delivered the bodies everywhere. The best part is when they would see me walking to my house from the bus stop, they'd give me a ride. I always checked to see if there were any back seat passengers.

5) Coffee Shop - located inside a bowling alley and famous for its oxtail soup. There was one grumpy cook that never ever smiled unless the other little cook would ask me out and I would reply with "I would rather die."

6) Hotel - with my B.A. in hand I go to work as a waitress at a hotel. I make a ton of life long friends there, but also spend all my money going out with them.

7) Private Canoe Club - waitress at a private club on the beach with canoe paddlers and volleyball players = bonus; uniform which consisted of candy striper like large vertical pink and white striped shirt with tan long gaucho shorts = not good. The best part is Tom Selleck was a member and would come in when he was in town. By the way, he is very pleasant and friendly.

9) Hotel - waitress in a karaoke bar. Got to work with one of the Ink Spots (old time singing group) as he was the host of the karaoke lounge.

10) Paralegal - so I finally get a real job and work as a paralegal to see if I would like to go to law school. I may have decided to do that if it hadn't been a thrilling insurance defense firm. Oh, then I got laid off after a year.

11) Tuxedo Store - Assistant Manager in a Tuxedo Shop. Fun job, great gay co-worker who always made it fun. Miss you Mike. Got to work with a friend from high school until he got fired. Saw an old boyfriend who was getting married and then he called me that night - what a jerk. I doubt he is still married.

12) Bank - Went back to school to get my education degree so I worked as a part-time teller with some real geniuses. It's nice when you work somewhere for two months and you are asked to train the other tellers, some that have been working full-time for years, on new procedures.

13) Farrington High School - student taught at Kaiser High School and then worked at Farrington as an English teacher. Broke up a gang fight in my first class on my first day. Broke up another gang fight in the hall a few weeks later. Great place to work.

14) Cantigny - gave tours in the mansion of Mr. McCormick as in Chicago Tribune. Worked with some great retirees. This is when I retired from teaching or, rather, I moved here and couldn't find any open teaching positions.

15) Univ of IL Extension - worked as a shelter educator in a homeless/domestic violence/sexual assault shelter in Elgin. Interesting job and flexible.

16) West Chicago Police Dept - part-timers always worked alone on weekends and holidays which meant you did paperwork, watched prisoners in the booking room, and helped people walking in. Memorable moments: guy walking in stabbed and saying he needed help. It wasn't life threatening, well, at least I didn't think so. I just called for an ambulance and an officer.

17) Hotel- worked as a catering assitant with some interesting people. My favorite story is when one manager hooked up with another and told me she had a guy over and her cat pissed on his coat. We had a feeling we knew who the "he" was, so My Copper who also worked there at the time, walked up to the guy and said, "(sniff, sniff) Dude, you smell like cat pee?" His reply, "How do you know about that?" My Copper says, "I didn't, but I do now."

18) Domestic Violence Shelter - worked as the human resource/office manager for about 5 years and then was asked to open a thrift store. Great experience setting up a store, not so fun running a store every day. I was saved by pregnancy and quit.

19) Hardest job ever - stay at home mom for 4 years...need I say more. I was totally underqualified for this and probably should've been fired.

20) Administrative Asst at 911 dispatch center - flexible hours, close to home.


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