Some Jobs I’ve Had

I’ve had a lot of jobs. I’m not very old yet but already I feel like I’ve had way too many. They warned us of that when I was a little boy in grade school. The teacher said, “Most of you will change careers at least twice.” That scared the shit out of me when I was nine years old. Change careers? You mean I won’t get to work at a factory, manning the same drill press for forty years! WTF!

Many jobs … I’m sure you’ve had a lot too. Most of the jobs I’ve had sucked, but occasionally there was a real gem in there. Below is a list of some of them, in no particular order,  followed by a brief description of what went wrong.

1)  Mowed yards–in hopes of being seduced by older, lonely housewives. Accidentally ran over a king snake, lawn sprinklers … nearly, some hidden baby bunnies. Got attacked by a German Shepherd who stole my weed whacker, ran away with it. Quit when I made enough money to buy a Gibson SG guitar.

2)  Farm Market. Drove the forklift. Used to get it stuck every day in soft sugar sand. Cleaned up rotten watermelons that stunk like putrid dead bodies. One time an entire tractor trailer of Yucca trees arrived from Mexico. My boss said to be careful because the trees were full of brown Recluse spiders. So that was the end of that.

3) Built waterfalls into swimming pools. Dropped an entire wheelbarrow of stones into the pool. Had to swim down a million times and pick up all the stones. Worked for myself for a little while doing that also, bid into the job that I needed 2 kegs of beer in addition to $$$. Following day dumped an entire wheelbarrow of cement into the swimming pool.

4) Temporarily employed by a nuclear plant. Had to dress up in a full rubber decon suit. Hood, gloves, rubber booties–go into a radioactive area to tighten up some screws with a phillips head screwdriver. Two minutes worth of work, weeks of paperwork. Somehow passed their psych test. This surprises all my friends.

5) Telemarketer. Sold a septic tank cleaning product over the telephone. I’d call people up and pitch a miracle powder containing special living biological enzymes to be dumped down the toilet to melt away all the excess sludge waste in your sewage tank. Most people said they weren’t interested because, “we’re eating dinner right now.”

6) Delivered discount office furniture out of a strip mall. All formica junk. One morning we loaded the box truck to the gills, set off for the first delivery. We were excited because the people at the first house gave us a big tip. We never got tips. We zoomed out of the driveway, off to the second house. When we got there–found the back of the truck was open and all of the office furniture had crash out onto the side of the highway.

7) Painted houses. Well, one house. Turns out that it was completely the wrong color. Communication is very important. My advice to you is: communicate very clearly, you’ll go very far. Also, take some notes.

8) Scraped the barnacles off of a very large boat on the hottest day of my life. I think I died. I think I’m a ghost now.

9) On the second hottest day of my life, I had a job spreading 20 tons of sharp red rocks in someone’s front yard. The homeowner loved us. He made us sandwiches and asked me if I was Portuguese. Then he said, “TOMORROW I’M GONNA HAVE MY WIFE BAKE YOU A CHOCOLATE CAKE!” It was 103 degrees. 99% humidity. My boss had a heat stroke–we left early. Following day it was hotter. We stayed home. The day after that we showed up and the homeowner was livid. “WHERE WERE YOU! MY WIFE BAKED YOU A CHOCOLATE CAKE AND WE BOUGHT FRESH MILK!”

10) Worked in NYU very briefly. I was installing ductwork from the boiler up into the college. School was still in session. Everyone was attractive, super hot. Even the lunch ladies. Found out that college girls really like construction workers. I lost that job because I like college girls too.

There will be more jobs. They will disappear as they come to me and there will be a need to hunt down new ones. We’ll all deal with this. Reluctantly. We’ll leaf through newspapers, search online, we’ll ask people passing in the street, “Do you know where I can find some work?”

It’s the way these things go. There’s an old saying that goes like this “The best day in a worker’s life is the day that he gets the job and the day that the job ends.”

I believe that.

What’s the best job you’ve ever had? The worst? You ever get fired? No? … I wonder about you … I really do.


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