Friday 4 May 2012


Today I have had a pretty lazy day and I noticed on facebook how happy everyone seemed to be about TGIF. The whole Friday thing kind of loses its impact when every day is a Saturday. It did get me to thinking about the kind of jobs that I have done during my life.

I imagine the first time I was paid for doing a job was getting a candy bribe during potty training. It isn’t what you would call a career, but there is a certain satisfaction to a job well done. I don’t remember, but it would be a safe bet that chores around the house would be the next way I earned my keep. My brother and I never had to do much housework or even yard work, I think probably because my dad was cheap and it was much faster and easier for mom and dad to do the work themselves. This is something that I learned for myself when I had kids.

I never had a job while I was going to school. I did a very, very, very little babysitting, but it was not my best destiny. Well, I had one during the summer, but I managed to save enough in those two months so that I could make it for the rest of the year. The summer job was at a door manufacturing company that mom worked at and the jobs were either brutally boring or brutally hard. I did learn all of the words to the “My Mother the Car” theme song and I could flip a screwdriver end over end nine times and catch the handle. It was a shit job!

When I finished school, I worked for a few months at the OAS department updating file cards. There were quite literally millions of cards which needed to be manually changed from $128.13 to $128.97 and for this I was paid minimum wage. I would get to work before the sun came up, spend the day changing the cards and wouldn’t leave until after the sun set. That job sucked the great, green wiener!

The jobs that followed next were warehouse/shipper/receiver/driver jobs which were pretty much under paid but I had fun. I was young and didn’t really need much money, just enough to keep me in albums, concerts, munchies and the odd date. Sometimes the work was hard, but the people were genuine and everyone pulled their own weight. Those times were good ones.

I managed to get a job at the post office, which paid about double what I was getting, but I only intended to stay a few months until I could find something better. I never did find anything better, and spent the better part of thirty years walking the streets of various cities, dropping off letters and parcels to my customers. The post office was a good way to spend a life of working, we were a good fit.

Every now and then I will go back to the post office now that I am retired for a couple of weeks here and there for some little project that they need warm bodies for. The jobs are not so much different from the jobs that I worked at between school and the post office. Sometimes hard work, but generally pretty easy and the people are nice and pleasant. I also do chores around the house now, but I am not really very good at them even after all of these years. The one thing I do better now than when I was younger, is babysitting. Before it was a chore and the pay was crap. Well, the pay is non existent, but I do love the kids and they are a joy to watch.

Writing this I see the possibility of a few more blogs, but also there seems to be a pattern. You start life out doing jobs that pay little that you aren’t very good at, you then progress to jobs you like better and pay a little better. Eventually you stumble upon a job that you like and it pays well enough to live on. Thirty or so years later, you retire from that job and get a job you like less that pays less. Finally, you find yourself back to doing unpaid jobs that you aren’t very good at.

Who says that life isn’t a circle?

No comments:

Post a Comment