After I waxed nostalgic about my fishing lake job yesterday, I started thinking about all pre-“real job” careers we all have.
Between the ages of 13 and 18, I worked for a neighbor who owned an entertainment company. We dressed up as costumed characters from children’s shows and worked kids’ birthday parties, parades, carnivals, and company parties. It was terrible, but the hourly rate we got paid was awesome…. no matter that we only worked a few hours a month. In those 5 years I was: a Rugrat (ugh), “The Purple Dinosaur” (apparently “Barney” is copywrited. Man, I got punched a lot in that costume), the Easter Bunny, Winnie the Pooh, Minnie Mouse (as the only teenage girl working for this dude, I was the only one who fit in the costume. I got in trouble once at a carnival when I was about 16 or 17, because – while in costume – I was spending my time flirting with some firemen instead of taking pictures with snotty and screaming little kids), Baby Bop (Barney’s friend), and the yellow Power Ranger (one time, at a company picnic, I actually had to have a security escort because of the gangs of junior high age kids who wanted to see me “fight” and would therefore try to karate kick me. Apparently, power rangers fighting back against the kids is discouraged). That job was a nightmare. But no one else around us was hiring kids under 16.
After I decided I wanted more reliable work than being a Power Ranger, the only two options in my town for people under the age of 18 were fast food or housekeeping in the hotel next to the truck stop. My parents nixed the hotel idea, so I was stuck with Burger King. It was terrible.
For 4 summers, I worked for my dad setting up computer labs in a school and providing tech maintenance. The first summer, I worked nights after my shift in the Burger King was over. the next two summers, I worked during other jobs. The last summer, I worked full-time. All those summers I was the only girl working, and also the only one small enough to fit up in the ceiling to pull cable. The worst time was when I spent over an hour crouching and balancing on thin metal strips, with a bandana over my face to fend off insulation and dust. When I finally got down, I just laid on my back on the floor while my muscles spasmed out of control for over ten minutes.
The Embroidery Factory
At the same time I was working for my dad, I was also working at a small factory, bent over embroidery machines all day before I spent 5 hours at night on ladders and stretching into the ceiling. That was the year my lower back started hurting all the time….
The Forest Preserve
Also worked here at the same time as the IT job. It was lovely. 🙂
Track & Field Manager
German office helper
Health/Physical Ed office assistant
Babysitter (okay, this one wasn’t through the school, but I emailed all the profs I knew who had kids and begged them to hire me when I stopped being able to afford to do my laundry).
What’s the most random job you’ve ever had?