Every once in a while, someone asks, “What did you do before you became a writer?”. I seldom participate in these conversations, because I’ve always been a writer.
Now, if you want to know the jobs I’ve worked other than as a writer, well, that’s a different kettle of fish.
So, for fun, here is the list of all the jobs (or at least one ones I remember) I’ve held since I’ve been old enough to have the Feds and the state pick my pocket…er…I mean earn a paycheck.
- Tour guide for Victorian homes
- Assembly line worker (lawn mowers)
- Assembly line worker (food processing plant)
- Administrative Assistant
- Maintenance worker
- Hotel Maid
- Check Processor (ran the machine that recorded bank transactions for the day)
- Check Processor (hand-checked daily credit transactions)
- USDA Compliance Agent (I went around to grocery stores who applied to accept food stamps and made sure they qualified. This actually was one of the most enjoyable jobs I’ve ever had.)
- Proposal Writer
- DSL Tech Support
- Cable Tech Support
- Computer Tech Support
- Small Business Startup Consultant (still do this now)
- Hat/Coat Check
- Telephone operator
- Vacuum cleaner Salesperson
- RL Polk Surveyer
- Telephone book delivery
- Jewelry designer
Those are the jobs I remember off the top of my head. I didn’t count the 3 hours I worked at Wendy’s. Didn’t seem fair. I also did not count the five years of being a Candy Striper or nine years as a chat host on AOL, though both of those volunteer positions took up WAY more time than any volunteer position should (but I loved every minute of both!).
What all this work experience has done is give me plenty of fodder for my writing. I also met some very interesting people along the way, some of whom I am still friends with now. I also learned that, even in jobs where you think you aren’t learning anything practical, you come away from the job with a new skill set. For example, I know how to remove the core from a head of lettuce without slicing it, can tell you what every number on the bottom of a check stands for and the materials in a stained glass window.
So, I’m a Jill-Of-All-Trades, Master of Some, but learner from them all.
So, what interesting jobs have you held, and what lessons did you learn?