Write about the weirdest job you’ve ever had:
Like other pre-teens, I started working as a babysitter when I was 13 or 14, making 50 cents an hour. It sucked, but I got a few dollars for spending money.
Then there was that summer when i was 14, when I babysat three kids, while their mother went on a business trip. The kids’ sages ranged from 8 to 11, but I was just a kid myself. What the hell was she thinking?
She promised me $250 and only paid me $150 because she said I did a crappy job of keeping the house up, and the kids told her I was smoking pot in the basement. (I was, but that’s another story).
What could I do? I took the money.
My first real job was at McDonald’s on First Avenue NE (Cedar Rapids). It closed years ago, when they opened a McDonald’s down on 15th Street, and is now a gay club.
I lied about my age so I could start working when I was 15. It never occurred to me to get a working permit. I’m just a rebel, I guess.
It wasn’t a bad first job. I was a cashier, and although I came home smelling like old grease and French fries, I made fairly decent money. I used the money to buy a stereo and my first car, a ’72 Mercury Marquis.
After I turned 16, they came up with a law that stated you had to prove your age. So, instead of having my lie uncovered, I got another job.
It would take too long to go through my entire work history, and who really wants to read that, anyway …
I’ve had some pretty interesting jobs, but none I would really consider weird. My first husband and I moved to Colorado briefly, a year after we were married. I thought I would get a job right away, but that didn’t happen. Maybe they saw I was from another state and didn’t want to take a chance on me. But after a few weeks of filling out applications, I finally landed a job selling dishes.
I hated it.
It took me two days to realize I was not cut out for sales. My pitch was my inevitable downfall:
“I know they are a little expensive, but they are durable, and we replace them if they break…”
And then I would demonstrate how strong the cup was by pounding it on the case. The first couple times were fine, but when I put a little strength behind it, (no doubt thinking of how much I hated the job), the cup fell apart.
That wasn’t so bad; they forgave me, and they didn’t make me pay for the cup.
One night, my boss’ girlfriend too me to “Grand Central Station,” a huge bar in Colorado Springs, to hand out cards to try to get leads for demonstrations.
Great idea! Drunk people wouldn’t remember some lame chick signing them up for free demonstrations. “This is what I need to kick-start my career in sales…” I thought.
But I was wrong.
I could deal with the polite ‘no thank-yous;’ I couldn’t deal with people’s haughty rejections. They made me feel like I was a beggar.
It probably doesn’t sound so weird to someone who sells things for a living, but I should have known I wasn’t a natural fit. I can’t sell anything to anyone unless I truly believe in the product. And i can’t make people buy things they can’t afford. No matter how good it is.