Variety is the spice of life. It’s true as far as I know. Many who know me tend to consider me at best quirky, and at worst, well, I’ll leave that adjective to them.
But since I was 14 years old, I’ve never been “out of work”. I’ve experienced many different environments and a slew of employers. I’ve gained knowledge, competencies and empathy from a multitude of opportunities. I’ve worked “like a slave” (I hate to use that hyperbole, but it defines the most demanding work). Digging, hacking, pulling and slinging a sledge hammer at railroad ties through a hot, bug-infested Midwest swamp. As a summer migrant-worker in my teens I moved irrigation lines by hand in the early morning, picked green peppers by hand in the fields all day, and sorted potatoes or pickles in the evening until 10pm.
I’ve done the most redundant factory work, I’ve cooked and cleaned, driven everything from forklifts to semis, cultivated fields on a tractor, drove busloads of kids to and from school and field trips, and raced around the Midwest delivering newspapers, produce and exotic plants.
I’ve been the attendant at the gas station, deli and bowling alley, the paparazzi at concerts, and the wedding photographer. I’ve been the proverbial sales guy and middle-manager for telemarketing firms, electronics stores and home improvement shops. I’ve been the starving artist.
I’ve worked in law enforcement as a corrections officer, sergeant, emergency response team leader and prisoner transporter. I’ve been a teacher and mentor to resettled refugees.
I made a killing in the tech industry (which in the end I had to use up to get my life back), and I got killed when the economy collapsed. I’ve made as little as a few hundred dollars a year to six figures. I make nowhere near $100k now however, but I couldn’t be happier. Well, ya maybe I could, but isn’t that what this is all about? Be happy NOW, but always strive for more happiness. Not in terms of $$$ (at least for me), but in those life experiences which are enriching, memorable and “once-in-a-lifetime”. Because that’s all we get; one lifetime.
From somewhere hot,
…here’s the list….and it ain’t over yet…
Milwaukee Journal paperboy 1972-74
Ysquierdo Farms migrant worker 1973-75
Treasure Island grocery bagger 1974
St. Amelian Orphanage landscape maintenance 1974
Long John Silvers cook 1975
The Milwaukee Road Railroad section crew 1976
Red Rock Plastics factory pressman 1976
O’Conner’s Gas Station attendant 1976
Moreway grill short-order cook 1976
Bluemound Bowl Alley counter man 1976
Miller Brewing Co. endline/forklift 1977-78
Fruit Ranch grocer/truck driver 1978-1985
Green Giant Farms truck driver 1980
Bacon Farms tractor driver 1980
ARA Books and Magazines driver 1985
Travel agent freelance 1985
Comlen’s Shoe Repair leather worker 1985
School Bus driver 1985-86
Milwaukee Exotics truck driver 1986-87
Barefoot Grass Lawn Service applicator 1987
Home Glass & Paint store manager 1987-88
American TV & Appliance retail sales 1988
Milwaukee Journal district manager 1988-1992
Wedding Photography photo assistant 1989-90
Real Estate Photographer 1989
Milwaukee Sentinel delivery route driver 1990-92
Payco American student loan advisor 1993-94
USA Today route delivery driver 1993-94
Community Newspapers freelance reporter 1993-94
Milwaukee County CO/officer sergeant 1994-1996
Maricopa County detention officer 1997
American Pools resurface crew manager 1997
Frys Groceries deli attendant 1997
Infomercial Experts phone bank 1997
Insight Enterprises technology sales 1997-2006
The Preserve security patrol 1999-2000
Microage account manager 2006-2013
Lutheran Social Services teacher/mentor 2007-2009
Freelance Multimedia artist 2007-2013
Virtual Communications Spclsts 2013-present