Friday, June 27, 2008

Work, work, work

One of the bad things about my present job is that there's just so much I can't really talk about. So it occurred to me that I don't think I've ever done one of those posts listing all the jobs I've had. I'm not real good with specific times and dates and all that, but here's a rough rundown:
  • I started mowing lawns (our own and for a couple of neighbors) when I was fairly young - sometime in grade school.
  • It was probably around middle school age that my dad started offering my services to local farmers for walking beans (when beans used to be planted in rows and you would eliminate the weeds by hand), bailing hay, and castrating pigs. I did this off and on into high school.
  • It must have been between 8th grade and high school that I worked for the Youth Conservation Corp along the Hennipen Canal Parkway - building picnic tables, clearing trails, painting, etc.
  • I think it was the summer between my freshman and sophomore year that I worked at the high school for the janitors. I was the principals kid, so they didn't like me to begin with, but they REALLY didn't like me after I screwed a few things up. They would have been better off doing things themselves than having to redo things I tried to do. I also got mono this summer so I missed several weeks with that.
  • During my sophomore year - once I got my drivers license - I started pumping ethyl at a little gas station along Interstate 80. I did this part-time during the school year and full-time in summers basically for the next 10 years, although I had other jobs along with this one from time to time. The guy that owned this station also owned several others, so at different times I worked in the other ones too. This one was more a self-serve gas station and convenience store - though we did sell diesel fuel, which was full service for semi's - but the other stations were all full-service garages where we changed tires and did oil changes and stuff. I preferred the interstate. I met a lot of innaresting people there.
  • Jobs I had while also working at the gas station were:
  • For awhile I also worked as a cashier at the gas station/restaurant (the Hen House) across the street from the other gas station.
  • Every now and then I would fill in at the antique store next door to the gas station. The only thing I remember is their pricing code was WHITE CLOUD.
  • For several years during this time period I cleaned the sewing factory my mom managed. I did it once a week, and it was a real pain. They made women's undergarments, and the lace would stick to the once-painted cement floor like velcro and made it hard to sweep. And it was all women that worked there and they made a mess of the bathroom. The only nice thing was I would go in there at night and just CRANK the stereo for the 2 or 3 hours it took me.
  • For awhile I worked for an independent video producer. He did some tv commercials, but mostly company training and sales videos. I was the gopher/grip/grunt.
  • I also worked for a company that covered old kitchen cabinets and made them look like new. I never worked at their factory, but would help a guy set up displays at shows or go pick up new equipment and occasionally deliver cabinets.
  • I think I probably did a few other things too, but can't remember now.

  • I finally landed my first real job at the only factory in our small town other than my mom's garment factory when I was about 28. This was the chimney factory, where I worked for about six years. I did various jobs as a laborer, general sheet-metal worker, and welder. I worked in the double-wall commercial chimney section. The most interesting thing I remember was the order we made for Billy Joel's house when he was married to Christy Brinkley and it had 26 fireplaces. I guess that qualified it as a commercial job. I still remember getting my first paycheck here too. I couldn't believe it because I had more taken out in taxes than I used to even make in one weeks pay. I thought I was rich. I worked here until I decided to move to Ohio and attend seminary full-time.
  • While attending seminary I worked a little for an office furniture store making deliveries. I also did a few odd jobs for some widows who were 'friends of the seminary,' and I helped Jane clean a house or two on a rare occasion.
  • For the last nine years I have been here on the outskirts of Fort Wayne as the pastor of this church.