Friday 4 April 2014

A-Z Challenge: D is for Dollars

Authoring aside, I've had a pretty eclectic work history.

(For ease-of-scrolling, I'll put everything under a cut)

(I forgot a few! Before high school, I sometimes worked at a music store, helping do inventory. The music store was consumed by the adult store next to it. It's one of my favourite adult stores in town, but I still sometimes get weirded out by the dildos where I spent so much time as a thirteen-year-old! I also delivered flyers and it sucked. My sister and I split a route and got paid like .001 cents/flyer, .01 for a giant catalogue. And our route was huge! I went with my first girlfriend on her paper route, expecting it to be a grueling was so small and actually paid money!)

Normal-teenage-fast-food jobs aside, while in high school I worked at a furniture store. Still one of my favourite jobs ever. My mom thought I was kind of nuts for wanting to work in a furniture store, but once I'd gotten the idea in my head, that was what I wanted. I would usually finish all the cleaning and everything else I needed to do within an hour or so, and my boss was like, yeah, you can just read for the rest of your shift, as long as you pay attention to customers. There were almost never any customers, so I got a lot of reading done! I went to a secondhand bookstore and bought all the Stephen King they had--I discovered that King was the perfect blend of I-enjoy-reading-this and I-can-get-back-into-the-plot-after-interruptions. I was really close with most of my coworkers, and when I left after I graduated, I was given a $200 gift certificate (which I used to buy the dinette set that is more a horizontal storage surface than something used for eating) and the promise that, if I ever needed work, I could come back. Which I did, once. (The store I worked at no longer exists :( )

I spent the summer between graduation and getting a job learning everything I could about the Middle East. I was really sick of hearing the media's extremely slanted, biased reports, so I wanted to learn for myself. I listened to music, cooked food (learned that I hate saffron and that it clings to every dish it's used in forever), got an Iranian penpal, read novels and poetry and nonfiction and formed my own opinions.

My first job out of high school was welding. I took welding in grade twelve, mostly because I was in an advanced academic program and I wanted something...not. I ended up loving it. I had originally only signed up for the grade ten class, but I took every class I could. We went on a tour of an enormous farm machinery production factory that employed welders. It scared the crap out of me. It was so impersonal and, I don't know, efficient? I knew I could never work in a place like that. My mom had (she's still alive but we haven't spoken for more than three years. Trust me--if you knew her, you'd understand!) a weird habit of becoming friends with my ex's moms, and one of them told her about a place that did more decorative metalwork. I applied and was hired. I worked there for about nine months and got a lot of experience--some good, some bad. I was eventually let go, and I strongly suspect at least part of the reason was that I was too weird. I would read Dostoyevsky during lunch breaks, and talk about visiting Europe, and my coworkers would look at me as though I'd grown an extra head. 

After that, it was back to the furniture store for a brief stint, then exactly three months as an Apple technical support person, because after three months I got a signing bonus. 

I currently work at a bakery, where my wife is the kitchen manager. The hours are a little nuts (6 AM when I'm working with her, 4 AM when I'm not), but then I have the rest of the day to myself, and it's nice to work with her. 

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