Today is one of those days when you close the door on a chapter in your life and open up another. Usually, I close a door and the other one gets slammed in my face, but that’s just me. It’s my last day on my current job. Been behind this door for the longest of any jobs I have had, nine years, almost to the day.
The desk is cleaned off. The computer files cleaned up. The personal items packed away until they are needed again. We met last night for the farewell happy hour, and it was attended by those most important co-workers, the ones you will miss the most. I’m pretty sure, at this moment, I’m not going to miss the job though. I’ve had a lot of jobs over my working life, and I’ve quit most of them. I’m going to take that as a good thing.
My first job was as a stock clerk at a neighborhood grocery store. Weber’s Grocery. It was across the street from the house on Burkitt Street where I grew up. I was twelve at the time and it was the last day of school. I was on the losing end of a water balloon barrage and Bernie Weber was driving by the school at just the right moment.
“Help, Mr Weber, give me a ride.” He told me to jump in.
“Thanks,” I told him. The back of the Chevy station wagon was loaded with boxes of food and produce.
“You want to make some money?” he asked.
“Sure,” I said. What kid didn’t want to make a little extra money.
“Good, you can help me unload this for the ride home.”
I worked at the grocery store for 4 years. I didn’t quit. I was fired. Yes, I was fired from my first job. But it is a long story involving a setup, a divorce, and alcohol. All fodder for a future story.
I moved on to a fry cook at a drive-in restaurant, then washing dishes and pans in the college cafeteria, then a summer back at the drive-in as a manager. Next I got the Service Representative job at the Mountain Bell Business Office in Santa Fe. Next stop was the transfer to Laramie and then the promotion to Commercial Instructor in Cheyenne. I quit that job and went back to school where I worked full time, at first, the grave-yard shift at a convenience store, and then as a night desk clerk at a budget motel. The next job was a collector and then collection manager for a major bank collecting delinquent VISAs and MASTERCARDs. That was the second time I was fired. That is a long story, involving a setup, a divorce, and alcohol. More fodder.
From there I moved to Tucson and worked for a commercial collection agency, mostly collecting pager bills. Remember those, pagers? Then as an AR clerk and later Credit Manager for a major lock manufacturer. That job ended with a merger with a Canadian company and a layoff. I ran my own remodeling business for a year and a half, what I call my self-unemployed period, and then went back to work in a small town as a manager’s assistant and later a Deputy Clerk. I later became the Town Clerk and am a Certified Municipal Clerk. I quit that job, and moved to Reno, Nevada because my wife was transferred.
In Reno, I’ ve worked as a credit manager for a gaming manufacturer (they make electronic bingo machines), and for the last nine years as a leasing consultant for a telecom company.
That wasn’t intended as a resume really, but just a recap of the jobs I’ve held over four decades and a half. I didn’t take any of these jobs because I wanted them. Really, you say. No, it was always determined by economic circumstance. I needed the money, and when offered a job, I took it. Of course I applied for jobs that I wanted, but they always lacked an offer. I was never able to draw unemployment for more than a couple of months either.
I have a degree in Journalism and I used to joke that the only thing I got out of it was that I write damn good memos, and now emails. I’ve never worked in the journalism field, and would truly like to find something where I could use what writing skills I have. Making money at it would solve that economic issue as well.
Professor Lawrence asked us on the first day of Journalism 101 class why we wanted to write. I answered that it was something that was easy for me to do. I found writing easy. He said it was the best answer he’d ever heard. I’ve always remembered that.
So I’m looking for an open door out there. I’ll be out on the road driving U-Haul trucks for the next few days so I probably won’t get to post anything for the rest of the week. Don’t give up on me though. I’ll be back at the keyboard by Sunday just before church starts. At 11:00. The Church of the NFL.