Monkeying Around

Inspired by the 12 Monkeys Project, here are the jobs I’ve held, in essentially chronological order:
1. Babysitter: as Bill points out, typical girl job.
2. Retail sales clerk: low points – working at Le Chateau, where the store policy is you must make contact with the clientele at least once a minute, whether or not said clientele is “just looking.”

3. Encyclopaedia salesperson: I kid you not. I quit right after I sold a $2000 set to a single mother with three kids.
4. Cashier: one of my longest stints pre-career track. I worked for F. X. LaSalle, a great retail chain – I liked the job, and they liked me. The day I quit to return to school was the day they offered me a position at the head office as a buyer. I could have been a professional shopper!
5. Bartender: Did this one twice – the first place marked the first time I actually threw down my towel and walked out in disgust. The second place was a tax-dodge for the owner, so nice, quiet, fun place to work.
6. Waitress: Great gig, working for a small Greek restaurant that had line-ups for breakfast on Saturdays, “god-like potatoes” and an illiterate cook who figured out the orders based on how long they were.
7. Theatre: various positions, from lighting board operator to playwright. In this category, I include my one-and-only directing job, which resulted in the top draw at that year’s Fringe Fest. I also got to co-direct at the Centaur Theatre, and made many, many friends that I still love to hang with.
8. Press Officer: My first paying job that had anything to do with my personal ambitions. I worked a contract for Just For Laughs, which was amazing. High highs and low lows, but great experience. And it led to…
9. Director of Communications: for an arts centre. This was one of those that you look back on and wonder how you survived as long as you did. Were I there now, I’d have a lot more backbone, but at the time I considered it a good day if I didn’t end up in tears.
10. University teacher: my first real teaching gig – loved it, but decided at the time not to pursue teaching as a career given the lack of openings at the time.
11. Communications Officer: definitely my best job in this field – engineering company with super-cool management that let me do my job, and let me explore other areas. Loads of creative sparks, and I still get together with colleagues. Unfortunately the company was the victim of a badly-managed takeover, and imploded.
12. Contractor: no, not for renovating bathrooms – I did brief contracts in editing, researching and publicizing. Interesting, but sporadic.
13. Substitute teacher: fun at the beginning, but the novelty quickly wore off. I love teaching, I definitely HATE teaching elementary school. Shudder.
14. Editor (subtitles): this was fun, but also sporadic and not very lucrative. If you choose to watch the first two seasons of The Family Guy on DVD with English subtitles, you’re watching my work.
15. ESL instructor: I had two private students. One of them was an executive at a fancy-schmancy downtown hotel. Fun stuff, and great meals on the hotel’s tab.
16. High school teacher: well, it was an adult-ed school, but my kids were all about 17, and making a second run at their Sec. V. Loved it – and it helped convince me that CEGEP was the place for me.
17. CEGEP teacher: and that brings us to today, and to the question – if I’ve done this much, why don’t I have more money?

9 Replies to “Monkeying Around”

  1. Just trying the remember the year I volunteered every day and was completely immersed in things Fringe… but I think it was before then, 1992 or thereabouts. Thought we might have crossed paths, but alas. 😀

  2. The restaurant was called “Pine Pizza,” and I really don’t know if it’s still there. I do know that if it is, it’s under different management, and whether or not the potato recipe was part of the deal, God only knows.

  3. Thanks. I just checked and Pine Pizza is still there. I’ll go check it out when I’m in Mtl. in Feb.
    Just curious: what was it about teaching elementary school that makes you shudder? What do you like about teaching CEGEP?

  4. Elementary school scares me because I don’t work well with children, or more specifically, with uncooperative children. Granted, I am better at dealing with such situations now that I have two boys at home; but at Cegep, I’m dealing with young adults who have elected to take the course. If a student doesn’t like my course, s/he can drop it. If a student does not complete an assignment, it’s not up to me to pursue the student or talk to the parents. Students at this level are expected to take on more personal responsibility for success – and for failure. This means that I can focus on really teaching, without having to devote much time to socializing the students.
    Hope that clarifies things!

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