Job Hunting

I’ve been unemployed for 15+ months and the thought of going back to work makes me ill.  I like staying up late and sleeping in, having time to nuture a garden and ride my bike, reading books all day long if I have something I can’t put down, and preparing nutritious meals instead of bringing home takeout.

I had a spurt over the summer where I was completing applications right and left.  I had forgotten how much time applying for jobs takes.  For all that, I had one job interview for a position I would have rejected had it been offered to me.

All this job hunting got me thinking about the jobs I’ve had in my life.  I would have a hard time getting a security clearance because I think I’ve had jobs I can no longer remember, it’s that bad.  So here’s my list, in order, as I recall them:

  1. Summer job working in a canning factory.  I spent 8 hours a day bending over a garbage dumpster picking out disfigured beets.  It was many, many years before I could eat beets again!  And the aprons, rubber gloves, and hairnets didn’t do much for my emerging self image.
  2. Dental Assistant.  As a high school senior I worked after school for the local dentist and often had to hold down screaming kids who hated sitting in the dentist’s chair. Did you know dentists have one of the highest suicide rates as a profession?  I was about 19 and the dentist I worked for was about 41 or so.  He once tried to corner me between the chair and spittoon thingy and when I pushed him away he said he was just trying to teach me how to repel sexual predators.  Ha!
  3. Clerk in Sears Catalog Store.  This was a crazy job during the Christmas holidays when people would be lined up several thick to pick up their catalog orders.  This job taught me people will try to return worn out clothes, etc. and demand their money back.
  4. Secretary at an insurance excess underwriters company.  I honed my typing skills on this job because I had to type Lloyds of London policies without ANY errors.  If I made a mistake, I had to start over from the beginning. They also fired me because I filed an EEOC complaint against them after they promoted me to an underwriter but continued paying me a secretary’s salary.
  5. Real Estate Sales Agent.  I was in my early 20s and nobody trusted me to sell their house for them.  I even had some gray highlights put in my hair in an effort to make myself appear more mature.  LOL!
  6. Amortization Specialist at GMIC.  Remember when you had to buy mortgage insurance if your down payment was less than 20%?  How quaint!  I calculated mortgages by hand when they defaulted on them and this was pre-computer days.  This skill came in handy a few years ago when Countrywide Mortgage tried cheating me out of an additional payment I made on our mortgage.
  7. Legal Secretary.  I’ve worked for a couple of law firms, one in Milwaukee, one in San Francisco.  Hated them both.  I didn’t stay long at the first one, but the San Francisco firm was a bond firm.  Many days I worked until 1am, 2am or later, only to be back at the office the next morning at 8.  Some of the lawyers worked these hours, too, and they were all grumpy and short-tempered.  Thank god I was young!
  8. Apartment Manager.  I managed a 300-unit apartment complex in Denver for 3 years and this has been my favorite job.  I’m not completely sure why except that I had a great deal of authority for a 28-year old.  We caught an arsonist who was setting fires in hallways and I had a tenant arrested for pulling me out of my desk chair by the sweater because I wouldn’t open her apartment.  She had a roommate and routinely left the apartment without her keys.  After about 3 straight weeks of this, I finally told her no.  The off-duty police officer I employed for security had her cuffed and on her knees until a black & white came to haul her off to the police station.  I think I evicted her the next month for non-payment of rent.
  9. Recruiter/Trainer for a Motel 6 Regional Office.  I traveled quite a bit for this job interviewing manager couples in my Motel 6 room.  All day long I sat on the bed while the couple being interviewed sat in the only two chairs in the room.  Once I got a group hired, I spent 2 weeks training them in the fine art of managing a Motel 6.  I despised how Motel 6 treated its managers and left after about a year to attend graduate school.
  10. Database Manager for a diesel engine manufacturer.  This was a predominately male office and I picked up the fine art of swearing here.  Don’t ask.
  11. Title Insurance Assistant.  I typed title insurance policies and later did some examination of titles.  Proofreading those metes and bounds legal descriptions gave me headaches.
  12. Child Support Enforcement Technician.  OMG, this job was horrible.  For 3 years I was forced to listen to custodial parents (mostly women) bitch about their good-for-nothing ex’s who refused to pay child support and never sent birthday cards.  Most of these children were born out of wedlock.  When not listening to the mothers, I was being called all kinds of lovely names by the non-custodial parents (mostly male) who were very, very unhappy about our putting liens on their pick up trucks or fishing boats.
  13. Library Director.  I managed the poorest county’s library system in the State of Missouri. 
  14. Youth Services Supervisor at the local public library.  This was my last job and should have been my dream job.  I had a 3-mile commute, was paid fairly well, provided with good benefits, etc.  But I worked for a complete jerk.  And who enjoys having the local fundamentalists trying to ban the ever popular Harry Potter books?  Or the families of 7 or 8 kids who were allowed to run throughout the library destroying everything in their wake?  Or the kids who hacked into the computer system so they could view porn?

Those are the jobs I remember, the ones I held for at least a couple of months.  In addition to these I’ve worked as a waitress between jobs, but I can no longer remember the names of the restaurants.  And I think there were a couple more clerical jobs here and there, and the time I worked for the local Holiday Inn as a maid and quit after the first day.

I wonder what’s next?


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