Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Easy Money

My current job is working in a cubicle at a major corporation. It is so easy. I always knew that all of my friends in office jobs had it easy while I was busting my ass for the man in a string of blue collar jobs. I should have pursued a career much earlier (yes, I should have, I'm old and starting fresh, SCARY!) but I was just going from job to job without the ability to choose a vocation. I stay at jobs for long periods. I always quickly rise to the top in these fields, but they were never more than just, well jobs. I'm trying to change that now.

What I really want to talk about is how every job I've had in my entire life has gotten easier. Every subsequent job is easier than the last and they pay better too. This is only one man's experience, so bear with me.

My first job was when I was 11 years old. I had to pick up garbage and mow my dad's company's sales lot. Yes I was 11. When I get my yearly social security report it goes back to 1987 when I was 16. I was paid under the table for the first 5 years, but I did receive an actual payroll check. From ages 11 to 16 I made $2.50 an hour. I did the hardest, most demeaning, backbreaking work of my life for $2.50 an hour. I hated it. I even tried to quit,but my dad wouldn't let me. When I would get my paycheck, I would spend it on Star Wars toys, and waterslides. My mom would then yell at me for spending my money wrong.

Eventually I stopped buying toys, and bought things like a tv for my own room and my very own VCR. I had a VCR years before my parents did. Of course they tried to talk me out of that purchase too, but when they finally conceded they made sure I did it right. I had toshop around, and make sure I got the salesmen's cards. When it was time to buy I was told to pull out the card to make sure my salesman got the commission. I bought the VCR at JCPenney of all places.

When I turned 16 I thought I should ask my dad's boss for a raise. He told me how to approach him. I spent an entire day terrified of the confrontation, but I eventually walked into his office, and said that I was 16 and I was thinking I should get a raise. I had been there for 5 years doing the gruntiest of grunt labor and all he said was, "well you know this will mean you have to work harder?" Then he offered me $3.35 an hour, which was minimum wage at that time. I went on the official payroll and have paid taxes ever since. The thing is after that I didn't work harder. I got to do more interesting things like move furniture, fix things, and I often got my own truck to drive around in.

Soon after I left my dad's company to work at a grocery store. $3.85 an hour, and all I had to do was bag groceries and put them in peoples cars. I don't know if any store even does that anymore. I quit that job to work with my brother at the Hy-Vee deli. They offered me $4.05 an hour and it was even easier. I did a lot of things, but it was fun. I fried chicken and sold it to people. I worked there throughout high school and probably left making $4.75 an hour, which I thought was good at the time. (back then boys couldn't wear earrings at work)

In college I got a job doing phone bank junk for liberal causes. I got people to pledge money for Paul Wellstone, the Sierra Club, Minnesota NOW, and anti-Gulf War I stuff. $6.00 an hour. It was easy in that I just sat there and made phone calls, but it was hard because people hate being called at home. I got fired from that job. That's when I discovered I'm really not that liberal. Don't hate me, this was 1991 when political correctness gave no room for a South Dakota kid who was high all the time and liked to make jokes. Believe me, nothing I said then would even phase today's kids. Of course I skipped work a lot too, because it's hard to call people to give money for anything with a head full of acid.

After that I got a University job. I became a janitor. $7.25 an hour. I figured I would be rolling in the dough. I really liked the job. I had time to study, and I became a smoker there. I did a lot of writing there. I got drunk a lot during work and eventually had to quit school because I was a train wreck as a human.

Some time went on, I had various jobs, and then in 1993 I started to work for Courier Dispatch. I drove a van and delivered junk. I think I started at $8.50 an hour. There was a lot of lifting, but a lot of driving too. I smoked grass and made up songs. I worked there for two years and then left to join Airborne Express. I got more money and the work was less harsh. I worked my way up to dispatcher and finally quit in 2000 to go back to school.

School was great, then the dot com bust happened and Belsum lost her job. I quit school and worked at the coffee shop. At first I made less money, but eventually I was the manager. That was a great job, a dream job. I did it for years, but in time I felt I was stagnating, so here I am now, working in a cubicle.

This job is fine. I don't hate it because it is a new experience for me, but it is temporary. Hopefully soon I will be able to make even more money doing a job where I get to be creative. Of course if a million of you readers buy a Mercurial Rage record I can just become a humble popstar. Go. Buy it now.


Superbadfriend said...

getting paid to be creative is the best job ever!



belsum said...

Being a University janitor was a great job. Of course I got fired for the exact same reasons you couldn't keep the phone bank work. I think the last straw was when I faked car troubles so I could keep hanging out with you and Jon downtown some night. I'm sure illicit substances were involved in mass quantities.

LAP said...

They are all just jobs though, none are careers. When I managed the Comic Book College- that was a career, and that was the job I have the best memories of, but it probably also tortured me the most.