Sunday, December 28, 2008

Resume - Part 1

I've had a lot of different jobs.
My last entry (see Eighteen below) got me thinking about all the different jobs I've had. Occasionally I'll run into someone at work who tells me the job they have now is the only job they've ever had. Wow! In my case, I've had a LOT of jobs, with a lot of different companies. I make that extra distinction because I've worked for the company where I work now (Siemens, and SMS before Siemens bought them) for thirty one years, but I've had many different jobs within this one company. So, let's start at the beginning.

I'm not going to count working in the library at Carol City Junior High and Miami Norland High School for years because there was no money, but it was still kind of a job. So as I mentioned in the previous blog entry, the first job I remember doing for money was lawn care as a kid, but I never had a paper route like my brother. Apparently, that 'every morning no matter what' deal teaches you responsibility. Dave has been held responsible for a lot of things ever since. I was able to skate around that, thank goodness.

When I was fifteen or so, I worked with some friends laying industrial tile. These were heavy metal tiles with the raised diamond-shaped extrusions you see in warehouses and shops where very heavy items are moved around. I can still remember the smell of the special adhesive and when you got it on your skin, it would take a week to wear off, but if it got on your clothes, it was there forever. This was one of the last steps in building construction so the places we worked were enclosed but without any air conditioning and the Miami sun just cooked us. Boy, what fun. I learned that taking breaks can really save your life.

Then there was the short order cook job I wrote about at Royal Castle where I learned how to cook and clean. But I also learned the special codes of the industry like when one of the countermen yelled '86', that meant there was a drunk in the house and we might have to move him gently out into the street. '87' meant that a nice looking young lady had come in and suddenly there were workers coming out of
the back that you didn't even know were there. They came down out of the shelves like the Alien did in Sigourney's escape pod at the end. You know, in my whole life, I've never run into another Sigourney, is it possible she's the only one?

When I started college at what was then Miami Dade Junior College, I couldn't work the 60 hour a week all-nighters anymore, so I took two part-time jobs that let me have the flexibility I needed, but it still worked out to over 40 hours a week with the first year college work on top of that. The first half of this twin set was at the college working in the audio-visual department.
Whenever one of the instructors was too hung over to remember their lesson plan, they'd call for us to show a movie or stage some other AV event. There was always a spike in requests on Monday.

The AV Department was in the center of the then brand new Library Building and one section was four large triangular shaped lecture halls and we ran a small room in the center where we could rear-project slides and movies onto the four screens. Everything was new and well made, it was a good job. And I got to have a key to the only elevator in the main classroom building, because of having to move the projectors around. The most important lesson I learned was near the end of shift one evening. We had all gathered in the AV room (there to the left) and the Manager, Bob Hilbert, said goodnight and left early. We all prepared to dive through the windows, even though we were required to stay on duty to the very last minute. But our lead man told us just to hold on for a minute and sure enough, Mr. Hilbert came back! His excuse was so transparent, it disappeared in the mist of the smell of machine oil, but I took home a critical lesson. Don't trust anyone, especially a Manager.

The second half of that job duality was working at Burger King.
They were very pleased to get an experienced Royal Castle veteran and they kept mumbling things about 'Assistant Manager' even while they had me taking the broiler apart to clean it. I thought I knew something about grease from The RC Steak House (i.e., Royal Castle), but I had NEVER seen grease like I saw at Burger King! Where'd you think that stuff went when the patties went through the broiler? It was like something out of an early Stephen King story, there were whole civilizations rising down there and I had to kill them off. The rest of the job was a snap compared to short order cooking. At least we didn't have anyone coming in for a hamburger tartar, "Just take the chill off it, would you, son?" The broiler was the broiler and flexibility and creativity were not on the Burger King menu.

So I was going to write about the jobs I've had but somehow I'm still eighteen years old. This is going to take more entries than I imagined. At least it doesn't cost anything. Yet.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Excellent post!! Your first job where you made some money was actually when you were about eight years old. You and I used a chisel to take the husks off a few coconuts, made a "for sale" sign in front of 1437 and actually sold a few of the shells to some tourists and/or neighbors. We may have raked in twenty five cents total!