I dunno’ ’bout you, but I have worked at many different professions in my young life (said with tongue in cheek). When I was fifteen, I thought I could earn the money it would take to go to college. With a brain-load of optimism, I set out to find work. My search was successful when I managed to find employment in a book store, working weekends and after school. Trouble was, no matter when I arrived at work, the owners were never there. Sometimes, they didn’t show up for as many as five hours after the scheduled opening time. And they never paid for my time, until I walked through their door.
I worked for several months, dusting, arranging and waiting… lots and lots of waiting… for the owners to show up and open the doors. Since my official pay was 50 cents per hour and I spent many, many hours waiting outside for the store to open, I did not earn a great lot of money. However, I did learn that Dusting Books would not be my Profession of Choice.
When we moved to another state, I was given the interesting opportunity to learn how to be an assistant manager in a large trailer park. That is to say, I did all the work of an assistant manager; ‘just didn’t get the big bucks for my efforts. In fact, my exact pay was $20- per week for doing all the work that the title entailed and putting in between 30 and 60 hours per week.
Again, we moved and my next job was as a carhop in an A&W Drive-In Restaurant. My pay-rate had climbed back UP to 50 cents per hour and my hours increased. I was fortunate in learning in only a few months that Serving Food to People In Cars was also not my Dream Career. I kept looking.
Fresh out of high school and armed with that All-Powerful Diploma, I was able to then walk into a fine establishment and claim the job of my choosing… Not! My diploma left me with zero capabilities for facing life, head-on. Having lived in so many different places and gone to so many different schools, I was perfectly trained for… wait for it… wait for it… NOTHING. So, for approximately thirty seconds after graduation, I felt on top of the world.
Then came the realization that a General Education did not mean that I knew something about Generally Everything. No, it simply provided proof that I had survived more schools and more teachers than any other person I’ve ever met. In short, none of the various positions of employment has made me rich or famous; both of which I was sure I would be within a week after graduation. No problem. Although fame and fortune have eluded me in many ways, I feel as the author Jack Kent did, “I’m world-famous for BLOCKS around.” Still, I have food on the table, a roof over my head and valued friends at every turn.
But there’s more; I know just how hard postal employees hafta’ work for the small amount of pay they receive (you thought differently, didn’t you?) and I can tell you precisely what it takes to fill your typewriter or computer keyboard keys so they look so purty and work so well. I have also soldered, wired, laced and worked on computers from the inside-out, having actually sat inside giant sections of computers that collectively filled the space of whole buildings. Not quite the laptop tool of today.
When I hear someone talk about their college days, I yearn for that higher degree that I never did manage to save enough money for. On the other hand, my education has not stopped and I am thankful for every new bit of knowledge gained. Perhaps someday, I can give you some pointers on how to build a French Cafe.
Until the next time, keep a hug on.