Ever have some things that you are glad fell off the bottom of your resume? Yea... so today at work, the topic of the Larkspur Renaissance Festival came up, because it opens this weekend. My boss, and several co-workers were like, "hey, let's go! I've never been to a Renaissance Festival!" My boss went around the circle asking if we'd like to go, and if we'd ever been, to which I replied, when it was my turn, "I actually worked at a Renaissance Festival a couple of years..." and then immediately thought, "seriously! You just said that?!" Cause, you know, not that I didn't have fun, but it's not the kind of thing you really keep on your resume, you know? Festies are a distinct sub-culture, and well, you either get it or you don't, and what you did when you were 18 and 19 is not necessarily what you do when you're 35.
That got me thinking about all the other wierd jobs I've worked, and my friend Marcy's claim that some time, she was just going to sit down and figure me out, because I just have a lot of out-of-the-blue references to places I worked. If I were to put together a "full" resume, it's rather ecclectic. The stuff that don't make the public/apply for a real job cut looks like this:
Informal work: babysitting, where at one point I had a little boy pull an antique gun on me because he didn't want to go to bed, and who's sister suggested in all seriousness that I get him to behave (at other times, not when there was a pistol involved) by doing what their parents did: threaten to call the police.
First "under the table" job: Pulling weeds the home of the general manager of the Piston's at the time's house, where I learned I am really, REALLY allergic to poison ivy, and I may have jumped in his pool with my other high-school-girl co-workers when no one was home.
First "get a paycheck that gets reported to the IRS" job: Cashier at a fruit market, where one of the bag boys locked me into the walk-in freezer (fortunately, not for very long) and I learned just how awful rotten watermelon is.
YMCA Swim Instructor and Life Guard: Oh the fun we had (Swoods, Em, John can attest) driving around to backyard pools in the summer, convincing kids that the 60 degree water in the unheated pool wasn't that cold, trying to fit three swim classes into tiny pools at one time, and playing Boat-Island when you ran out of things to do. That was several summers, plus Monday and Wednesday evenings my senior year of high school. Can you believe there was a time when a Y didn't have their own building, and operated out of high schools?
Renaissance Festival "Body Puppet." Think 8 foot tall puppet on a backpack frame, then general shenanigans entertaining guests during fall weekends for two years. Yes, I've been called a wench. No, I didn't let my boobs hang out of my costume (which, inexplicably, I paid for myself.)
Victoria's Secret: Yes, THAT Victoria's Secret. I sold underwear. I got to the point where I could tell someone's bra size with 95% accuracy just by looking, and realized that men are all talk because when they walk into Vickie's, it's heads down, don't look around all the way.
Wilson's Leather: I mostly worked there at the same time I worked at Vickie's. I would open at one store and close at the other. To this day, I hate the mall at Christmas and will do just about anything to avoid going.
House Manager, Kalamazoo College Theatre: I worked in the office when shows weren't staged, and as house manager, keeping things in front-of-house moving, recruiting ushers, etc. It was good way to see plays for free, and shoot, I got to dress up once like a crazy teenage girl at a boy-band concert during Jordan Klepper and Jeff Lung's senior show.
Telemarketer: True story. I worked with a nymphomaniac chick who had no legs, half arms and only two fingers, which she had done at the nail salon weekly. The guy that sat next to me didn't show up for work one night and it turned out he'd broken parole - again. I had my bike stolen off the front porch of the house we worked out of the first night, and had a potential customer tell me he couldn't talk to me on the phone just then because he was having sex. I have never worked a job I cared less about, plus it was my night job after working in the psych department during the day.
Research Assistant, Psychology Department: I spent a summer at K in the psychology department, and it got so hot I tried sleeping in my office one night because the dorm I was staying in was 128 degrees, but was kicked out by security. I was rewarded with a co-authorship, so that's super cool.
Substitute Teacher, Kalamazoo Public Schools: My favorite was elementary school music class, and any grade's worth of gym class. The school system would call at 5:30am to ask me to sub, which didn't go over very well with the three other girls living in the house with me.
From there, the official list starts: case manager, grantwriter, therapist, director of community programs, community initiative coordinator, juvenile firesetter intervention specialist, therapist (yea, I know I said it twice- two different jobs), mediator, adjuct prof, senior learning advisor. They all have their own stories too, and most of these job happened in concurrent multiples. But those are stories for other days, and all are certainly more appropriate than those that didn't make the cut.