According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person will have very roughly 7-10 jobs in their lifetime. So far I’ve held 8 jobs, and I’m only 30. But as we’ve seen in the past, I tend to not really stick to the national averages. Here’s my rundown:
Library (duration: approx. 3 years)
My first job was at my local county library. I was a ‘Library Page’ which was a fancy way of saying that I was a book shelver. For my first year I shelved books in the Adult Fiction section, and then I transferred into the Children’s Room. The Children’s Room was the best section in the library — picture books were only alphabetized by the first letter of the last name, sometimes I got to help with story time crafts, and since our library also loaned on puzzles, I occasionally had an excuse to sit on my butt and count puzzle pieces. It was actually a pretty great job, but at minimum wage and 10 hours a week, I wasn’t really raking in much dough. Most exciting thing that ever happened: I helped the police identify a man that flashed his junk at a little girl.
Pet Store (duration: approx. 3 years)
My second job was at a pet store. I did everything from scrape the algae off of fish tanks to running a cash register … and everything in between. I made some great friends at the pet store, some which I still stay in touch with today. I purchased and adopted quite a few pets while working there, and probably funneled quite a lot of the money that I earned right back into the store. Most exciting thing that ever happened: I called the cops when a man broke our front door because he was unhappy with our return policy.
Mail room (duration: 1 summer)
During my first summer break of college, my brother scored me a job at the company where he was working. I worked as a mail room clerk, which meant that all I had to do was sign for packages, ship packages, and go on a few ‘mail runs’ around the building each day. It was a super-easy job that allowed me plenty of time to goof off. I remember that on one particularly slow day, I designed a gun that could shoot a ruler quite forcefully using only Styrofoam, rubber bands and a few binder clips. Most exciting thing that ever happened: I used to look at porn on the office computer.
Front desk receptionist (duration: 1 summer)
I guess they liked me (and never checked my Internet browser history) because I was invited back to the same company the next summer. But since they had hired full-time staff for the mail room, I took the only available job — as a front desk receptionist. My only real job for eight hours a day was to check in visitors and say hello to employees as they passed my desk. Booooring! But the money was good, and I could spend most the day surfing the Internet (this time: not porn), so I didn’t mind too much. Most exciting thing that ever happened: I used to flirt with a hot (and completely oblivious) computer nerd.
Florist (duration: 1 day)
Yup, 1 day. I was hired by a local florist to deliver flowers. “You’ll never have to do anything but deliver flowers,” said the owner. My first day I was tasked with sweeping, mopping, cleaning, dusting and throwing old, dead flowers into the dumpster. And in addition to my nearly 8 hours of janitorial services, I was sent to deliver a single flower order — and the recipient wasn’t home. I went home feeling exhausted and filthy. That night I called the owner and told her that I wouldn’t be returning. Needless to say that she wasn’t happy. She still owes a paycheck for that single day of work. (But she’s dead now, so I doubt I’ll ever collect it!) Most exciting thing that ever happened: I drove a van. (gimme a break, I was only there for a day!)
Toy Store (duration: approx. 9 months)
This was probably the most physical job I’ve ever had. Aside from the usual tasks of running a register, stocking shelves, etc., I was also tasked with unloading trucks and constantly carrying stock up and down a flight of stairs. After a summer of carrying heavy plastic swimming pools up and down stairs, I found myself with a few herniated discs in my back. And after lots of medication and some physical therapy, I opted for back surgery early in December of that year. Early the next January, I called to tell them that I had healed enough and could return to work, but was told “Oh, sorry, we must have forgotten to contact you. All the part time employees were laid off on Christmas.” Douche bags. But I did walk away with gift wrapping and ribbon curling skills that will continue to prove my homosexuality to nonbelievers for years to come. Most exciting thing that ever happened: I worked there during September 11th.
Staples (approx. 3 years)
I worked at the Staples Copy Center during the end of my college tenure, and a bit beyond it. I was awesome at the Copy Center — but that was never good enough for the asshole customers. I was a supervisor when I finally quit that job, and left dozens of customers that were used to only letting me do their work. No one else could do it right. It didn’t help that all of my high school underlings were poorly paid idiots that would screw up every job that they touched. Whenever I complain about my current job — I remember that it could be worse. I could still be working at Staples. Most Exciting Thing That Ever Happened: Routinely getting sexually harassed by middle-aged women, who would argue over me amongst themselves. “He’s my copy boy!” “No, he’s my copy boy!” Gross.
Newspaper (8+ years)
And finally, my current job as a graphic designer at a group of local newspapers. It pays poorly and stresses me out too frequently, but I’ve learned a lot of skills that will hopefully find me a much better paying job in the future. Most Exciting Thing That Ever Happened: Hopefully it hasn’t happened yet. Because so far it’s been a total snore.
Aside from those jobs, I also currently work as a freelance graphic artist and volunteer for four hours a week at a cat shelter.
So those are all my jobs … what have you done? And can you top my total of 8? And when is everything just going to be free like on Star Trek so I don’t have to work?! I keep waiting … it’s not happening.