Jobs You've Held meme

Posted by September Blue Friday, 20 June 2008

(via Dance)

Jobs I've had:

1 - Babysitter, for the world's quietest, sweetest baby. She slept, I watched TV. All paid employment should be this way.

2 - General helper/skivvy/extra pair of hands at a vet's. Maker of coffee, cleaner of cages, holder of newborn puppies and arranger of appointments. This job taught me about the meanness of herons (evil!), the most common names for dogs (Sam/Sammy, followed by Holly and Lucky), the theory of performing caesarians on Staffordshire bull terriers (messy), and how to get your insurance company to count your Land Rover as a work vehicle (drive the rep around with a dead calf in the back).

3 - Care assistant, at three different nursing homes. This paid the lowest of any job I ever did, and it was definitely the most physically demanding, but I'd still count it as one of the best jobs I've ever done. (Except for the uniforms, because apparently it's very important that nursing home staff should look like 1950s nurses, and the practicalities of moving fast enough to dodge unpredictable dementia-influenced punches in a heavy knee-length dress be damned.) The last place I worked at, a grand old building that served as various things over a few centuries, was once a GP's surgery where my grandfather worked in his first job after coming to England; I never knew him, but I was always "Dr C's granddaughter" to some of the residents there.

4 - Waitress at a golf club. I can still carry a plate on my wrist, as well. The strangest part of this job was having to chase down very wealthy people who were trying to sneak off without paying, and/or steal their steak knives (I KNOW!), but to do it in such a way that we could all pretend they'd just, you know, forgotten. The second strangest part was dealing with people who believed that if they Made Their Grievances Known in a Very Loud Way, the world would fold to accommodate them, no matter what those grievances were or who they were talking to. (Like the man who was very angry indeed about the size of the car park, and what was I going to do about it? Hmm? And he actually folded his arms and glared down at me in a not-prepared-to-take-'nothing'-for-an-answer way. I challenge you to come up with a response to that that doesn't end up at "...I'm a waitress.")

5 - Till-monkey ('customer assistant', whatever) at A Place I Will Not Name Lest Its Legal Teams Descend On Me, because I really want to mention that time someone brought back their fresh salad with a dead frog inside it (cute little thing, blue, covered in salad dressing) and Management were rather keen on us not mentioning that on the shop-floor at the time. Which was a shame, because we had a great line going in "This is not just a frog - this is a sapphire-blue Amazonian tree-frog, covered in luscious tangy vinaigrette dressing..." jokes. This job affirmed the rule that a friend once taught me about any customer-service job, which is that while 80% of customers will be polite, decent and reasonable human beings, the other 20% will all come along at once. Best customer line from this place: "I was told by the girl at that till I could find the poinsettias here, and I don't know if that was true or if that was just one of the ways you have of making the customer's life more difficult!" As a general rule, anybody who refers to themselves as 'the customer' is going to be a nightmare.

6 - Reformatter. Scanning and text-editing for the assistive technologies people at my university, so that visually impaired students can get the reading as well. This one's sort of fun, especially when the student's studying something interesting, but it's on a zero-hours contract and I only get work when there's work to get. Thus, it exists simultaneously with:

7 - General Library Minion, in various capacities.

8 - Various conference-related things within my department, which - despite the chaotic stress and the sixteen-hour days and the photocopiers that break down at ten to midnight* and the inability of Certain Academics to tie their own shoelaces** and the angry drunken arguments between organisers in the early hours of the morning*** - are huge amounts of fun. With dancing. And hey, you can sleep when you're dead.

9 - Language tutor for international students. Sort of. I don't know. It was an idea the university had for a while. I think they might still be having it, if I'm around next semester. Sweet students, good pay.

10 - TA. I don't need to say more about this one...

* - A slight exaggeration.
** - Another slight exaggeration.
*** - Entirely true, sad to say, but at least I didn't start it.****
**** - Other party's accounts may differ, slightly.