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A History of Odd Jobs

I recently was re-watching this series of interviews did last year for Uncensored Interview. One of the questions wanted to find out what the worst job we ever had was. As I started thinking about my employment history, there have indeed been a quite a few obscure jobs that I've had that most people don't know about. Have you had some off-the-wall ways to get paid?

Anyway, here's a list of almost everything with a short synopsis of what went down:


VECTOR MARKETING (aka CUTCO)
If you've ever browsed the local paper for an easy, high paying job for students (hint: virtually doesn't exist), then you've probably seen an ad for Vector Marketing. In short, it's selling kitchen cutlery a la Avon style to your friends and family. The job itself was awful but twelve years later, I still have a set of their knives.

REGISTERING PEOPLE TO VOTE
You think the people on street corners asking you to sign petitions are all warm and fuzzy about their cause? Think again. While sometimes the issue might be "green," they're really looking out for some extra greenbacks, or "dollaz", as they say in the streets. Personally, I only took on petitions that I personally supported but there were a lot of "hot" issues out there that got some people moving. For example, Indian gaming petitions usually got $15 per signature; you could easily get 10-30 people to sign a petition per hour...do the math. And getting them to register to vote meant an extra Linconl in your wallet.

LOGISTICS COORDINATOR/DIRECTOR OF INTERNS & OUTREACH
I spent 7 years of my life travelling the world as a motivational speaker, recruiting teenagers to donate their time to build homes/orphanages in Mexico, and then personally mentoring a team of interns. It was one of the most rewarding and frustrating experiences in my life...but I'd say the best part was seeing the transformation of volunteers from being selfish, materialistic, self-absorbed teens to world-changing, generous, and compassionate youth.

CAMERA SALES
I worked at Ritz Camera Centers for 5 years. Started when a "high-tech" digital camera that could take a 640x480 sized picture cost almost $800. I also worked in the processing lab...and if you don't think the people who print film see your pictures, better think again. I remember calling the cops more than once for child pornography being developed or pictures of babies running around meth labs. The job was hit-and-miss (it was retail after all), but I did meet some friends who I still talk to today because of it.

UNLOADING TRUCKS
I spent about six weeks unloading and loading trucks for an LTL freight company once. It was horrible: working graveyard shift, counting/packaging/loading thousands of boxes per night, being expected to load 200 lb boxes alone. The best part was creating obstacle courses and racing forklifts through the where house after our shift was over. I'm still a certified forklift and clamp truck operator.

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER (and PHOTOGRAPHER in general)
I spent much too long photographing weddings. I think I did about 60 of them or so before calling it quits. Sometimes, it was great and the couples would love the photo-journalistic approach I brought to the table. Other times people expected you to work for 14-18 hours straight with no breaks for meals. But at least I was my own boss.

VINTAGE CLOTHING STORE OWNER
This was one of my favorite jobs, ever. My friend Perla and I opened up a store called "The Populuxe" in the heart of Old Town Temecula. We sold vintage clothing, punk rock buttons, and things we thought were cool. We played classic horror movies and rock n' roll all day. We barely broke even and worked other side jobs to pay the rent when needed. A year later, we sold everything to another company.

DRYWALL STORE MANAGER
For three years, I worked at a drywall specialty tool store called Ames. Apparently I did ok there - I received 9 manager of the month awards and they gave me the second largest store in the country. Somehow, I still felt under appreciated when I found out that my 150+ employee suggestions and monthly reports weren't being read. I didn't know that over 2,000 tools exist just for drywall finishing. I do now.

ROOFING COMPANY PROJECT MANAGER
Somehow, I moved from drywall to roofing. I started in sales, but two weeks into the job was asked by the owner to run the company from the inside. Despite the incredible stress and 6- hour work weeks, I actually enjoyed this job for a while. I could help coordinate projects on over 50 roofs per week (which is quite high in the industry) and I oversaw all of their marketing efforts. My boss was a fan of the band and I enjoyed frequent time off for touring. And I learned a little about roofing too.

RECORD LABEL OWNER/PROMOTER
I started a record label called "SBG Records" when I was 15. I put out compilation albums, cassettes, and started booking/promoting bands in the area. Some went on to do fairly well: P.O.D (Payable on Death), Noise Ratchet, and Dogwood all got picked up by major labels. Most ended up nowhere or changed bands... one of my favorite bands to work with was A-Ok, which the two key members eventually formed a new band: "The Stranger's Six."

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
Somehow with all of this history, I moved into the medical industry. I spent my life raising money to help fight Cancer and work with communities to prevent it.

MUSICIAN/ANIME CONVENTION INDUSTRY PERSON
The best job of all. I write, I manage, I perform. There's so much to the job and a constantly changing industry which keeps it challenging and interesting. See my other blog on "A Day in the Life of This Slant" to see what I'm talking about.

Anyway, there are more. But this list is getting ridiculous. Here's a link to the original interview we did:

http://www.uncensoredinterview.com/vlogs/8394-the-slants-don-t-worry-dishwashers

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