10 August 2016


1. Babysitter. One family paid me by check, $2 and $3 at a time. Another had The Story of O on the living room bookshelf.

2. Mail sorter at Publishers Clearing House. We sorted the incoming sweepstakes entries by hand - and ripped the corners off of all the postcards that had uncancelled stamps. I think I didn't buy a stamp for about four years.

3. Legal Assistant at a small family owned law firm. I sorted a lot of paper. When I became a mother upteen years later, that same lawyer drafted wills for my husband and me.

4. General office worker (typing, bookkeeping, filing) for a production music library. One day a tiny black cat wandered in the front door. She weighed 2 pounds on the mail scale. I took her home and my mother named her Peeve - her pet peeve.

5. European Sales Representative for that same production music library. I'm not sure that I earned them back the expense of sending me to London for four months, but I had a good time. The lasting result, though, is that I'm not allowed to give blood: too much time in the UK and I'm at risk of mad cow.

6. Records Department Clerk at a big New York law firm. Friday lunch was usually hamburgers and beer. On an extreme Friday, it was more than a pitcher of beer per person. Filing in the aftermath was not so good.

7A. Office Services Special Projects Assistant at that same big firm. Did I even have a title? I had a wonderful boss who set me loose on all sorts of odd projects, like finding a new cafeteria vendor and rethinking the office supplies department and planning alternate transportation in case the MTA carried through with a threatened transit strike.

7B. Teaching Assistant while in graduate school. All the undergraduates at Columbia had to take a basic music appreciation class, so all the graduate students in the music department had to teach it. I actually loved teaching that class; it taught me a lot about what I know and what I can do. But I never wanted to teach again afterwards!

(7A and 7B were contemporaneous.)

Somehow, I have never worked as a waiter or a sales clerk or any other job that requires regular interaction with the general public. It's probably for the best.

Your turn, if you haven't already.


Jeanne said...

Interesting...once I taught, I never wanted to do anything else, ever again.