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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    15,037

    Jobs you had before you found your place in the world

    I was a mainframe computer operator in Indianapolis in the late 70s. Worked mostly midnight to 8:00 am. My sleep rhythm has never forgiven me.

    Perhaps its because I used to load a whole bunch of stuff up to run and would sleep on the CPU. It was warm and had a soothing hum. Every now and then I would have to wake up and reply to a question or hang some more tapes. Yeah, tapes.

    The machine had 1MB of memory and that was a big deal at that time.
    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    BZN
    Posts
    1,166
    This implies that we've found our place in the world or think we have, so... I'm out!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    816
    Moonlighting at a bar in Japan; I only did weekend nights. I was in my early 20s and it was pretty fucking fun. In retrospect, maybe I had found my place in the world then and didn't recognize it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    General Sherman's Favorite City
    Posts
    22,245
    Best job before I settled in? Easy.

    Lifeguard at a second-tier water park with a 45-10 F-M ratio amongst the guards during the summers between Senior year of high school and Sophomore year of undergrad. Books could be written about the fun we had.
    I still call it The Jake.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    778
    Cheese taster/grader. While working days I only graded the cheese. Had to taste each lot, check curd formation, bubble size for Swiss, check salt ph etc. I hated it. Worked with a bunch of assholes. Lazy cheese plant lifers that thought they were something special.

    Finally had enough and went back to school. switched to nights where I had to unload cheese from semi trailers then grade and put away. At least I got to work by myself.
    I'd rather die while I'm living then live while I'm dead

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    59715
    Posts
    2,506
    Line cook, bartender, sous chef, set decorator/props, furniture and cabinet maker, trim carpenter, construction stuporvisor.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    21,702
    out of HS I worked for the fed govenerment shredding old files and relief truck driver

    the lifetime IBM gig came along 9 months later and I had arrived at the age of 18
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Cackalacky
    Posts
    1,046
    I worked at a donut shop owned by an old Cambodian man who spoke no english and run by his heroin addict son. cambodian folk at full volume does not sound good anywhere, at any time, but it especially does not sound good at 3 am in a kitchen with 100 degree sugar air.
    In the room the women come and go
    Talking of Michelangelo

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Cackalacky
    Posts
    1,046
    oh, and i certainly have not found my place in the world.
    In the room the women come and go
    Talking of Michelangelo

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    14,962
    Summer camp counselor, sailing instructor, shoveling coal in a steel mill, greasing conveyor belts, landscaping, pizza delivery. All just summer jobs though, although the high turnover at the steel mill meant that by the end of the summer I had some seniority--enough to move from laborer to millwright helper.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    22,651
    Worked in a butcher shop at age 14 - 17 wrestling quarters of beef to the cutting block and swamping out the gore at the end of the day. I weighed about 80 lbs at the time. Can't stand the smell of bleach to this day.

    Janitor in the college library. My "office" had a steel door that accessed a half mile of steam tunnels. I had access to the rare book room. Psychedelics were enjoyed throughout.

    Managed the college coffee shop. Ate a lot of sprout, tomato and cheese sandwiches. Ah, the 70s.

    Graded papers and tutored calculus and linear algebra. I thought that was the place.

    Was a faculty member at UMass Boston Columbia Point. Didn't pay much, but was fun and more of being in the place.

    Summered over in Boston gutting a 5 story near the combat zone. The culling stage involved "kangos", lightweight jackhammers used to peel off the old stucco and mesh from the brick walls. Graduated to smashing out the 1800's glass from windows, watching it sail down to the blocked street below and shattering on the tarmac. Spent hours prying off old olnate wood mouldings from windows and doors.

    Grad st00dent, Math, Phd and all that shit. Found that the place I had thought wasn't in the primary epiphany.

    Was a barista in the early 80s. Dance school above. Reread Lolita.

    Was a rocket scientist: wrote ICBM tracking algorithms for star wars program; with a top secret clearance; found how bogus the military industrial complex was.

    Taught myself C, wrote code for the petroleum industry that read output data from well heads.

    Worked for Microsoft for 25 years on and off. C Compilers, RPC runtime & interpreters, 3d graphics schedulers, remote desktop, remote apps on iOS.

    Was the Chairman of Computer Science Department at DigiPen, a college that taught games programming. Was a blast; didn't pay much.

    Wrote Codecs for sony cameras.

    Wrote driver code for graphics companies, Dx8/Dx9.

    Found that my place in the world had a lot less to do with a career than I had thought.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,616
    Quote Originally Posted by BmillsSkier View Post
    Best job before I settled in? Easy.

    Lifeguard at a second-tier water park with a 45-10 F-M ratio amongst the guards during the summers between Senior year of high school and Sophomore year of undergrad. Books could be written about the fun we had.
    I think at least 5 movies and a few shows have been made about your late teen years.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    1,159
    I had a great job in college working in a meat warehouse. That was back in the days when warehouse work paid well. 3 swing-shift days per week, often paying overtime and then double-time when I felt up to doing an all-nighter with the especially chill graveyard crew. Great guys on the crew, and got a good workout when it was my turn to load a truck. Had "Mr. Chitts" drawn on my helmet. Everyone who worked there either was a total meathead, buying ribs by the 30-lb box at employee discount, or was vegetarian; I definitely gravitated towards the latter the longer I worked there.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Suckramento
    Posts
    19,813
    Bartender at a live music club after college. We had 50 cent happy hour 5-9, every day. At that time, the Diablo Canyon nuke plant was being retrofitted, and there were several thousand workers doing 7/24. Wild times, with cocktail waitresses.
    Quando paramucho mi amore de felice carathon.
    Mundo paparazzi mi amore cicce verdi parasol.
    Questo abrigado tantamucho que canite carousel.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    General Sherman's Favorite City
    Posts
    22,245
    Quote Originally Posted by fatnslow View Post
    I think at least 5 movies and a few shows have been made about your late teen years.
    We celebrated the entire collection and used most as a blueprint for our behavior.

    Being the youthful upstarts we were, we thought, we tended to push things a tad farther than what was in film and literature at the time. Textbook Salad Days.
    I still call it The Jake.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Missoula DMV
    Posts
    992
    A job I had before my current career was slinging salmon eggs (roe) up in a remote corner of Alaska for a summer.

    The eggs would come in with the tide, since our camp was on the Naknek River. We’d brine them in big tubs able to hold several laundry basket loads at a time, churning away for so many mindless hours. What little downtime you had was spent walking over a mile each way to the village bars.

    You worked a lot, and as a result burned a whole lot of calories. And the company running the show made sure it was never short on feeding their workforce. Never ate so much in my life, it was like they kept throwing it at you. A lot of salmon and seafood brought in on the boats was served for the main courses. Their bakery crew could make a mean donut too.

    All sorts of vagabonds, ex cons, diehards, and oddballs worked during those few months. With the right job you could make a killing up there, and while many of them would squirrel their money away, most would just take a vacation.

    Several months cut off from the world will do ya strange.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    155
    Landscaper, laborer, warehouse gopher, surveyor, delivery driver, busboy, bartender, salesman, standardized test instructor, office drone, event planner, English teacher, monkey caretaker.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    2,360
    Soda jerk, built fences in Wyoming one summer - put up a mile of fence per day, roofer in Houston in the summer for about a week until I decided it was too fucking hot, worked as a boilermaker in a machine shop repairing heat exchangers.

    There were some more, but that’s the highlights.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Shuswap Highlands
    Posts
    2,878
    Summer in high school did yard work for seniors, and farm hand for the neighbours. Swamped cat for a local contractor for a bit. Between high school and college worked in a tree nursery.

    During college and university, worked banquets, bar and restaurant in the downtown hotels. Lots of late night did not make for productive early morning classes. Summers fighting wildfire, pulling chain on survey crew, and point sampling ecosystem data. Damn near indestructible those days and nights. All I owned fit in my vehicle, with room to spare.

    Then a couple decades in consulting, running saw during the leaner times. Got tired of the ups and downs of the private sector so got a job with the govt and settled down a bit. Accumulated more than I can carry in the truck now, and it weighs at times. But it means security for the dependants.

    Was always trying to find my place, still am to a lesser degree, but that's OK. Can't get too comfortable in any one place, life has a way of shaking things up whether you want it to or not.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,477
    The details of my life are quite inconsequential. Very well, where do I begin?

    My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet.

    My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.

    My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds - pretty standard really.

    At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum - it's breathtaking. I highly suggest you try it.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Pemberton, BC
    Posts
    1,718

    Jobs you had before you found your place in the world

    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    shovelling coal in a steel mill.
    Mic drop winner?

    I had a temp gig of watching phone books come down a conveyor belt at a printing press. If the books got backed up etc, I had to press a button to stop the conveyor. It is was so boring I’d lose focus easily and always had some guy come press the button before I noticed there was like 200 phone books scattered over the floor.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Magically whisked away to...Delaware
    Posts
    2,921

    Jobs you had before you found your place in the world

    My first job out of high school was at Birchwood meat. Basically I carried 50# blocks of meat to be dumped in a grinder and pushed 500# tubs that were dumped in a pattie press.

    I learned that frozen BK and A&W was waaaaay less gross that Wendy’s “fresh never frozen” Schlick. I also learned that I wasn’t interested in assembly line work or a life of manual labor.


    Sent from my iPad using TGR Forums
    It makes perfect sense...until you think about it.

    I suspect there's logic behind the madness, but I'm too dumb to see it.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    fighting cock, ak
    Posts
    1,626
    Ran away from life after college. Ended up in NZ for a couple years. First, had a temp gig working at corporate HQ for a bank. Beer/wine were allowed starting at 3pm. It was The Office: Kiwi Edition, but before The Office existed. Then, I worked at a vineyard outside of Wanaka for about a year. Living in a tent on the Clutha River. High AF every day, getting paid in cash, working for a guy from Zimbabwe who always talked about his days in "Rhodesia."

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    YetiMan
    Posts
    11,801
    Scavenging 10˘ cans
    Paper Routes
    Babysitting
    Umpire
    Lifeguard
    Outdoor rec, bringing rich kids on hikes
    Gas station night shift
    Ski shop rental tech
    Dishwasher
    Furniture mover
    Sandwich shop
    Hand sanding wooden chairs
    Wildland fire, many seasons, many crews/engines
    Forestry labor
    Ski shop manager
    Landscaper
    Farm work (picking lettuce)
    Timber faller
    Construction demolition
    Dynamite hole driller
    Fire/aviation dispatcher
    Hotel night auditor
    Helicopter crewmember
    Student nurse
    Ferry dock worker
    Doorman/security at a shitty bar
    Construction laborer
    Truck driver
    Taxi driver
    Bus driver

    My place in the world doesn’t exist. All there is for me is a Sisyphean nightmare struggling to roll the giant frozen turd of my life up the lowest levels of maslow’s pyramid of needs for a few months before it melts and slips away and rolls over my nutsack again for the 80th time.
    Last edited by ill-advised strategy; 10-25-2020 at 07:42 PM. Reason: Forgot about a few jobs

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Wasatch Back: 7000'
    Posts
    10,390
    Life guard
    construction laborer
    snow shoveling
    Beach club manager
    Car Parker
    Parking Lot attendant
    Bus Boy
    Law Clerk
    Baseball Coach
    Umpire
    “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”
    ― Milton Friedman

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