Today is the first day of classes in my 8th year as a teacher, and – as it happens – teaching is my 8th job. So what about the first seven jobs? Glad you asked!

Apple Orchard Worker

This job lasted for one fall. I painted apple trees with deer-repellent paint and picked apples for use in cider.

Animal Shelter Worker

This was my first real job in the sense that I got an actual paycheck with taxes automatically taken out. I started volunteering at the shelter when I adopted Wulf (a black lab/rottweiler mix) and eventually got hired on for summer and weekend work. I worked here for 5 years and loved every minute of it. And it gives me a great ice-breaker: ” Something interesting about me? I’ve been vaccinated for rabies!”

Stockboy at KMart

My parents made me quit the animal shelter and get a “real” job after my first year of college. In reality, I didn’t make that much more than the shelter, and the work environment wasn’t the greatest.

Snowplow Blade Manufacturing

The second summer of college I got a job at the road supplier for which my dad drove tractor trailer. My main job was manufacturing snowplow blades. Using an electromagnet, I moved steel planks from a pile onto a conveyor belt, cut them to length, and then moved them to another conveyor belt where another employee punched the mounting holes. I then painted and stenciled the cut blades. I once had a 250+ pound load of blades fall on my foot; if I’d been wearing steel-toed shoes, I’d have lost at least two toes.

Custodian

I worked as a janitor all four years of college in the Student Work Program. I suppose the years of shelter work kind of guaranteed that. On the plus side, I got to work in the highly visible buildings.

Quality Assurance at Moen

My first job out of college was a temp position that lasted 7 months. It ended the day Krystal and I moved into our house. Essentially, I hooked faucets up to water hoses all day and checked for leaks, loose parts, and monitored water flow. I actually enjoyed this job 🙂

Laborer for a General Contractor

After a few months on unemployment, I finally found a job with a general contractor. We did all kinds of work, but mainly I painted apartments before they went back on the market. Turns out I’m a decent painter – when it comes to walls, at least.


Those were my first seven jobs. What about yours?

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