Thursday, December 29, 2011


Socrates said, "An unexamined life is not worth living." And who am I to argue with a fellow Greek? There are SO MANY WAYS I can bore you, my dear readers, so let's get to it, shall we?

It's time for a list of the jobs I've had over the course of my life. I have not had to write a resume in over 20 years and most of these positions were not included on it anyway.

  • Babysitting, Sonoma, 1976: I started when I was 14, babysitting my cousins Xenophon and Socrates. Their parents ran a restaurant so they needed me to work on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. I made a whopping $1 per hour but this was enough to cover my small needs, mostly purchases of record albums and singles. If I recall correctly, albums were priced about $4.99 so one night of babysitting paid for an album. I only did this job for a year because by sophomore year in high school there were football games and dances to go to on Friday nights.
  • Little League snack bar, Sonoma, 1977: I sold candy, drinks and hot dogs but this was a volunteer job that lasted only as long as my brother was playing Little League (one season?).
  • Arnold Field snack bar, Sonoma, 1978: I think I did this a couple of times during junior year of high school. I think the junior class was responsible for organizing the prom (?) so snack bar money went towards that. I remember this as a lot of fun because you were with your friends and you knew most of the customers too.
  • Community Infant Center, San Mateo, 1980: The summer before I began college I lived with my grandmother, aunt and uncle and got this job taking care of babies and toddlers as part of  CETA (Comprehensive Employment & Training Act, defined in an article I just Googled called "CETA: A '70s Government Jobs Program that didn't work"). This is probably about the time I decided I probably didn't want children of my own, although I changed my mind eventually and even then I only had one!
  • Kresge College Office, Santa Cruz, 1980-81: My first financial aid work study job was here. I started by filing papers into student files and progressed to making posters and serving appetizers at the college provost's party. The women I worked for were really nice and we shared sorrow the day after John Lennon was killed.
  • Porter College, Santa Cruz, 1982: My first janitorial position! This two week job involved cleaning all the dorm rooms after everyone left for the summer. Best part: working with Lady Chardonnay and finding things people left behind: a 1959 version of Risk (wooden pieces!) and a stack of hilarious porno novels. Sample line: "She stoked his lust furnace." They were AWESOME (I still have a couple of them.)
  • Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, 1982: I worked in food service, selling chocloate dipped ice cream cones, popcorn, nachos, hot dogs, pizza, and other carnival stuff. I could also sell beer and wine because I was over 18 (most of the workers were not) so I was assigned to the pizza place quite often since that was where the booze was sold. By the end of the summer I could hold 5 or 6 cones rather than just one at a time. A solid skill which should go on my next resume.
  • Stevenson College, Santa Cruz, 1983: Another 2 week dorm cleaning extravaganza. I have no real memories of it other than getting up early and walking across campus to get there.
  • International Relations Office, San Francisco State, 1983-85: Another work study office job where I answered phones, sorted professor mail, typed up and made dittos of tests (remember those?!, and acted as receptionist. There was a big deal made, security-wise, when Rabbi Kahane was to make a speech on campus via the International Relations department. Scary to consider because he was eventually assassinated in 1990.
  • San Francisco State dorms, SF, 1985-1986: I put all that great UCSC dorm cleaning experience to good use and did the same job at SFSU, cleaning Mary Ward, Mary Park and Verducci Halls. It was hard work but so much fun too. You really bond with your coworkers and blithely disdain the other work crews (cafeteria, reception, painters, etc...). Summer #1: A guy named Bill became obsessed with me (he later made a film about his obsession which I never saw but my friend Ruth did). Summer #2: I liked a guy named Joey who would completely ignore me when I paid any attention to him but then would vie for my attention if I ignored him. Whatever, Joey. Plus I was a supervisor this summer so I had keys to the roof and spent a bunch of time atop Verducci Hall with my friends. Sadly this dorm was damaged in the Loma Prieta quake and was pulled down via implosion.
  • Westamerica Bank, Novato, 1987: I got a starting position here processing checks into statements from 3 to 11 p.m. I had one of those counting machines and I would verify that the amount of checks to be included in the statement were all there. At Westamerica you couldn't apply for any in-house position until 6 months had passed. I had free days and used that to find a new job here...
  • Redwood Credit Union, Santa Rosa, 1987-91: In succession I was ATM Coordinator, Accounting Clerk, Junior Accountant and Senior Accountant. But the big thing about this job is that it introduced me to CPA Boy who got a job as a part-time teller even though he coveted MY job. Luckily a couple of the supervisors were already involved so they didn't harass us but it meant CPA Boy could never get a job in accounting because I couldn't supervise my boyfriend! So Redwood Credit Union led to my marriage and my son, HUGE parts of my life. (I think this is also about the time my two good friends from SFSU, Uncle Mikey and Modesto were working for financial institutions too. Ironic since I think we three ALL planned to be writers of some sort, not banking personnel! Uncle Mike and I exchanged some credit union promotional items; his cover letter is HILARIOUS. I may need to share that someday with my dear readers!)
  • Bank of Petaluma, Petaluma, 1991-99: I started here as Accounting Assistant and finished as Controller. I basically did the bank's bookkeeping. I liked the work but not the stress from my boss and his boss playing me against the other. In any case, BofP was about 2 years from getting gobbled up by a bigger company. Then that company got gobbled up by Wells Fargo. I would have lost my job anyway by 2001 because they moved the accounting to Palo Alto. The trouble is that there are not very many small banks anymore so there was really nowhere for me to go after this! My experience is not exactly "too big to fail" level!
  • Boy Scout Troop #74, Treasurer, 2005-11: I started this volunteer position for a mom out on maternity but it became (practically) permanent. I gave it up once my son aged out of scouting this year. I can't believe it's already been 6 months since I handed everything over!
Time will tell what future jobs I may hold (writer?!). All I know is I have all the work credits necessary to snag Social Security, assuming it still exists by the time I turn 67.

1 comment:

  1. Hee! It just goes to show -- when I read the topic, I thought, "Holy cow, KB, you are scrapin' the bottle of the barrel with this one." But this was awesome! A very fun read. And I was there for a couple of 'em -- ah, memories.

    Yes, I too am curious to see what you do next. Time will tell!