Monday, July 28, 2008

Dirty Jobs

You'd be amazed at how many people choose to go through the drive through naked. Would you like fries with that? My first job was at Burger King.

A job in the Pathology department of the local hospital was actually fun. Aside from handling vials of gross stuff, I filed extremely gruesome photos of dead folks. One guy buried an axe halfway in the ground and threw himself on it. Very dramatic. Mind you, I couldn't get into R-rated movies at the time. But this was somehow OK for me to see. Anyway, I'm one of the few folks who loves hospitals and dead folks (they have no issues - other than being dead). Too bad math and science weren't my forte.

Then, I moved into a South Street apartment I couldn't afford. I spent an ill-fated month working at Uno's Pizzaria. Aside from the fact that the chef did crack in the alley and unusual items ended up in the pizzas, I was a HORRIBLE waitress. I quit before they could fire me.

I put toilet paper and cat food on my credit card until I went on to check i.d.'s at a night club in Society Hill. The bouncers were all Temple U. football players who should have been resting up for the big game. They almost always lost, but they were winners at the door as they pocketed underage entry fees. I also worked as a shooter girl which involved wearing a black bodysuit and a holster of shot glasses, a gin bottle and, if memory serves, 7 Up. I would bang the concoction on the back of an inebriated patron until it fizzed and down their hatch it went. I felt like a vampire going to bed at 5 every morning and the homeless man who slept in my foyer didn't approve of my hours.

Finally, the best pre-career job ever...I scheduled appointments at a swanky beauty salon, where I received free services. My hair and nails never looked so good. The angels had smiled upon me. Good pay and even better stories. One involves the F.B.I. and another a patron's bondage festish. I'll tell you about both over a fizzy 7 Up and gin.

Somehow, I managed to fit 20 credits a semester into two days. I actually enjoyed classes and would love to be a professor when I have gray hair and wisdom. I love those elbow patches on tweed jackets. Cerebral is sexy.

While studying Radio-Television-Film at Temple University, my 35mm camera became an appendage. After graduating I took a freelance gig photographing an engagement party for a family who I'm fairly certain inspired the Sopranos. With that short-lived career behind me, I was introduced to a newspaper editor who was looking for a sections editor. I showed him my Temple News clippings and the next thing I knew, I was a journalist. I had been writing my whole life, but it had never occured to me that it could be a job. Do what you bleed!

Another defining moment happened when I left the newspaper biz to freelance. A large pharmaceutical company offered me a fabulous communications position with equally fabulous pay and the opportunity to travel frequently to London. It was tempting. But, it wasn’t me. I have no regrets. A trip to London would be nice, though.

Good luck to all you graduates looking for jobs. Hope your perks are better than nude drive-thru.

What was your first job? If you've just graduated, tell me about your search.

Where Do the Months Go?

I've become a vegetarian. Read "Skinny Bitch" and you'll understand. It has nothing to do with weight and everything to do with factory farming and toxins. It's been a few months and I don't miss much - maybe just tacos. Morningside's veggie burgers make up for it.

In an unrelated matter, working on a new non-fiction, I'll keep you posted...