Monday Listicles – Crazy jobs? Never!

Well, it is Monday again, and this week I am determined to get back into the swing of Monday Listicles.  If you’ve never heard of the Listicles, check out the super-fun Stasha  for the weekly topic.  This week, Squashed Mom decided that we should write about the top 10 odd/funny/strange jobs that we’ve had.  That was pretty easy.  Despite my very young age, I’ve held lots of jobs over my life, as I started doing odd jobs to earn money when I was in my teen years.

So, as not to leave you in suspense any longer about some of my work history, here we go.

Berry Picker: growing up, this was something that we did during the summer to earn a little spending money.  I remember being 12 years old and working the fields, eating picking raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.  There were a lot of laughs, and since we were paid by the pound of berries, unless we actually worked, we didn’t make much money.  We would slave away all day, and still not come out with that much money, but it was a good learning experience.

Little Tree Packer: This was a job that I held the summer before my Grade 12 year.  It was also a seasonal job, and involved me getting up at the butt crack of dawn, heading to a ridiculously hot greenhouse, and standing on a conveyor belt line.  We had to bundle saplings into a pyramid, wrap them in saran wrap, and send them on down the line.  To complicate matters even further, we had to make sure that each sapling was of a certain size, and all the trees were approximately similar in size.  It sucked.  Thankfully it only lasted about 6 weeks.

Babysitter: This was something that I did a lot of from a fairly young age.  I read all some of Babysitter’s Club books, and I had my own babysitters kit that included puzzles, books and stickers for the kids I sat.  I did the Red Cross babysitter’s certificate program, and took my job very seriously.  I had lots of referral clients and enjoyed the job.  That was, until I met the kid on the roof.  They were first time clients who had been referred to me by one of my regular families.  This kid was a behavioural nightmare for a teenager, and when I took one of his younger siblings to the bathroom, he ran upstairs and climbed onto the roof.  I spent probably 15 minutes trying to convince him to come inside.  Needless to say, I was pickier with my clients after that.

Donut shop worker:  The summer before my Grade 12 year, I worked as a cashier in a donut shop.  The job was ok, except I often had to go there straight after my tree packing job, and it amounted to a looooong day.  The major downsides were that it was a small store that had a smoking section, and so at the end of each day, I would go home smelling like cigarettes and donut grease.  To this day, I don’t feel the same way about donuts.

Pizza delivery driver: This was during my last couple of years at university.  My now-husband was an assistant manager at the restaurant, and one day, their daytime delivery driver no-showed during a busy lunch hour.  Since I was only on campus a few days a week, and happened to be home that day, husband called me up and asked if I could drive for them.  Thus began my adventures in delivery driving.  Not a bad job overall if you could get past the low pay, the cost in gas, crabby customers who paid tips in pennies, scary dudes in farmhouses who wanted you to deliver to the back door, and the unsteady working hours.  At least I could sit and read my Osteology textbook in between deliveries.

Coat check girl at a skeezy bar: This was probably my shortest lived job.  I was working as a fast-food cashier extrordinaire at the time, and needed to supplement my income a bit.  I got hired to be the coat check girl at a local bar, and showed up the first night.  The bar was a dive, and the clientele were more interested in hitting on me and the other girls there than checking their coats.  I left after a few hours and never returned.  They also stiffed me out of my pay for the night, claiming that it was a “trial” shift.  I later found out that this was what they did – hired young women for a night or two, then never called them back in or paid them.  Buttheads.

Cat in the Hat: Yup, I was the Cat in the Hat.  My job consisted of putting on this embarrassing full suit costume with only my face showing, and do promotional stuff like handing out buttons and coupons for the movie after it came out on DVD.  It was utterly humiliating, especially after I ran into some of my friends in one of the stores that I was working at.  Clearly, I needed money at the time.

Fertilizer and pesticide marketer: I got to spend a summer travelling around to different home and garden stores educating customers on a certain brand of lawn and garden products.  I was to answer questions, provide promotional material, and set up fun activities, such as  boat races with a spray bottle.  I had quotas that I had to meet of people that I spoke to and coupons that I handed out.  I must have been pretty good at the job, as the company contacted me the next year asking me to come back.

Archaeologist: Well, actually, in my final year of university, I did an unpaid (actually, I paid the university for the privilege of attending) field school practicum in Archaeology.  It was great.  We lived in tents in the scorching heat and pouring rain, hiked up mountains in search of new dig sites, and dug giant pits in search of pottery shards and other artifacts such as arrowheads.  We did surveying, mapping, and preservation of artifacts.  It was rather amazing, and I loved it, aside from being away from my husband of less than a year for the entire summer.  I seriously considered doing it for a career, but decided in the end that I didn’t want to live contract to contract, especially with my husband at home.

Soldier: This is probably one of my favourite jobs.  As I have mentioned before on the blog, I was 17 and just out of high school when I joined the Army Reserves as an Artillery Gunner.  I spent 5 months assigned to a Regular Force unit as a driver, and loved every second of it.   I desperately wanted to go overseas on a peacekeeping mission, but sadly, that never came to be.   The dirt and sweat, the highs and lows, I loved it all.  I was devastated when I had to leave the military due to injuries that I sustained in a car accident, and miss it all the time.  Having spent time in the military, I have nothing but love and respect for soldiers everywhere.

I have had other jobs too, just not necessarily as interesting as some of the ones I’ve listed.

What are some of your more interesting jobs?  Is there anything quirky or unusual about your current job that you care to share?

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5 Responses to Monday Listicles – Crazy jobs? Never!

  1. I love picking berries too but if I was paid by weight there would be no money made. I would eat them all! Thank you for your service xo

  2. paul says:

    I completely forgot about berry picking, I did that as a kid too. Cool being a soldier, don’t think I could do that even on a peace keeping mission.

    • onecrazykid says:

      It was an amazing, life changing experience for me, especially as I was so young. (Joining the military, not berry picking, ha.) As for the berry picking, I think that most kids who grew up in the country tried it at some point or other. That and cleaning up some sort of farm animal poop. 😉

  3. Audrey says:

    My mom always made us go out and pick berries for her. We never got paid but ate more than I ever should have, and still won’t eat a blueberry to this day!

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