She Works Hard for the Money

While I am searching for employment and fine tuning my resume, I can’t help but think about all the things I’ve done for which I’ve been paid.. (get your mind out of the gutter.) And therefore which to put on my resume.

For some reason as a kid I always wanted to make money.. (if only I had put away ten percent of everything I have earned! If only!). When I was about 5 I would go door to door and sell things.. I would go into my mother’s garden and snap off the blooms of her irises. Then I would take those little ice cream cups, wash them out and put dirt in them and stick the irises in them and then sell them door to door for a nickel. My nice neighbours would buy them (knowing full well they’d be dead in a day) and I would have money for my habit.. penny candy. (note that there is no such thing anymore.. we are talking about the olden days here..) (also notice that I like using parentheses a lot..)

I used to have “sales” on my front lawn. I would sell things .. I can remember selling a silver brush, mirror and comb set at one of my yard sales and getting in trouble afterward for selling a fairly valuable item for about fifty cents. Or maybe a quarter. But I got licorice… delicious licorice.

I grew up in Hamilton Ontario.. so we got a lot of Buffalo TV and one of the things that channel 7 was a big promotion for MD Carnivals.. you would get the kit.. make money for muscular dystrophy and send it in.

However, even as a child I was evil and self centred. So instead of sending away for the kit, I just decided to make my OWN “carnivals” and keep the money…

My friends and I would make “rides” and have various attractions.. and invite people to the “carnival” and charge them nickels for the various entertainment. A neighbour friend had a little popcorn machine that we’d load up and sell little bags. I would also sell fudgesicles. Delicious fudgesicles. Mmmmm. My father would buy boxes of popsicles or fudgesicles for family consumption. I, on the other hand, felt that it was perfectly OK to sell the fudgesicles from the box for .. yes again…. a nickel.. at my little carnivals. Until of course where one evening my parents explained to me that I could go to PRISON for such activity as it said right on the wrapper “NOT FOR INDIVIDUAL SALE”. I wonder if the popsicle police go to the same college as the mattress tag police?

My friends, Mario and John woud help out by dressing as hula girls and they would put on a show as “Mary and Johanna”. We would put kids in an old baby buggy and push them around really fast.. a sweet ride for five cents. We also had some sort of tire swingy thing that we would put kids in, twist it around and let it rip.. fun until you bashed your skull on the metal clothes line pole….

My first job was babysitting. I would watch the kids down the street for a couple of bucks an hour. A pretty easy gig. Babysat lots of neighbour kids.. the kids of parents friends, stuff like that. Then my first “real” job.. as in, received an actual paycheque instead of cash job.. was working at a screenprinters one summer. It was an all right gig except for the fact that it was about a billion degrees in there. I had to use the big iron thing to put transfers onto hockey jerseys and such. I saw many large guys pass out from the heat. But it did teach me about what makes a good t-shirt… valuable knowledge for a future promo chick.

Waitressing for a catering company was a short lived gig. Mostly doing weddings and such. Worked one in a hockey arena one time.. you could hear the kids playing hockey during the speeches.. classy.. Of course it didn’t help when I dropped an entire tray of coconut cream pies on the floor in front of the head table. I bowed, of course.

I worked at a BP gas station for a couple of years… my boyfriend’s mom got me the gig. It was OK. I just basically collected money. It was an all right gig until money went missing from the safe (it was broken) and the owner wanted me to lie to the insurance company and the cops and say I was held up.

During one super fun phase I worked at the gas station, Ponderosa and Wendy’s.. sometimes all in one day. Made for some long nights, but I was 17 and had boundless energy. I would never eat the food at Ponderosa. One time a guy dropped some steaks on the floor and the manager made him serve them anyway. Ewwww.

Through my college years I bartended a bit, waitressed at a family restaurant and at a pizzeria.

The pizza place was an all right gig except for the slimy Greek manager (nothing against those of Greek heritage.. I’m just sayin’…) Any night he and I were both working, Louie would offer to make me a “special” drink.. which basically was a shot of EVERYTHING on the bar. I would take small sips and swish it around my mouth so I’d smell like booze.. then pour it down the sink when he wasn’t looking. He never understood how I didn’t get hammered and therefore “easily taken advantage of”.. freak.

While I was in college I got a part time gig writing news at CHCH TV.. it was a lot of fun. One of my favourite times was when Don Cherry came in .. he was going to dinner with the Sports Director, Dick Beddoes… Don thanked me for covering for Dick (I wrote the sports that day) and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

I also started working at CHAM part time doing news stuff.. which led to my first full time real job.. I started out as the traffic girl on the morning show and afternoon drive and eventually became the all night host, working 12am to 6am. I had a variety of characters call me overnight including a gentleman who liked to tell me about the many times he had been abducted by aliens. I would also get quite a lot of “fan mail” which struck me as being odd. One elderly lady thought my name was “Duff” and would send me articles out of the National Enquirer.. and she’d send me greeting cards that she wouldn’t sign as they were “suitable for framing”.

CHAM was a lot of fun and I made some great friends there.. many of whom I still keep in touch with.. and some I saw recently.

After thatI was the Social Director for a fitness club, managed a couple other fitness clubs (yes, hard to believe..).. for ONE DAY I was the manager of the Bay portrait studio (got a better gig the same day). I worked as a professional matchmaker for a dating service .. a few of the people I matched actually got married.. I worked for A.C. Nielsen Television ratings – I would go to people’s houses and convince them to be a “Nielsen Family”. I worked as a promo assistant as a radio station in KW for a while when I was pregnant with the first. After the daughter was born, I managed a laundromat and did people’s laundry for a living. I washed people’s dirty clothes.. with is why I am so great at laundry now. LOL…

During my pregnancy, I started working as a DJ for people’s weddings and school dances and stuff for a DJ service.. New Year’s Eve I was 7 months pregnant and people were SO drunk they wouldn’t even help me carry things out. I did the DJ thing for a few years… it was good money. Worked in the office during the day and DJ’d at night on weekends. Then I got into working for not for profit and worked in housing.. managed volunteers, worked with volunteer boards.. I really enjoyed it for the most part.

I’ve waitressed, bartended, telemarketed lawn care, done other people’s laundry and drycleaning, set people up on dates and made people burgers. Among other things.

Then I started working with my ex-husband on his music career. I did tracking, promotion, publicity, talent buying and all kinds of manager type stuff.. it was a tremendous amount of fun and a ton of great experience. I was nominated for a bunch of awards several years in a row…. Manager of the Year, Talent Buyer/Promoter…most likely to bounce while running, most likely to be found drinking tequila straight out of the bottle with the CCMA’s Entertainer of the Year…. and some other stuff. Highlight of the whole thing was actually winning a few. First time I won an award I was in the washroom.. I came out of the washroom and people were congratulating me.. I had no idea why. I didn’t even know the show had started… Got to meet a ton of famous people, but mostly got to meet a lot of awesome people and make a lot of great friends.

Eventually I got another gig in radio.. worked in Promo at stations in Waterloo, Midland and Orillia.. helped launch and relaunch a few stations. Gave away a lot of stuff, worked a lot, met a lot of super people and had a ton of fun.

But all good things must come to an end.. things change.. people move on. And now I’m looking for a new gig.

I’ve turned down a couple of things because the “fit” wasn’t right.. and of course, the more time passes, the more worried I get .. what with the economy and such. But I figure worse comes to worse, I’ll take whatever gig I can get when it comes down to it.. as long as it’s not washing people’s dirty underwear again.. 🙂

Life: Still looking for a gig…
Love: Sooooooooooo nothing to report here.
Pants: This is a bit on hold for the time being while I look for work… but still doing OK.

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