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Labor Day contest!

We will have random.org select THREE WINNERS from all entries. To enter the contest just answer this question:

Tell about an interesting job (this is for "Labor Day" after all) that you had; or a difficult job; or a job you learned the most from; or whatever.

What do you win? Well, the three winners will each get to choose either one of our very popular Razor Caddys or a bottle of our newest aftershave, Land Ho! How about that? You win and then even get to pick your prize!

Will let this run a bit and then the winners will be selected. These entries should make for an interesting read...

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I don't know if it is very interesting, but one job I had that stands out to me was the time I worked as a shoe shiner. I worked at an old shoe repair store that had been family owned for over a century. I learned how to polish leather well, really well. I also learned that I did not enjoy shining shoes for hire, and quit after a few short shifts.
 

emwolf

Contributor
Contributor
Well, I was going to buy some Land Ho! anyway, but:
I worked a summer at plastic cup manufacturer (think beer pong). I was 18 at the time and young and dumb. The place, in retrospect, was a deathtrap, but I learned a lot. I was allowed to weld, run electrical cable, help install a commercial chiller, roofing, paving, running a fork truck and risking my life on regular basis without any real training. Hanging unsecured from the rafters 40 feet above the factory floor, or shoveling ground plastic in a 110 degree pit, or pulling sheets of plastic from a running hydraulic press, I'm surprised no one was killed that summer. I'm glad I did it when I did it, not knowing any better. I learned a lot of life skills to help around the house, plus learned I should NEVER do most of those things again.
 

OpusX

Contributor
First official job was working at a movie theater. I was an excited young man, eager to please and get a job done. The first area I worked in was the concession stand. During our first day the supervisor was explaining some of the duties, one of which was cleaning the grease trap, which he noted "...no one really wants to do...".

Wanting to prove myself, for whatever reason, I immediately piped up "I'LL DO IT". I learned quickly why no one wanted to do it. That was a potent slurry of aromas and gunk that was most unpleasant.

Luckily it helped me gain a reputation of wanting to work and not slack off, like so many others, and I got to quickly advance into other fun areas of the theater. The lesson, do what others won't so you can do what others can't.
 

KeenDogg

Social Media Guru
Ambassador
Not in, but awesome contest! I worked at a paper factory when I was younger. That was as hard as I ever worked. It makes me appreciate the job I have now. Happy Labor Day, Scott!
 
I had a hellish job lined up by my father when I moved to southern BC In 1990. The transport company had just been awarded the contract from Canada Post to deliver advertising (junk) mail. As part of the management team my first day was to drive a cube van loaded with product and pick up 6 letter carriers. Then go deliver the product in suburban neighbourhood on the side of a mountain in torrential rain. My letter carriers were 6 seniors, recruited as this was supposed to be a good extra income type job for the elderly. Wrong! Pre GPS, I was constantly lost. The volume of mail was immense, none of them wanted to deliver in the rain, and it was physically impossible to ask these people to shoulder carry product. I lost one man, but found his bag on the street corner, nobody had a cell phone. He gave up and walked home we found out later. We went and had tea at a sweet lady’s house who lived in the area, she have up too. I returned to the warehouse with as much product as I left with, but so did all the other trucks. No matter what we did, it never looked like we delivered any product. It went this way for months until I went into work and was told Canada Post revoked our contract as advertisers were furious over lost revenue. That was the best day ever!
 

CJB3

Contributor
I graduated from college in 1991 with a degree in economics and ended up working for a while in a lumber mill. It was tough work, but when the supervisors realized that I could convert fractions to decimals in my head, they put me in charge of setting up the machines, which was quite an honor. It was tough work, and I’m glad I made it out of there without losing any fingers!
 
I worked for many years installing medical alarms. I've learned a lot about life observing how different people approach life with infermity and how families interact during these times of sickness and loss
 
First and worst job I ever had: working as a “grease monkey” in a diesel truck repair and parts shop. I swore they had fun finding awful things for us to do. I painted 25 foot high ceilings on ladders inhaling fumes, dug up old oil drain barrels by hand in the August heat, packed asphalt by hand with a truck axel to repair the floors of giant tin buildings full of parts. Every day I sweat my body weight in water and came home absolutely filthy. Also learned a good deal of colorful new language from the mechanics at 14. I knew I had to go to college from that job.
 
My first late teen job was to care for an elder paraplegic Doctor who practiced Pediatrics from his home/office. I only did this during the weekends relieving the Lady who did his care the other five days of the week.

Doc had an interesting life as he was a young Doctor during WWII and German. War is never nice, nor pretty, and the stories I found with him were best left sleeping as they were very difficult to remember when brought back to the current day.

We spent a fair amount of time going to the SF bay area to watch foreign films, which gave him great pleasure. What he taught me, beyond the fact that we are all human; sometimes, people we don't respect will force us to do things we would never seek to do if cooler heads would have prevailed. Also, elder humanity is not easy, it's often emotionally degrading to the person who needs and deserves help most.

And it is often something which will visit us all, either personally or challenging someone you love. Odd how that rings true. Now that I'm nearing his age and have my own stories and physical infirmities. And have cared for family who now have gone on before me.
 

Billski

Here I am, 1st again.
I worked at Fisher Body for a short time. Some of the others told me their life stories. Hillbilly Jim had a bolt action .308 Winchester. According to him he was the best shooter in Pine Hollow where he lived in Kentucky. And he had two girl friends. Sometimes Helen was his favorite, and sometimes Jean was his better gal. Jim got himself in trouble with these 2.

While on vacation in Florida, I met a fellow from Montana. He said he was the best archer in his state. And Montana is huge. Not long after this I went to meet him in his motel room. When I went there, a woman ran away from him by jumping out a window. She said that he raped her. He got arrested and was in jail where I met him. He asked me for money, but I didn’t have much. So I gave him a Bible and said I would pray for him. This was a pretty good adventure, since I don’t get many of them.

I’m glad the winner will be chosen by random.org.

I am in.
 

KeenDogg

Social Media Guru
Ambassador
I worked at Fisher Body for a short time. Some of the others told me their life stories. Hillbilly Jim had a bolt action .308 Winchester. According to him he was the best shooter in Pine Hollow where he lived in Kentucky. And he had two girl friends. Sometimes Helen was his favorite, and sometimes Jean was his better gal. Jim got himself in trouble with these 2.

While on vacation in Florida, I met a fellow from Montana. He said he was the best archer in his state. And Montana is huge. Not long after this I went to meet him in his motel room. When I went there, a woman ran away from him by jumping out a window. She said that he raped her. He got arrested and was in jail where I met him. He asked me for money, but I didn’t have much. So I gave him a Bible and said I would pray for him. This was a pretty good adventure, since I don’t get many of them.

I’m glad the winner will be chosen by random.org.

I am in.
That does sound like quite an adventure. Not sure I'd want to be a part of that one.
 
I have spent the last 30 years in the fire service working on a truck, pumper, ambulance and being a firefighter/EMT, engineer, tactical medic, captain, battalion chief and now fire chief and can tell you it is the greatest, most fulfilling, rewarding, exciting and definitely the most interesting job in the world. I have watched people die and I have saved people and even revived pulse-less individuals. I have cried, laughed and seen things that no one who was not there would believe (truth is indeed stranger than fiction). I have had the pleasure of running into burning structures and even surviving an explosion ( you don't know it happened till it is over) and cutting victims from cars. I have not gotten rich and my body has physically taken a beating, but when I finally hang up my helmet it will be with the knowledge I have a large extended family with my brothers and sisters in the service and I have been of service to my community.
 
I ended up teaching ESL, primarily to children. What started as a quick part time, extra income on the side type job ended up becoming my full time job for 3+ years. Due to fairly extreme commutes all over the city on public transit, 7 workday weeks, and extreme pressure (both internal, from owners/managers of various schools and training centers, and from parents) this was easily the most exhausting but probably most fulfilling thing I've ever done. It did however make me incredibly outspoken about how foreign languages are taught, childhood education generally, and educational theory/curriculum development.

It ended up not being my long term career choice, but was certainly a great experience.
 
Another generous contest, however not in this time. My most interesting job was a long time ago when I worked as a consultant to set up a scholarship program for Native Hawaiians to go to college. It was challenging because there were already two scholarship programs under the same roof and targeting potentially the same population. In addition, there were three different offices involved in each program all wanting to show that they were doing more work than the others. I came in and got the two other programs to sit down and talk about the functions of all of our programs and then sat dwon with the different offices and divided up the responsibilities so that all felt that they were contributing equally. In all of this I had to continue to focus on the needs of the Native Hawaiian students and not the needs of the offices and programs.

Very challenging times, but in the end things worked out for the students and he programs and many graduated college and became productive people earning their own Labor Day time off.
 
One day a week I work as a medical courier. My usual cargo is just lab specimens: blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, excised tumors, etc. But once in a while I’ll get a body part or donated organ. Those are always interesting. The days I hate my job are when I have to pick up organ donations from a children’s hospital. The coolest thing about this job is that I have TSA clearance, so I can drive right onto airport tarmacs and right up to waiting aircraft.

Used to do it full time, but then I got into what I do now (software). But I keep doing it part time because the scenery changes.
 
The job that comes to mind for me was not important or interesting but I did learn a lot about people.

It was a summer job I had selling pictures door to door. They were "metal etchings" so called because they were somewhat three dimensional when you look at them and printed on some kind of tin foil - different. We would go into office buildings, light industrial areas, sometimes skyscrapers. We all had small dollies and a large box with something like twenty pictures. The pictures were of animals, landscapes, old world maps, etc. Wore a shirt and tie in Texas in the summer so major sweating going on, believe me. The sales pitch was memorized and actually pretty smooth.

The first week you got a flat $200.00. After that you earned $5.00 for each picture and your quota was forty pictures per week. After one month I was the "veteran" because I was there longer than anyone else - very high turnover. Got kicked out of buildings by security, also got a job offer selling copy machines. Quickly learned when going into an office to blow right past the secretary at the front like you had a delivery. She was trained to stop you but if you got to the employees in the back then you could make the sale. If we didn't make quota by Friday we had to go out on Saturday to neighborhoods and I did plenty of that. I was pretty spent by the end of the summer, a lot of rejection. But I did meet some nice folks.

The most interesting aspect of it was the pitch itself. The door is only half open as you speak to them. The idea was that you had nothing to sell. You had just made a delivery, "you know, at the ABC factory across the street" (turn and point). I had a few of these left over (gesturing at the box behind you) and thought I would see if you wanted any. They would always look behind you but they can't see it and so would ask, "What have you got?" When they asked that you would - even if you are four feet from them - say, "Pardon???" Like you didn't hear them. They would repeat, "What have you got?" You would somewhat slowly look back at the box and then whip around like you forgot and say, "Oh THESE!!"

Here is what I watched all summer long. The person you are talking to would always, always laugh with a big grin on their face. It was disarming, funny, and no way this guy is selling anything - he really is a delivery guy. They also just invited you in by asking what you had so in you go and the pitch starts. You pull one out of the box at such an angle that they can't quite see the picture. You describe it to them, admiring it all the while. They are literally lifting themselves out of the chair, craning their neck but you keep it angled a bit away from them. Then you hand it to them and at the same time turn away back to the box - they have to take it in their hands and that is the goal.

Not in the contest :biggrin1: but thought you all would enjoy.
 

RenoRichard

Contributor
Tell about an interesting job (this is for "Labor Day" after all) that you had; or a difficult job; or a job you learned the most from; or whatever.

I've tried a sample of Land Ho! and definitely want in on this.

In high school during the 1960s I worked part-time after school as one of the lab assistants to the medical photographer for our county. The photo lab was located in the county hospital right across from the morgue. There were some interesting medical research projects being done: One of the projects was photo documentation of congenitally deformed folks. Another was a photo comparison of organs removed during autopsies. All I was allowed to do was process the film and put the prints through the dryer, but for a high schooler this stuff was really amazing. And, I got paid all of about $1.30/hour.

The job lasted a year and I did learn from the experience: 1. The local political party wanted a small "contribution" from my pay. Apparently, they did this to all county employees. This was my first direct experience with political patronage. 2. One of the guys I worked for was Black and had sickle-cell anemia. He was a lovely, soft-spoken man and watching him function daily showed me how a mature person deals with an incurable debilitating disease.
 
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