Thursday, May 26, 2005

Whistle While you Work!

I've been rolling a few ideas around in my head to blog about. Weary Hag, at http://thecerebraloutpost.blogspot.com posted about her resume recently. She has had more jobs than I could even think about having, but I have decided to recite mine, in the interest of posting something new.
Other than babysitting, the first real job I can remember was selling hot dogs at lunchtime in a place across the street from my high school. I only did it to make cigarette money. Of course, back then cigs were about 25 cents per pack, so I could work an hour and have enough for 2-3 packs. When I was in NYC, I heard someone ask a clerk how much a carton of cigarettes was, and he replied $85. I almost lost my teeth on that one! Thank God I quit smoking many years ago, because I sure couldn't afford the habit now! At 2 packs a day, I'd be in the poor house in about a week.
The second job was working in a florist shop owned by friends of my Mom and Dad. I started out sweeping the floors and dusting the stock, but ended up doing everything but funeral flowers (too depressing anyway). I remember many a holiday having to work 18-22 hours, making corsages. Back then, everyone wore a corsage to church on Easter and Mother's Day - and almost everyone went to church. My fingers looked like chopped liver after 18 hours of making corsages, but it was fun nonetheless. I worked there off and on all through college.
The next job grew out of becoming a member of the local department store's "College Board" as it was called back then. A group of 15-20 college-bound girls were hired to work in the store the summer after graduation, and the purpose was supposed to be helping girls and their mothers decide what to buy for college. What a laugh! My purpose was spending my paycheck in the ladies department and getting the largest discount I could muster! I ended up gift wrapping and also I was a personal shopper for that store one Christmas season. I have written about that previously. At the end of the summer, just before college, we participated in a style show of all the latest "college fashions", but I hornswoggled them into letting me wear a French blue chiffon number with dyed ostrich feathers around the hem and neck. No college girl I ever knew would wear (or could afford) that dress. It would have looked wonderful on Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's". That job led to modeling; I would walk around the store dressed to the "nines" and wearing hats, and carrying a small sign telling where they could be found. I modeled hats for a newpaper article and several independent style shows.
Next I took a break from college between my junior and senior years, and worked at the local telephone company. Trying to convince my Mom and Dad that I only needed a break, while promising to return to college soon was not easy. She finally agreed to let me quit school (she had no choice, really). I delivered all the mail to the executives on seven floors of the telephone company building. It was sort of boring, but I felt important being responsible for all that mail. After 9 months, it had become a horrible drudgery, and I couldn't wait to get out of there and go back to college!
In the second semester of my senior year, I realized I had no job prospects and no career on the horizon. A degree in English didn't do much for you without higher education; I didn't want to teach and I had no interest in Journalism. One of my friends was in school to learn how to read Pap smears, in a new science called Cytotechnology. The government was paying a stipend to anyone who would take the classes, and that sold me! I got $125 per month, plus I lived at home and had no expenses. $125 is ludicrous nowadays, but back then it was almost a living wage, especially if your parents still supported you. After that school, I got a job in a hospital in Norfolk, Va. I worked there for a year or two, got married, had a kid and quit working to stay home with him. I went back to work after 11 months, because they needed someone to finish out the school year for their students, but when my son called his babysitter "Momma", I quit, and I didn't work again for 15 years, except for volunteering in the schools, which I did a heck of a lot of while my kids were there.
In 1982, I started my business (Tickle Your Fancy), doing flowers for weddings and parties. It is a wonderful thing to love what you do so much that you are anxious to get to work every day. I know my work life has not been as varied or as interesting as Weary Hag's - or like yours - for example, but perhaps you have done something you would like to tell about. If you do, let me know so I can read it.

22 comments:

panthergirl said...

Hey I'm here from Michele's M&G... and I can't wait to read about your jobs, but my dog needs to go out! I'll be right back! ;)

panthergirl said...

Ok I'm back! I think it's very cool that you went back to flowers and that you're doing something you love so much!

I've had 14 jobs and plan to blog about some of them...the first one will probably be about my job selling cars at a sleazy and corrupt dealership in Manhattan.

Star said...

I think your career path is most interesting. I am late for work(blog addiction). I'll be back later.

Allie said...

Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog!

You doing flowers for weddings and parties sound awesome! I wish I could love what I do as much as you do! It's basically about money for me, a great security... but I really hope to do something I love in the future!

Allie said...

ohh and I've added you to my blog fave list... so I can come back and check out your blog! ;-D

iliana said...

Hi Kenju - coming over via Michele's weekend meet up.

I've had many jobs but most of them in corporate America. I do remember my first job though. I was a receptionist for a French school and I only got paid once a month and I got to take French lessons for free. So it was pretty good.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

This is really good, Judge. I love this sort of stuff. Makes me feel like the neighbor next door. You would be a wonderful next-door neighbor (as you probably are, to somebody).

Angie said...

I find your past very interesting.

I would buy corsages more often if they weren't so expensive these days. I would wear hats more often too but there is so little to choose from and if the ones I like were not so overly priced I would buy them.

I like arranging my own flowers for my home. I also have done several family weddings. I don't know if I would like it as a career. I would be the english teacher journalist.

Good on you that you have found something you love and enjoy!

paul said...

That great that you could return to doing something that you love. Like the business name as well. It takes a good amount of courage and support to do your own thing so I applaud you and hope you continue to find success! I am here via Micheles.

cheers

P.

Dawn said...

I have had many jobs.....I could write a book about all of that:)

I am here via Michele

vicki said...

Great "piecework" as Hoss would say (not BLOG). Wonderful resume, to, because each move marks a transition or new phase of life. I love it. It may be too much to resist and I might have to do some piecework on this subject over at my place- in the meantime, I remember my brief stint in a flower shop. I started 3 days befoer Valentine's Day and shaved more thorns from roses than there is sand in the Bahamas. Now, when I bring in roses from my own garden they stay nice and thorny. Thanks for the fun read Judy!

Nic said...

Hi there via Michele's!

vegemiterules said...

G'day Judy,

Lovely snapshot you have posted about your life journey.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Congrats on having your own business now, you sound like you truly love your business.

Have a great weekend, I am having the pleasure of visiting again via Michele's M&G

PractiGal said...

Hi Judy!

I'm here via Michele...

Flowers... mmmm! You have a job that makes people smile! That is wonderful!!! Busy season now, huh?

Happy weekend!

Jennifer said...

Oh, man, I remember the College Board girls. I always wanted to be one, but never had a prayer of doing so. They were just the coolest, though. Was that Frankenburger's or the Diamond??

It's so nice to have a friendly face around from home. :-)

millennium hippies said...

here from michele's...
glad to hear you quit smoking, that's great!! i also did some modeling in the mall as a teenager...it was mannequin modeling. i'd have to stand in a store window modeling clothing from the store, and stand in a pose still as a statue (changing position every 15 minutes or so) while people passed by staring, wondering if i was real or not. then you'd get the kids trying to look up your skirt, or banging on the window trying to mess you up. it was fun i guess, trying not to laugh. fun gig for a teenager.

RC said...

The only job I ever had was working at a gym for 1 hour for some school work program, but it didn't last long because I got fired. I then started my own business, selling lemonade from a lemonade stan, but I had one lemon, so I went out of business that same day!

I hope to start a career at White Castle, or maybe making Chinese taco's somewhere, probably at an Indian restaurant.

Hi, Michele sent me!

I hope you have a nice weekend, Kenju!

Karen said...

Hi Judy,
I hope things work out.....

Take Care

Carmi said...

Howdy! I'm here from Michele's meet n greet - and am so glad for that. Wonderful blog you have here: this point was especially illuminating.

Michele said...

Oh my, I love this post and you KNOW that I admire that you work with flowers and love doing it.

During my university days I worked two nights a week as a bartender - the tips were great and I can still make an awesome martini. Yes, that IS a worthy skill.

Dawn said...

I am here via Michele.........

Weary Hag said...

You clearly had a much more balanced and sensible job history than I. How sweet of you to have included me in your post... Muchly appreciated! It felt so good today to finally have some time to window shop around Blogger and visit some of my favorites. This activity has been seriously halted lately and I could kick myself for allowing stresses at work flow into my leisure time.
By the way, I can't think of a more lovely and feminine business than the one you chose to make your own. Excellent!