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I was just thinking about jobs I
Old 08-05-2020, 10:20 AM
  #1

worked at while in college and grad school to pay my way.

1. Found cool used and vintage clothing at Salvation Army and other large thrift stores, cleaned them up or mended them if necessary, and took them to a vintage consignment shop owned by friends. I would find something for 25 cents and he would put it in his store for $10 or $20 and give me 60%. Made $150-$200 a month, and that was a lot back in the mid-1970s.

2. Worked part-time as an assistant to a self-employed civil engineer who worked out of his home. He did his own surveying, so I helped out on-site with those types of issues. I was the only female at the construction site. It was interesting.

3. Waitressed a lot of weekends and almost every break as well as summers. It was at a resort area, so we lived on the resort property or in the local town. I think I was better at waitressing than teaching, though they require some of the same skills.

Who else has held interesting and unusual jobs?



Last edited by Clarity; 08-05-2020 at 10:42 AM..
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:34 AM
  #2

I think your #1 was a pretty cool job! I’m not good with sewing and stuff like that.

I did a lot of waitressing and bartending in and after college. I always tip big because I can appreciate how hard they work.
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:34 AM
  #3

I was a water meter reader- the kind that had to go into people's houses and verify that the outside and inside meters read the same.

I've had a bunch of jobs, but that is one most people usually haven't done.
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:48 AM
  #4

When we lived in the dorm at UCLA, not-yet-DH and I loved the old pinball machines. The owner noticed and we were hired (at slightly above $0) to clean the machines and empty/roll the quarters.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:03 AM
  #5

Waitressed for too many years! I used to joke I made more waitressing than teaching!

I also worked as a front desk clerk in Lake Placid. Worked concessions in LP during the Olympics. That was a cool job!

I was a travel agent for several years when I couldn't find a teaching job.

I'm sure there's more...


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Old 08-05-2020, 11:10 AM
  #6

I was a statistical typist for Dr. Morris Eaton when I was at the University of Minnesota. This meant that, in addition to typing the text of his various articles and books, I had to type the mathematical equations as well. I'm going to date myself now: back then we didn't do this using computers and word processors - we had to manually switch out the type hammers. It was painstaking work. I was excited when IBM came out with a mathematical ball head for the IBM Selectric typewriter because it made it go much more quickly. Dr. Eaton (known to most as Joe) was, and probably still is, an awesome person - brilliant and hysterically funny and very pleasant to work for.

When he completed the book he was working on and went on sabbatical to Denmark for a semester, I resigned from the School of Statistics and went to work doing data entry for the Minitex library cataloguing system. I made this change because, at Minitex, we got paid by the page and could work as many hours as we could maintain accuracy and we could do it at any time of day, even in the middle of the night if we were so inclined. This meant I could work long hours when I was able and then cut back on my schedule when I needed to and, in the summer, I could easily fit it around whatever other type of job I had - most often waiting tables.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:13 AM
  #7

I worked at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon as a gift shop clerk/cashier. After that summer adventure I worked for a blind social worker,driving him to case visits and assisting him with his paper work. He became a lifelong friend for many years.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:40 AM
  #8

I worked at Cedar Point for a couple of summers while in college. The first year I was the cashier for the miniature golf course, the second year, I was a tour guide for their museum.

Another year, I sold knives for Vector Marketing, and was a maid cleaning rooms at an upscale hotel.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:50 AM
  #9

I was a switchboard operator for an answering service. It was when you still had to plug the cords in and wear a headset. Kind of like the Lily Tomlin character Ernestine the switchboard operator. ( Now I’m really old!). It was quite the interesting job because I usually worked the evening shift. I got several obscene phone callers whenever one of the retail client’s commercials ran on late night TV. One of the clients was an escort. Those were very interesting calls.
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These answers are all great, some hilarious.
Old 08-05-2020, 12:45 PM
  #10

hand- One of the resorts I worked at had a old-style switchboard. I worked front desk one summer and had to do switchboard as well.

teachnkids - I did most of my waitressing in Lake Placid. I worked at the Marcy, Lake Placid Club, Whiteface, Holiday Inn, and the little restaurant across from the Marcy. I left before the Olympics, though.

It's fun to think of all the jobs we did, the ridiculously low pay we got, what we were willing to do to make $$. I am really glad I had the chance to experience so many different types of work.


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Owens-Illinois Glass Factory
Old 08-05-2020, 01:06 PM
  #11

For three summers, I worked in a glass production factory of Owens-Illinois. This was in the mid-70s, before the advent of plastic bottles.

The plant manufactured molasses jars, wine bottles (clear and colored), champagne bottles (magnums), baby food jars, and 1/2 gallon soda bottles. I worked in the quality control division - we inspected each piece of glass that was released from the molds after it went through other automated inspections.

We were also responsible for packing the bottles/jars in cases if the automated machine designed to do this was "down." This happened frequently, but most frequently on the champagne bottle line. I learned, after much help and broken bottles, how to take 4 champagne magnums, each between my fingers, and get them in the box. With 2 hands, I was packing 8 champagne bottles at a time. The bottles one missed, stayed on the conveyer best to a type of lazy susan, to be packed when you got a chance. (Imagine Lucy and Ethel in the candy episode of "I Love Lucy" and that was me my first night on the champagne line! )

I worked "trick work." 7 am- 3pm for 5 days, 2 days off, then 3pm - 11pm for 5 days, 2 days off, and back to the 7-3 shift the next day. My body clock was so screwed up by the end of the summer! But there were people there who had done it for decades. If anything, it taught me how important my college education would be.

I was tough union factory work, but the pay was so good that I was able to cover my tuition and board for each year. And with 3 other siblings in college at the same time, the money was sorely needed.

That particular glass factory is gone now, glass really took a hit when the plastics industry exploded. But, I still look at the marks on the bottom of jars and bottles to see if it comes from an Owens-Illinois plant.
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Old 08-05-2020, 01:20 PM
  #12

While I was in grad school for my education degree, I was at a school with a strong ag science and ag education program. And a vet school. For almost 2 semesters, two mornings a week, I woke up at 5 am and milked mother pigs at the pig research barn. The university was doing transgenic research, inserting (?) pig genes into a new formula of insulin. The mamas and piglets were separated for research, and the piglets were bottle fed mama's milk. It was good money, easy work, and kind of peaceful that early in the morning with all my pig friends.

I worked as a bookkeeping assistant for a heating/cooling business in high school for a summer. I worked 6-hour days (no benefits) and filed work orders, answered the phone, completed daily mileage logs for each HVAC tech, and other glamorous work. Better money than retail and fast food, and many of the techs had daughters my age. That made it a family friendly environment instead of a boys' club kind of place. No naked lady tool company calendars. I filled in over winter break, too, to help them get ready for an annual audit. Nice Christmas bonus!
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Old 08-05-2020, 01:30 PM
  #13

I worked at a Rape Crisis Center for two summers. It actually made me question my career choice. The name has since changed to Victims Resource Center.
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Old 08-05-2020, 02:38 PM
  #14

I was the bacon cook for campus dining for a while. For 3 hours every morning, I stood in front of an enormous rotisserie oven and fed trays of bacon strips into it. I would fill up the rotisserie trays and then I would have to take one row out and put another row in as it slowly went past an open window. I always had some sort of burn on my hand.

I lived in a room at the end of a horse barn on campus. The job was general groundskeeping and being on site in case of trouble with the horses throughout the facility. There were four of us, and we rotated being on call.

In grad school, I worked as a personal assistant for an author for a total of 6 hours. She was crazy, and I quit on the second day.

I had a ton of jobs in college/grad school, but those are the three that come to mind now.
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A couple of jobs...
Old 08-05-2020, 06:32 PM
  #15

Worked at a service station on the weekends and in the summer during my high school and undergraduate years. Learned to change oil, repair tires, mount new tires, and do basic mechanical work. Also met quite a few well-known people who happened to stop in.


During graduate school I worked in a green house. Still pretty good at taking care of plants.
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Old 08-05-2020, 07:41 PM
  #16

Nothing interesting like these! I was a lifeguard for many years. In college I was a counselor at a residential summer camp for insanely wealthy kids. I'm from a small town in the Midwest. I'd never been around people that had that kind of money.

They stayed for either 4 or 8 weeks. Most of the other counselors were international/hired through Camp America, which is an organization that matches people from other countries with American summer camps so they can come visit/experience our country. I LOVED it and it was such an eye opening experience on all fronts.

That said, sometimes I do wish I had the traditional waitress/retail experience. I don't really have any "in" to get a non-teaching summer job if I wanted. I have friends that make bank waitressing in the summers.
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:03 PM
  #17

While in college I had a variety of jobs throughout the years:

*cleaned houses for university professors
*summer work on the university grounds and maintenance crew. We were actually told not to work too hard on hot days and when driving the maintenance vehicles were advised not to park in one spot too long— We got real good at “looking” busy!
*office work (mostly filing) for two professors
*worked at Lullaby Furniture making baby furniture
*city bus driver and school bus driver
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Old 08-05-2020, 08:50 PM
  #18

During my college days I worked in Food Service: started in the dishroom, then moved onto the serving line, the salad prep, then as a server in the special dining room, and finally as a Student cook. I also was an RA for 2 1/2 years.

My first 2 summers I worked in the Health Lodge of a Fine Arts Camp. The next 2 I spent working for MSU Sports Camp as a counselor and in the Housing Director’s office.

I also babysat, worked for a magazine sales company, and was a test scorer for high stakes testing.
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Old 08-06-2020, 04:50 AM
  #19

One thing I have never done is work in a restaurant waiting tables or cooking.

I have worked in used clothing shops (three different times);

I was a statistics tutor;

I did data entry for Pac Bell when they had to split up.
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:02 AM
  #20

Too fun reliving memories. Some of my "fun" ones were:

Salad girl- made fancy salads at a local restaurant
Dessert Girl- lol- yep, made the desserts and filled the dessert counter.

Usher at an outdoor drama. It was actually fun to seat people and sell the show books. Worked the concession stand at intermission. That was a rush!

Quote:
I was a switchboard operator for an answering service. It was when you still had to plug the cords in and wear a headset.
. I was the manager at one of these places for a year. Hated the owner.

One spring I cut corn plants out of planted bean fields. Hot and sweaty with a lot of walking involved, but you got to carry a big knife.
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Old 08-06-2020, 12:00 PM
  #21

I was an archery instructor at a summer camp.

I taught dance classes at a local studio for 4 years.
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