I have wondered whether these were merely my personal circadian rhythms or whether maybe there were other larger forces at play. Do other people also get hired in late spring and let go in winter?
I was in my bed in that slim space between being awake and asleep when I realized I was in my 30’s and hadn’t been to grad school yet.
Two years in and I’ve succeeded in my one and only goal: to not send any inappropriately adorable otter videos to my clients.
I got my first ever paying job through a family friend. My mom’s college friend ran a (now defunct) television production company specializing in lowbrow A&E Biography specials (RIP), afternoon cooking shows for the Food Network, and occasional documentaries for HBO. I was shy and willing to earn minimum wage spending all summer inside, reading the internet. My first summer, I pitched subjects for a Biography special on murderers. I spent a lot of time on Crime Library, got familiar with the filming policies for both federal and assorted state prisons, and eventually one of my suggestions became a TV episode! “First Person Killers: Ronald DeFeo,” (about the guy who inspired The Amityville Horror) aired sometime in 2006, and I have still never seen it.
The breakfast interview is akin to going to the dentist’s office: you have something in your mouth while the person in front of you asks important questions.
In addition to handing out programs, I scheduled the other ushers and occasionally ran the sound booth. Perks included choice hours and the ability to wear colors. The highlight of this job was meeting Aretha Franklin backstage. She called me Stewart and asked me to bring her a hamburger.
Thanks to the generous wages afforded by a company monopolizing a nation’s dairy industry, I never worked during the school year, except for a single day, done mostly as a favor.
I broke into my current industry through a meandering and long process of leaving jobs for similar ones that were slightly better. Though I’ve met a lot of people through my various jobs and am still in touch with many, I haven’t been able to work this network or my other friends much for job connections. Mostly this has been because I’ve moved cross-country twice, and I spent most of my career in a small niche industry which doesn’t have many jobs open in general.
Looking back it seems so gradual that saving the world and being a writer, my two life’s goals, have become increasingly separate from what I get paid to do all day. While it’s taken some getting used to, I am learning to like it this way. There are certain benefits to severing your creative endeavors from your financial needs. And the rhythm of my days and weeks at a boring desk job still allow quiet moments here and there where I can take a minute, or even a few minutes, and write.
I became an employee of the federal government pretty much by accident. I had meant to be searching for (do I even have to say unpaid?) summer internships in theatre production on my university’s career services site. At some point, though, I clicked through to a different search category and ended up perusing recreation and leisure jobs that actually paid money. Thusly, what would have been my eventually illustrious career as a high-powered Broadway producer ended before it had even begun.
The first thing anyone teaches you about getting hired is it’s who you know. That’s kind of how I got my first job. A friend of mine worked at a small pizzeria that was named after both the owner and the owner’s son. This friend was also errant; two weeks after I’d dropped off a resume (why??????), I got a call from the owner telling me that my friend hadn’t shown up to work and asking would I be interested in covering his shift?