For most of the 28 years of my life, I’ve pretty much taken up any offer to make money that came my way. Here are 40 jobs that I remember. 1. Child model, 1988 Payment: Unknown Highlights: I only have hazy memories of this, but it somehow involved tacky clothes from some store in my hometown mall, which until 2002 was only called “The Mall.” I could not make it as a model now, except maybe in, like, weird bear stuff
2. Local Television Commercial Actor, 1988 to 1992 Payment: $50 for one commercial, all others free. Highlights: Started out with Clean City Committee, costarring with a brown kangaroo mascot and other small children in anti-littering commercials. Later drafted to a Crime Stoppers commercial where we were handed crowbars and asked to beat up a car in a junkyard. Once paid $50 for a local pharmacy commercial which involved asking for scientific names of drugs to kindly old man pharmacist. Mom forced me to put it all in savings. I blew right through those savings my freshman year of college.
3. Self-babysitter, 1993 to 1997 Payment: $5/night Highlights: My parents paid me stay home alone and babysit myself while they finished their college degrees with night classes. This was largely a ploy to 1.) make me less terrified of staying home alone by incentivizing it and 2.) make it easier for them so they didn’t have pick me up at one of my aunts’ houses. Involved watching lots of Unsolved Mysteries and scaring myself shitless.
4. Bar Stocker, 1995 to 2002, 2004 Payment: $20/day Highlights: At an age that probably wasn’t entirely appropriate, on select Sundays, ensured that the coolers at my grandfather’s bar were stocked with beer and, sometimes during the summer, cleaned off the beer garden with a power washer. To an 11-year-old kid, $20 was a LOT of money. I have rarely felt the same sort of job fulfillment since.