Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Fav Job (s)

I don’t know whether the term then was garbage man or garbage collector but it remains my favorite job (other than obviously the last 40 years in community marketing.)LEA106

I realize looking back that I had a lot of very different jobs growing up:

  • My first at 5 years old when I graduated from drying the dishes to washing the dishes.  My Mom was very determined I wouldn’t grow up with any of those “rancher” stereotypes for inside and outside work.


  • At six I worked digging post holes with my Grandfather and went on my first cattle round-up (and got lost.)


  • I had my first newspaper route at 9 years old in a small town of 1,000 and even fewer actually households.  This was my first job working for non-family. I still remember the sights and smells and darkness of early morning and there weren’t many street lights then.


  • I went on to “moving” sprinkler pipe twice a day at 10.  I also had a lawn mowing business and that included moving sprinklers but a different kind.


  • Then baling hay which was more like loading and unloading bales during junior high.  And getting up very early before track practice to cut asparagus before the sun came up.


  • When I could drive, I did a stint driving grain truck only it was actually grass seed and they worked three shifts.


  • And I also worked in a salvage store where we took goods from fires and floods and resold them.


  • My senior year in high school I worked in a service station (gas stations before the era of convenience stores.)  Did a brief stint as a flagman for highway construction.


  • And during the summer spraying trees in the Targhee National Forest which involved getting drenched in DDT and bathing only once a week and sleeping in tents.  Definitely not a favorite.


  • I worked construction on a new hotel and then got a my fav job working as summer replacement on the crew of a garbage truck for the county.  It was in the days of back loaders where you loaded a big bin in the back, then when it was full ran a big scoop that compressed it up into the bed.  Then went to the dump when it was full and emptied it like a dump truck.

It took several loads a day to do a route.  I only got to work on the back end.  People had metal garbage cans in those days and often more than one.  I learned the skill of reaching down as the driver slowed, picking up a can without getting off the truck and while it was still moving, tossing it behind my back to the other hand, flipping it upside down to empty and then reversing it to put it down on the grown just a few feet from where I picked it up.

Great skill to have and obvious no OSHA in those days.

  • And college I worked in and eventually managed the Office of Tours and Conferences and then start up with a convention and visitors bureau,  launching my 40 year career in destination marketing.

I’m sure I left a few jobs out.  I regret that today, kids don’t appear to get the opportunity to work through jobs like this.  Many don’t never even have to do chores.  They have to be missing something that can’t be replaced with other activities.

Maybe it’s why, as I read recently, that “Millennials” are the first generation of Americans ever not to list work ethic as a top value in surveys.  But maybe that’s because they haven’t had jobs and the fulfillment of a day’s work.

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