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ALL MY LABOURS
3 September 2018
For several years I wrote and typed resumes for other people, but if I were to have to write a resume for myself, I would be hard pressed. My working life is so convoluted, often working 2-3 job at once, sometimes starting as a volunteer, sometimes evolving into a paid job, or sometimes a paid job turning into volunteer job.
Whenever I answer the question about what my first job was, I always say washing test tubes, but actually it was first babysitting, and then passing out political flyers for a candidate for something. I don't know that either my mother or I knew who he was, but he paid me to go door to door dropping off the stuff I now hate to find left at my door.
When I went for a "real" job, I answered an ad from Medical Arts Laboratory, a block from my school. I went to work after school and worked for a couple of hours washing all the test tubes that accumulated in a big sink of soapy water during the day. I didn't mind so much the bloody test slides, but I had such a tender stomach, I really hated washing the poopy specimen dishes. The part of the job I liked was holding the arms of nervous clients who hated needles and needed to have a blood test. Who knew I would spend so many years working in doctors' offices.
I worked two summers as a biller clerk for one of those companies that sell $1 tools. My friend was working there and got me the job (best part of the job was going for pastry and hot chocolate before we went to work). My boss for that job was ultimately arrested for something, long after I left.
When I was sort of going to UC Berkeley, I was also working as secretary for the building program of the Newman Center (Sell Memorials). Char and I worked together and today are Facebook friends from the guy who was our boss.
After I left the University, I got a job working as secretary for the Physics Department. I worked for the billing office and also doubled as secretary for 3 professors. I loved the job because I had my own private office, and the job evolved into leaving the billing department and just worked for the 3 professors, ne of whom retired and the other of whom spent most of his time "on the hill" in the radiology laboratory, so really I was a private secretary with my own office. Still my favorite job. My boss and I remained friends for decades but I stopped hearing from him two years ago. I don't know why, but letters to his house and to his wife have produced no response so I am guessing that maybe he is disabled either mentally or physically. He is 90, after all.
When I left the job to have a baby, I took part of it home with me and worked from home for awhile.
I don't remember working again until we moved to Davis, when David was a year and a half. I saw an ad for a job with the local free newspaper. What a weird job that was. There were 3 of us and the boss wanted a political free newspaper, but included an entertainment double spread in the middle. He knew nothing about theater or music, so I took over that page and had fun with it, promoting any event, tiny or big, that any friend of mine was doing. I once gave a 1/4 page ad to a production which featured a grade B name star, in which the son of a friend of ours was in the chorus and wrote the ad as if the show starred the two of them -- in Oakland, where nobody in Davis would ever go to a show! But I learned how to paste up a newspaper and when the boss was arrested for parking tickets (some 300 of them) I took the office IBM as payment since he had no money to pay me)
I worked for a year or so for the attorney I talked about a day or so ago. Such a weirdo, but that was a fairly "normal" time for me, work-wise.
Then came the frantic years. I transcribed medical reports for a psychiatrist for 30 years and for a psychologist for 2 years. At the same time I worked mostly full time days for one typing service and then another, worked one day a week (for pay) in San Francisco for the Lamplighters, ran a cake decorating business out of my house, and started working for the newspaper for which I wrote several different columns, the most ridiculous of which was a mental health column (I had ZERO experience in mental health and gave that one up when I ran out of problems of my friends and family to write about!). I would type until I couldn't stay awake, then work on a cake to wake myself up and then go back to typing.
Many's the day when I had 3 jobs in the same day (one during the day and two at night), was running on no sleep and hated it whenever Walt waved me off with a cheery "have fun!" as if the job I was going to was playtime. I was also volunteering in schools then too. I must have been a horrible mother during those years and I apologize to my children for it.
After 12 years working in several medical offices (and one in particular) I was working for Dr. G when I started as a critic. It wasn't just a 9-5 job, more like 8-6 seven days a week and I was also doing his books, cleaning the office, learning how to be a medical assistant, and at night doing his transcription. When I left the office, he needed to hire 3 people to replace me.
Walt's job in those years was to keep me awake during shows. I remember one of my first "big" shows when I absolutely could not stay awake but was irritated that he seemed to be nudging me every few minutes. I was following the story, I thought (it was a new to me show). When people gave the show a standing ovation, I realized I had not understood ANY of it. (I have since reviewed the show several times and the second time I saw it it was like seeing a new show). I never could have written the review without the internet and Walt's memory.
I'm sure I've left jobs out. It's so
nice now to only have a show now and then to review. when I stopped
regular work, I felt guilty that I had no "career" to look back on like most
of my friends did. My career was like a patchwork quilt.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
"Boba" (the girls' other grandfather) is helping build a fancy new
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