Monday, June 17, 2013

The Career Game

As my life is settling down a bit. I'm not playing Manic Monday any more. At least not until I have a manic day. I am back at "that" house so things may change at any moment.

I was looking at my DD's keyboard and the ten key at the side and remembering when I was a bookkeeper. That bought me to think of all the careers I've had. I'm going to try to remember them all and list them for you. Some, you will not believe.

My first real PAYING job was at age 16. I did evening billing for a local department store. It was long before computers, and we used adding machine to tally receipts and hand write the amounts on cards for the customer's permanent file. We also subtracted the amount of checks paid. I wasn't very good at it, and I quit before I screwed up too many bills. I've always been dyslexic, and was much worse as a teen.

Next career was more in my line. For several years as a teen, I did freelance crafting. Macrame accessories and clothing, hand painted leather jewelry, beaded jewelry. But for the most part, I didn't get money, only trade. But for me, that was awesome. I kept some of the trade clothes (my fave) for years.

I finally got another Real job when I was 19. It was temporary, but real money and something I could do. I managed a booth at a local mall, selling little glass blown figurines. I found I was actually good at handling money, and managing employees, even at 19.

The next job was selling memberships at a national auto club. It was pretty horrible. I had to make cold phone calls and even drive out to the clients houses wherever they were, even in the city, to close the deal. I discovered that I REALLY hated solicitation.

I moved right from phone sales to department store sales. Quite different. First I was a floater, moving from department to department, then jewelry took me. I liked that, and much different when the buyer comes to you. I had my eye on the art department and the pet department, and when I finally took an offer from  the pet department, I got an offer for art. Too bad I didn't take it. Might have changed my life. Pet department was mostly fun, I wore a snake around my neck at work, and occasionally brought home bags of frogs or snakes to transfer from one store to another. I became a supervisor at 20, and things were great until my married boss made advances. It was a whole different world back then. No protection for employees. I quit.

What would a young girl of 21 choose to do next? Why become a store detective of course. I started with a national detective agency as a store detective and eventually progressed to an undercover detective, working in factories to ferret out thieving employees. It was a lot of hours, writing reports every day, and the deceit was hard for me to handle. I couldn't tell anyone what I was doing, especially friends I made on the job. I finally quit. Not something I was cut out for, but interesting all the same.

I had met the man who I would marry while I was a detective and during our transition from dating to marriage, I got another job in sales at a clothing store. I also did a little repair sewing when they found out I was a seamstress, having taken tailoring in High School. But it was time to have kids and I stopped working for a few years.

Finally when my youngest was only 3 months, I decided enough was enough. If only there was online sales back then, how different my life would have been too. But I got a part time job as an evening bookkeeper at my husbands auto service garage. I worked there and other stations for quite a few years while also going back to school. School would end up taking 11 years to complete.

Bookkeeping turned to station management and eventually computer accountant for the entire Cleveland Area. But I was stubborn, when the company refused to give me the $.25 an hour raise they promised me, I quit. It cost them quite a bit too, because my replacement payed every employee holiday pay, and corporation payed them too. No employee told, my husband was one of them. Karma will get you every time.

While I was finishing school a friend offered me a job at her interior fiber design studio making drapery and slip covers. It was fun, but interfered too  much with my difficult program in industrial design. So I had to quit that job too.

While at school I took various jobs, like part time assistant in school departments, summer school art instructor, and computer tech. I loved computer lab tech, because I was so strict, no one came to use computers on my watch and I could do my own work on several at a time. They were pretty slow for graphics back then.

Graduation time and I had my hopes set on toy design. that was my focus at school, but actually I had more experience in home fashion and lighting design it was. That was supposed to be a temporary move, but lasted over 15 years. My focus was Tiffany style lighting and painted finishes. I decided to move around to get better positions and well, that was my downfall.

After my last full time job as designer, and art director, I got some work as a freelance paint finish designer, working for a US lighting company a few times a year in China. Money was good. I also sold supplies and children's clothing on eBay.

Then came the market crash and a little place called Etsy. Lighting wasn't selling, but handmade crafts were. I still sell online and do a little freelance lighting design. Not sure what the future holds, but I'll keep you updated. I'm thinking of writing an illustrated children's book.


Pesky Cat Designs said...

Great reading about all your past jobs and I look forward to seeing what the future will bring. Wishing you all the best always!

Melanie said...

Very interesting! You are one well rounded talented person! Best wishes in the future! I say go for the Children's Book! Awesome!

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