Jobs I've done
I found this blog and thought it was kind of fun. People at work always say things to me like ‘what haven’t you done?’ Usually their career works out something like this.
Went to private school K to 12, go to local University. Graduate in law and humanities such as Political Science, Woman’s Studies or science. Get graduate job in Government usually federal, then move back to state level or if you’re lucky stay federal but move regional. Get married, have two kids, or get knocked up have one kid, get married, get divorced. Find high paying government job, if female, do it part time, if male become a manger or senior employee. And that’s it, then you tell them what you do or have done and they act genuinely surprised that a) you can do things, b) have a studio , c) not actually interested in the job and it’s there to pay the bills and live large.
My career is a little stranger as it zips and slides all over the place without too much planning or a big plan. My big plans lie in wait elsewhere and leap out at moments when I don’t usually expect them to go anywhere. So far so good right?
Here is the list:
Pharmacy Delivery boy: (worked out about $4 an hour) just like Philip J Fry I was a delivery boy woohoo. It involved riding my bike to old ladies and men who couldn’t wait at the chemist and opted for delivery after 4pm by yours truly. Met some old lonely people, lots of cancer patients, some gang members who were so aggressive I couldn’t believe they couldn’t just wait at the store for their drugs. Sometimes your customers would die and you would turn up to be told ‘you can take those back you aren’t needed’ and once an American lady gave me a $20 tip. Lasted one whole year.
Kiwifruit packer (about $300 per week) you packed furry fruit, you got gloves, met some nice people, worked through the night. It was kind of fun I made new friends and my Mom turned all union operative and annoyed people. I spent all the money I made on shoes, beer and Dead Kennedys and Crass records. Those Dr Martens didn’t pay for themselves you know.
Vineyard worker (about $200 for the week) back breaking annoying and hot. Enough said.
Roadie: (paid nothing) I used to work on an off for a friend of mine carting gear, booking venues, making posters, ringing radio stations for his bloody awful band. I was unemployed and 17 at the time and I liked working so it was OK to do. They didn’t have groupies or good riders or anything. My friend was so cheap he wouldn’t have given me any beer anyways. But I got to learn an important lesson. If you are going to work with musicians, work with successful ones; B grade bands with no talent and no future will just suck you dry for the limited success they may find. Coupled with proto-rocker’s ginormous ego you will be left out of pocket and traded in when another flunky moves in.
Factory worker ($10 an hour) made pleated garments for ladies sized 16 to 36. Incredibly dull factory work, but the owner was a super intelligent engineer and really nice to work for.
Television camera assistant/sound guy/art director dogsbody ($15,000 for the year) I was 18 and got this great job after working for free for six weeks with a Christian TV company. They didn’t make that many Christian TV shows they just all happened to be Pentecostal Christians. So this had the plus side of every time I worked on, say a beer commercial, I got given the props to take home. Which was great, I could get tanked up before going to see bands on Friday night for free. Unfortunately I got the job during a peak economic period and things went sliding downhill fast. From heaps of work while working for free to no work and being paid to sit in the equipment room. Very soul destroying, then the boss’s son wanted a job there so I got the boot and went freelance. (In Australia we would just call it casual work, in New Zealand you’re a contractor) Also the bloke who owned the place was A-grade nuts, so I was glad to be out of there, nothing quite like a crazy Dad yelling and screaming at his employees.
Freelance Camera assistant: ($20 per hour) worked on fun things like car commercials, music videos, docos and corporate videos. Made bugger all money but I had a good time. Got to work with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and the kiwi rock awards and some comedy shows. Never got past being hired for one day only at a time. So it was totally unsustainable. At this time in NZ all the Uni grads were getting the jobs, so in the tournament that is the TV and Film industry I wasn’t getting anywhere fast but it got me a good job later on.
Picture Framer: (underpaid about $15,000 for the year sued for $4,000 owning and superannuation and won)
For a guy who likes art this should have been Ok. It wasn’t, boss was a wanker, apprentice was his nephew and also a wanker. I thought when I first showed up it was a sheltered work shop for handicapped people. Oh no, that’s actually the supervisor. The pudgy lazy pretentious bogan who buys cheap porn in his lunch break and spends his work time in his van doing ‘business’. No air con, my DNA was liberally spread over every picture I framed. I just did my best and got fired a year later so the boss could hire his son. Who then promptly quit. Good luck picture framing guys I’m sure you will be needed on the golgafrinchian B ark when the earth is to be eaten by a mutant space goat.
Trade Show labourer. ($11.40 per hour ) Good fun lots of variety, got super fit, met lots of nice people from all around the world. Drank a lot of beer in Brisbane’s pubs after work.
Pizza shop manager. ($12 per hour) That TV show Fat Pizza, well that was basically my shop. Long haired crazy manager called Bobo that was me, just sans the Italian mom. No skippys in the shop at all, just Greeks , Macedonians, Spaniards, and Italians. It was so Aussie. After the first few stressful weeks it was Ok and quite fun. Never ever will I work with Teenagers again, but it kept the wolf from the door while living in the crappiest place on earth which is the western suburbs of Sydney.
One week as an AV installer. ($400) Didn’t know my way around Sydney and totally screwed up this job. The Manager was an angry guy who didn’t even have the guts to fire me. He avoided the phone calls and then a younger woman apologised to me about it. I sent the uniform back COD to him personally.
Television Camera Operator (8 years part time – about $120 per day) This was a cool job for me. I used to shoot horse racing for Sky TV on the weekends so you worked for about 3 minutes twice an hour. Then I basically sat down, read books, wrote essays and did some study for the two degrees I did. I essentially completed my degrees in Fine arts and Law in a racing camera tower. It could be a bit grim in winter especially shooting greyhound racing on Monday nights in the fog. But after I discovered thermal underwear it was a breeze of a job. Plus I loved working in TV so I never got bored with it. I quit doing it right as I graduated from Law.
Camera assistant for a Disney wildlife TV series. ($500 for the week, $150 tip from company owner) This was quite fun. I worked with an American film crew and videoed Tasmanian Devils, quolls and wombats for wildlife with Jeff show. Good fun, long week. Only lost one quoll when it flared its teeth at me and ran off. I had to adjust a camouflage sight screen and stood on a rock wall with 8 Tassie devils circling below. I think I found out what it must have been like for the Christians in the colosseum waiting for their turn to die. Got offered a job in Burbank, but had to turn it down because of family and University. Cest la vie.
Graphic Designer (about $26 per hour) Ironically after Art school I ended up employed to make posters and graphics for my law school. It was a good job, the Executive officer gave me a brief and I put everything together for him. Made annual reports, advertising, brochures, DVD covers. Did everything myself from layout to typesetting, photograph, manipulation and supervised the printers. Ended up illustrating a text book. Funny how things turn out.
Actor (about $650 for the day and $450 for the reshoot) got asked by a soccer dad if I wanted to audition for a commercial for road safety. So I auditioned and got the role as angry driver. No script all improvised. The first commercial got rejected and they had to reshoot it. My kids still go ‘I wasn’t rilly speeding’ in a kiwi accent to take the piss. That money paid for their xmas presents that year including an Xbox, so it was worth the humiliation of looking really rubbish on TV. (also did a fair amount of free acting whenever I was needed as a camera assistant or on friends films)
Public servant....there's a computer and walls....
And now…Where next?