Monday, July 19, 2010


Reading Maureen & Kasey's blogs about the jobs they've had made me think about mine.  My family never went on vacation anywhere, so when I was a kid I used to collect mail & water plants for people who were lucky enough to go out of town. It brought me a couple of bucks, which was fine because there was nothing to do in my town anyway and my needs were small.

I babysat UP THE YIN YANG in high school. I watched everyone from a 6-week-old baby to someone just 3 years younger than me. The worst was the kids next door- four year old, two-year-old twins & a 6- month old. One night they all got a stomach bug. It was not pretty.

Summers during college I was a lifeguard and counselor at my town's summer recreation program. I was the token girl- literally, they needed at least one girl on staff to check on the girls' locker room. I got along with the other boys, so I was in. (I seem to be in a lot of situations where I'm hired/selected/shanghai'd primarily because the boys involved don't get along with any other girls.) It was fun. I had pool duty the most often, because the guys preferred outdoor games, where they could work on their tans and be seen by people driving by. I had these two kids- more twins- who were so scrawny they looked like drowned rats before they even got wet. They used to BEG me to let them swim in the deep end. I told them they could when they'd proven their fitness to me by swimming 15 lengths of the shallow end. They'd get tired & bored and leave to play kickball. One day, one of the guys was lifeguarding for some reason and I was supposed to come in and relieve him. I watched as Scrawny Rat Twin 1 jumped in to the deep end (with the guy's permission) and promptly started flailing and sinking. I had to dive in & pull him out and I was furious. Fortunately SRT 1 was sufficiently freaked out by the experience that he was happy to stay in the shallow end the rest of the summer.

During craft time, I would try to inject a little feminist anarchy into the proceedings. One day we were making dolls from old-fashioned clothespins and I put nine of them together in black robes. Everyone asked who they were, and we learned the names of the Supreme Court justices that day, with special emphasis on the women.  I will never forget this little girl (who had a mama-sister, no lie) run up to the program director with one of the Supreme Court clothespins and yell at him, "Look at Ruth Bader Ginsburg!!"

I had some tough-guy jobs too, which I found humorous. I was "Weight Room Security" monitor in college for a couple years. Which meant I sat at a table and scratched a tally mark on a sheet of paper every time someone came in to the weight cage to lift.
I also moved furniture my first summer in Bowling Green. It was supposed to be temp work painting dorm rooms. Instead, I'm hauling wardrobes on a dolly. I lasted a couple weeks before I had to quit because riding an elevator up 15 floors and down dozens of times in a day gave me vertigo. I ALWAYS felt like I was ascending or descending. It was trippy- not in a good way.


  1. if I had worked for your town's summer program, I would have been the one to keep on eye on the girl's locker salary needed!

  2. They were little girls, Gary! Ewww! I think the program only went up to age 11 or something. Plus, they left that locker room a PIGSTY, let me tell you.

  3. My friend Heath's cat is named Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (The other cat is named Eleanor Roosevelt.)
    There is nothing better than seeing a postcard from the vet, "Please bring in Ruth Bader Ginsburg's stool sample."
    Their next cat will be named Mr. Burt Reynolds.

  4. OMG, I love that!! Please scan one of those postcards and send it to me! It would crack my husband up to no end.
    I knew someone in Ithaca whose cat was named David Litterman.

  5. HAHA! Litterman! I'll see if they still have the card.