Thursday, January 4, 2007

2 years of employment

In these crazy uncertain economic times we live in, being at one job for 2 years is something to be proud of. most 'young' (thats in parentheses becuase i am now 28 years 'old') folks today change careers many times before they settle into whatever it is they will be doing for a paycheck for the rest of their lives. ive read about this. its like seven times or something. in any case the itubespace generation is far more likely to hop around in their careers than the generations who came before us.

so, today marks two years of me being employed by one of the biggest non profit organizations in the world. i feel pretty good about that. this is the 3rd job in my life that has lasted over two years, out of probably a couple dozen or so jobs.

i have done lots of different things. my first job was a grocery bagger at byerly's. i was a dishwasher in more than one dining establishment. i was a prep cook at the brand new olive garden for a year right before i moved to mpls. i was one of the original kitchen crew at the brand new restaurant, and during that time, i estimate that i cooked over 100,000 breadsticks and made upwards of 2000 gallons of alfredo sauce. yum. i delivered pizzas for bulldog pizza for about six months, until my $200 subaru finally had enough of the terrible roads and absurd hills of duluth. that's gotta be one of the most harsh cities for cars on the planet. i stocked organic produce and made salads and veggie juices and delicious delicious fresh citrus juice for 3 and1/2 years at the whole foods co-op in duluth. i set up tables and chairs for a rental place, driving around town with my roommate gettin blazed and delivering various rental equipment in a huge truck. i cooked pizzas at the now defunct godfathers pizza in duluth, i was stock boy extraordianire for the great company slumberland in high school, and did some clerical work for them too towards the end and when i came home for breaks during my first year of college. i also worked in the kitchen at UMD for awhile, that was pretty lame. i assembled furniture in peoples homes for a lil while once upon a time, that was interesting to go into people's homes like that, but you got paid per piece of furniture, and some of the damn things were really cheap and nearly impossible to put together, even for a professional like myself. i was a telemarketer for about a week, and a market researcher (someone who called doctors and lawyers and asked them very technical questions about the software they use or some shit) for all of two days. i was a 'youth treatment specialist' for about six months at a residential treatment center/correctional facility for juveniles before i got really fed up with it and quit. i really didnt like working with 'at risk' kids. some of these kids were, in fact, well beyond at risk and were downright delinquent or even reckless criminals. having to physically restrain 16 year olds who would like nothing more than to kick your ass is just a fucking drag. that job was kinda funny because the kids had to address me properly, like mr such and such. i also wrote for the ripsaw in duluith for quite a while, altho that wasn't a paying gig at all. just the occasional free cd or gift certificate to the hippest of duluth's watering holes. but i did deliver ripsaws weekly for several months up and down tower avenue in superior. that paid, but really poorly. the $10 or $20 that i made was usually almost enough to cover the cost of alcohol consumed during the wednesday delivery route. let me tell you, its very difficult to stop into a couple dozen sup town low down dive bars without wetting the ol' whistle a lil bit now and then. good times. so thats all the jobs i can think of at the moment. im sure there are lots more, but that not even really whats important here.

what IS important is that i have managed to stay at this job for two years, and although it is a grandiose pain in the ass sometimes, for the most part it suits me just fine. my schedule has evolved to a lovely 2-10:30pm shift, i have fridays and saturdays off every every every week, i can take time off when i need, like when the lovely lady and i will go to seattle for a week and a half or so next month. this job has also allowed me the flexibility to go to many many important out of town destinations, mainly outrageous music festivals. in the last year i took time off for snowball, the reunion, green man, 10K, lollapalooza, log jam, who knows what else. so i dig my job overall. now, before i tell you about how my day's going on my 2 year anniversary, lets look back at my one year anniversary.

some of you may remember my 1 year anniversary blog, wherein i described an interesting thing that happened to me that day. as a supervisor, i often have people ask me if i am hiring, what i am hiring for, how much money i pay the poeple i hire, what hours and days am i looking to hire someone for, when i will be looking for help, etc... so on that one year anniversary, when an older gentleman approached me and asked if we were hiring, i thought nothing of it. as it happens, we were hiring and i encouraged the fella to fill out an application. upon completing said application he asked me if we hired people with criminal backgrounds. i was a tiny bit offput, as that kind of question's generally not a great sign. but, i informed him that we do criminal background checks but having something on your record doesnt necessarily mean you wont get hired. it depends on what kind of record it is, how long ago the incident(s) in question happened, and so on. he seemed satisfied with that answer and went on his way. obviously curious as to what kind of criminal history this old timer had, i looked at the application and was surprised to see not a dwi, dui, assault, (i've honestly seen the word 'barfite' appear on an application), but a second degree attempted murder charge. perhaps it was manslaughter. in any case, i had myself an uneasy chuckle and sent it in to HR, never hearing the guys name again. im sure he repayed his debt to society and was unlikely to attempt to murder anyone should he have been hired, but i suppose ill never know for sure.

today, on this second anniversary of employment, i find myself playing security gaurd because a very important part of our facility is missing a door. there's new carpet being installed you see, and the door that normally would offer security to this particular part of the building needs to be sanded down to accomodate this new carpet. the details really arent relevant i guess, but suffice it to say that i need to babysit this area for over 2 hours to make sure no one wanders in and steals computers or tools or something. hence the longwinded bloggage. plenty of time to ramble on and on about previous work experience and what nots. that is the nature of my job. i never really know what is going to happen. whos not going to show up or whos going to call in sick. what kind of crazyrandom renovations or new construction projects are underway next is anyones guess. i usually find out about this kind of thing a day or two in advance, and then it's 'james, were going to need you to go ahead and play security guard for the evening, get yourself a good book or your psp or whatever and get ready to do some sittin' around.' is what my instructions were. wicked. ive never been a security gaurd before, but i have been trained in nonviolent conflict resolution, should the need for that come about. ironically, it was in that training that i learned several 'restraints' which i suppose are not technically violent, as they are used only to prevent harm to ones self or others, but i always thought it was a funny name for a training of that kind. ok this has gone on long enough, if youre still with me, congratulations. you probably have some spare time at work today too. fantastic. so, wish me luck as i embark on this journey of employment. congatulate me for being so goddamn responsible and employable. and for gods sake, dont work too hard.

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