Over at the blogging boot camp (which I sorta go in and out of; I mean, we’re told it’s ok to only to post three times a week instead of 7, which is how many prompts we get, but I must say I feel like I’m mostly hanging out in my bunk, reading science fiction, and just showing up for things I want to do, which is not, I think, boot camp, since that implies a daily regimen of things you write home in tears about), the prompt for today is Jobs. Your worst, if possible. I like this prompt. Thus:
Things I have done, as a job, even if it was only part time, with at least some success, listed here in no particular order, especially not chronological: 1) waitressing, which I was horrible at, but at least I never actually got fired; 2) being a nanny, at which I was pretty brilliant; 3) housecleaning, at which I was very beloved — I sang Irish songs whilst working; 4) teaching witchcraft, which I still do, with great success, though it’s only been a part-time gig; 5) being a professor of medieval English and contemporary Irish literature, a job I held the longest — 22 years! — and was apparently pretty good at, since I got some awards — I mean, not getting fired doesn’t count as success, since I had tenure after a while, and it’s VERY HARD to fire tenured professors; 6) making Indian jewelry in a “Indian Jewelry” factory in Albuquerque, which was legal, although I am not Native American, because the factory employed only a certain percentage of non-Native American workers — again, was ok at the factory work and did not get fired; 7) doing phone surveys for some marketing firm, which I hated, but again, didn’t get fired from; 8) publishing poetry, which is a VERY part-time sort of gig, which I still do, and which pays a tiny amount, but since it does occasionally pay that tiny amount, I list it here.
The only job I had at which I was TOTALLY unsuccessful, though again, I didn’t get fired — I quit after one day — was doing door to door surveys for the same marketing firm listed above, in Albuquerque, in the summer, when I was 22, right before I left for Berkeley. That was the end of my marketing survey career. One day of walking in the hot sun from door to door in order to talk to people who did not want to talk to me (worst: the house wherein someone had just died; they yelled at me), or, even really worse, wanted to talk to me A LOT (worst: the house wherein a very old lonely person lived, who really never chewed gum and hence was not part of my survey needs, but wanted me to come in and have some iced tea, and talk about life). I ended up, only half or three quarters through the day, sitting on the hot sidewalk, in the blazing sun, sobbing. I called up and quit.
But I didn’t get fired.
Now, I’m working for myself. I haven’t fired me yet.