The Path(s) Not Taken…

Posted Jun 20 2011, 11:14 am in , , , , , ,

So even though I’d always wanted to write books, it wasn’t my focus until a few years ago.  Before that, there were other jobs.  Yes.  Many others.

I was sorta a profession whore.

Today, for lack of anything truly awe inspiring to yap about, I thought I’d share some of my past professions and their, um, most memorable moments.

I managed a small, privately owned video store.  That was…colorful.  Imagine being seventeen and having a nervous couple come to the counter to ask for porn recommendations…  Seriously.  Who asks a seventeen year old for PORN RECOMMENDATIONS?

I was an exorcise rider for several local horse farms.  This was a cool one.  I’ve always loved to ride–and get paid to ride?  Heaven.  One word of caution though…  Don’t stand behind a draft horse with diarrhea.

I worked for the Olan Mills Portrait Studio as a telemarketer.  That was enlightening.  Over the course of my two years there, I had conversations with a woman convinced she couldn’t take photos of herself because she was the reincarnation of Dracula, a man who felt it necessary to tell me about his midget porn collection–in really gross detail, and a guy who wanted all his paperwork done under the name Lucifer SaTan.  Who knew the devil lived in Poughkeepsie.  In a trailer park.

I worked as a real estate agent for awhile.  Some of the things I walked in on in supposedly empty houses has left me scarred for life.  I’m talking farm animals, rooms wall papered in Captain Crunch, and more Styrofoam peanuts than you can possibly imagine…

I worked at Stewarts–a gas station/ice cream parlor/mini-mart for five years.  There are just too many things to list here, most which revolve around really strange public bathroom moments.  There was Randy–the dancing naked man.  Randy came in some weeknights–always after nine.  Long leather trench coat and a pink ribbon tied around his, um, twig.  He’d shed the coat, hop up on the table, do a little dance, then skip from the building.  The cops came close to catching him a few times, but as far as I know, they never did.

Oh.  And the bathroom things…let’s just say–never pull a plunger off the ceiling without being sure it’s empty…

I worked as a nail tech.  That was a job SO not suited to my personality.  How hard is it to understand that I can’t..more like won’t…put acrylic tips on a five year old?!?  The woman was very unhappy.  She left the building screaming that I was prejudice against children and was working with another mother to sabotage her daughters chances of winning the beauty pageant.

I was a waitress for a small diner.  Um, yeah.  I don’t know why I did that one.  I don’t have the tolerance to be a waitress.  The first trucker to tug on my apron strings got a fat lip and a pants full of hot chocolate.

I worked as a pastry chef for a small bakery for about a year.  I loved the job, the hours, even the customers, but the owner?  She was scary.  It wasn’t too bad when she insisted her cat played secretary when she wasn’t home.  People are eccentric about their pets–I thought she was joking.  It wasn’t even that bad when I found out, no, she wasn’t joking.  She really believed the cat answered the phone, took messages from those he liked, and hung up on those he didn’t.  Convinced he was from another planet–she never said which–this woman informed me how the cat was a master carpenter, chef, and helped her shave.  Yes.  These are weird and worry worthy things, but the thing that made me leave was the insane rant I walked in to one morning.  Apparently her neighbor–who worked at a top secret government facility specializing in alien technology (maybe this is where the cat came from?) trained a bee to follow her to work and sting her.

And these are the events that shaped my mind, people.  Let no one question why I’m as strange as I am again.  It should be obvious by now.

Your turn.  Share your weirdest on-the-job moments!






15 responses to “The Path(s) Not Taken…”

  1. Aubrie says:

    Wow, you have had a lot of jobs! And all different ones, too!

    My old jobs:

    Cashier at Shop n Save (which is now Hannaford’s)
    Cashier at Fashion Bug (liked this one but spent too much on clothes)
    UNH survey center calling people to ask opinions (some of them got really mad)
    Ran a small theater -ticket sales etc (This one was pretty cool)

    Now I teach flute and play at weddings. 🙂

    • Jus Accardo says:

      I hear ya on spending too much… I worked at Waldenbooks for four years and spent an INSANE amount of cash on books LOL

      And it must be so much fun to play at weddings!!

  2. Jenjames1028 says:

    I have had my share of different jobs throughout my life which have shaped me for who I am now.

     While attending high school, my first job was at Adams Fairacre Farms. I was a cashier for about 3 years. It was an ok job but it was the customers that made my days interesting. I would get the strangest requests from customers. I would tell them that my title only included ringing up their purchases and bagging them however several customers would ask me to bring groceries to their apartment rather than the car, open their car windows for them bc they had a pet inside their car or to personally go shopping for them.

    My other job was as a pharmacy technician at CVS Pharmacy. This job was one of my favorites because I was the one to control the loony customers. When customers became hostile because they could not have their viagara, etc i would handle their madness. My manager would laugh as I sent customers away when we were not open or unable to go shopping for them or fill their illegal prescriptions. I loved when we had a drive thru built at our location. ( I am being sarcastic here)  There were many occasions where I would have the craziest things thrown at me like a box of tampons and condoms because I would not fill a script. There were some funny yet annoying moments.

    I have a huge list of jobs- Too many to list here so i will end with the absolute worst.:)

    I absolutely hated my job at Oneonta State College as a dishwasher/ food server/ bus person. (depended on the day)  It was so disgusting to clean up after nasty college students who did not give a damn how much of a mess they would leave at their tables. I came across an obnoxious group of “boys” who refused to put their trays of food and plates away. I confronted them that they needed to put them in the appropriate area. One guy called me a fucking bitch while another told me that it was my job to clean after them. I was outraged and told my manager. My manager told me to not argue with students and individuals we serve and do my job. It took me half an hour or more to clean up the mess they made. Napkins, Fries and milk all over trays and the floor. After that day I asked to work only as a food server. This was definitely not a job I was proud of having. Damn minimum wage was $5.15 then. Not worth it at all…

  3. Here goes…

    Actress (TV and stage)
    Waitress (yuck)
    Secretary (depended on the boss, mostly yuck)
    Non-profit program director (current, not yuck)
    Drama teacher (little dahlings)
    Life coach (couldn’t stand listening to the whining)
    Writer (yum)

    I too did a stint in a call center and left after only one week. (YUCK YUCK YUCK)

  4. Jess Macallan says:

    I’ve worked at a number of crappy and colorful jobs, but I’ve always loved teaching yoga and writing. Sadly, my worst job moment was while teaching yoga. A young male student came in an hour before class (I was busy setting up and doing paperwork), he proceeded to masturbate in the bathroom of the small building–with paper-thin walls–then blissed out during class as if nothing had happened.

  5. Well, let’s see. I was a software engineer, software programmer, code monkey, software architect…  😉  Seriously? I really didn’t have many other jobs than software. Cashier… um… answered about computers at OfficeMax…  Yeah, that’s about it.

  6. Brian Sledd says:


    Worked as a Quality Control engineer, well, as a co-op student.

    Started working for a temp agency, and only had one job while there, I was part of a warehouse team, mostly packaged documents for rackmount servers.

    Now I work for a small Mom-and-Pop print shop. I put together books: scanning, electronic file manipulation, color correction, etc. Nothing terribly exciting there, mostly technical manuals and machine schematics. Some college books. Fun stuff.

    In that job I am also their web-monkey. I put together personalized webpages for customers, for colleges, private schools, lawyer magazines, banks…

    The one thing I’ve learned with all of those jobs: Anything you might know, some days people throw you a curve ball. My bosses always challenged me to get out of a comfort zone and find a new way to deal with things. Especially with my current job.

  7. Natalie Damschroder says:

    I did the Olan Mills thing! But I sold nothing and lasted three days. And was SO relieved. 🙂

    My jobs were fairly mundane and routine, but I did work as a long distance phone company CSR for a while, and was a lead CSR, which meant handling the irate calls. My favorites were the 900-number calls. They’d say they don’t recognize this number on their bill. I called the number, usually a Carribbean area code, and get “Press 1 for steamy pleasure” or whatever in a sultry voice. When I relayed what it was, I got the full gamut of reactions. If it was a guy, he’d be all embarrassed. One woman said, “Oh, thank you VERY much” in that rock-hard tone that said “he is in SO much trouble!”

    I had one woman fight me about the impossibility of it. “NO one in my household would make such calls?” Ma’am, is there possibly a teenage boy in your house? *silence* “My son is 14, but he doesn’t have access to the telephone at 2 in the morning!” Yeah, because you sleep with it under your pillow? LOL

    I do not miss those days. 🙂

  8. Katy says:

    Oh my gosh, Jus… you’ve had some doozies! Acrylic tips on a FIVE YEAR OLD?! My previous jobs aren’t all that exciting… lifeguard, Bath and Body Works, receptionist, teacher. Pretty low key. 🙂

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