November 17, 2006

Would you like fries with that?

First, a public service announcement......Happy Birthday mom!

Lately, I've been getting calls and emails from headhunters to which I cackle with glee that no response is required. As such, I've been pondering Jobs Past and I thought it would be fun to list them all out.....

Cagey's Careers Past

The High School Years
  • McDonald's (over 1 year) - By and far, I am so grateful this was my first job. The owners of the McD's that I worked at were a McDonald's Family who lived and breathed the Yellow Arches. They kept a close eye on all their stores (they owned 3 when I worked for them, now they own at least 7). They had high standards and only hired managers that met those standards. In short, I worked my ASS off, learned how to treat customers and learned at an early age how to act somewhat professional. I couldn't have asked for a better First Job. It was fun working there, I made friends there, I even met my first serious boyfriend there.
  • Entertel (over 1 year) - A now defunct telemarketing firm. This job was great money for a high schooler and taught me how to work in a high-pressured environment. I also learned at an early age that I am not a salesperson. An important lesson that I would need to refer to later.
  • Packer Plastics (2 weeks) -This was a factory job. I stacked still-hot plastic cool whip bowls as they came straight off the assembly line. Another shift or two, I stuck UPC symbols on plastic cups as they came down an assembly line all while a Korean lady yelled at me to go faster!faster!faster! The Korean lady HAD to yell because it was so damned loud in there. I didn't last long at this job because I was scared to go to my car in the parking lot since there were men hanging out there catcalling EVERY TIME my shift ended. Still, I learned an important lesson - a university education was not to be taken for granted.
  • Checker's Grocery Store (1 month) - I was a checker at Checker's! This was a short-term job and I knew that going in because I was hoping for bigger and better things with the next job waiting in the wings. This was the most boring job I ever had. It also made me appreciate any and all people standing behind the counter. To this day, I always try to acknowledge people helping me in retail.

The Undergraduate Years

  • Sallie Mae (2 years) - I worked primarily in Collections, but did Customer Service work and loan Cures work as well. This was also a tough job. It was nervewracking to call people and there was a lot of problem solving skills needed for this job because often, people weren't supposed to be delinquent for various reasons (they were still in school, payments were misapplied, etc.) I had to learn how to think on my feet, explain complicated interest computations, all while keeping the customer calm. I also learned that it pays to BE NICE TO CUSTOMER SERVICE. Seriously, folks. I have all sorts of lovely stories of reps going out of their way over the years to help me. Why? Because I WAS NICE TO THEM. Also, only ask for a manager as a LAST RESORT. The manager is most probably going to take his employee's side. Speaking of customer service, this was my #1 complaint about Dish - if they would have been nicer to us, they wouldn't have lost us.
  • Random Department at KU (2 months) - I can't even remember specifically WHICH department I worked for! Yikes - old much? It was a small subset department of something bigger within the Psychology/Human Development department. Anyway, I had left Sallie Mae because I was working nearly 30 hours a week and it was stressful. I was going to college, but had no life outside of my classes and studying. I decided to get a job on campus. I got a student position in departmental office and OMIGOD, I worked for the administrative assistant FROM HELL. I think she was resentful because she knew my future prospects were far brighter than hers. She was so mean to me that I cried. Often.
  • Office of Student Financial Aid (2 years) - This was an awesome college job that was easily compatible with school - I had an awesome boss to boot. I also had the inside track on a lot of stuff because so much goes through that office. That definitely appealed to the Nancy Drew in me.

The Graduate School Years
  • Huxtable Construction (1 years) - When I finished undergrad and began grad school, I knew I needed to get a job that was more applicable to my major. I got a job in accounts payable with a subcontracting firm. Working in a primarily male operation was a GREAT training ground for public accounting and information systems positions I would later. I cringe now when I look back at all the inappropriate comments that were directed towards me. The other important lesson for was the realization that I really didn't enjoy accounting all that much.
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, Financial Accounting at KU (1 semester) - I wasn't really a great teacher, but this was a fun gig - I loved interacting with the students. My favorite story was the one where I was talking to a student and commented how it was interesting that he got his name on a Dallas Cowboys hat. The guy looked at me coolly and said that it was really referring to his COUSIN who played for the Cowboys. I was like "um, yeah. whatever because I had NO CLUE about football". Years later, when I saw Troy Aikman on TV, I realized what the big deal was. In fact, the student and Troy were clearly related because they resembled each other. Yikes.
The So-Called Professional Years
  • DST (1 year) - The best part of this job is that I met Goofy Girl. Furthermore, this was the first job where I worked with the dude also known as Previous Owner, yep, the same guy I bought my current house from. Previous Owner also figures large in later jobs. Keep reading........
  • Coopers and Lybrand (9 months) - I moved to St. Louis for this job only to find out that the Kansas City C&L office had openings that the St. Louis asshole manager failed to tell me about. I was so homesick that I couldn't hack a year there. C&L wasn't bad, but the manager was.
  • Ernst and Young (2 years) - Previous Owner convinced me to come work for him which wasn't too difficult since I was SO homesick. Overall, my experience with public accounting was a typical one - I worked my ass off with no regrets. Hands down, public accounting is like bootcamp for your career and I am very glad I got the experience. I was thrown to the lions. Often. I had to travel to clients by myself and act like I knew what I was doing even when I was scared shitless. Good life skills, frankly.
  • IDmarket cum Empriva (1.5 year) - I realized I had nolong-term career potential in public accounting and decided to join an Internet startup as employee #7. Hands down, this was my favorite job EVER. I worked my ass off like never before and saw directly the effect that I could make. Furthermore, because of this job, I made some great friends such as CG and Me, who introduced me to Average Jane and Dorothy. Unfortunately, Empriva became another Dot.bomb when it all blew up. But I still have the friends to show for it. Oh, and a stock certificate worth less money than the paper it was printed on.
  • HR Block (2 years) - Deperate time equal desperate measures and you will find yourself selling your soul to make ends meet. Actually, this job wasn't that bad. I really liked the team I worked with and the first 2 busy season were pretty interesting. However, the busy season really got to me - I'm still suffering from a legacy from my first busy season. I injured my neck/shoulder while doing hours upon hours of frantic software testing and to this day, it still flairs up. Like, just the other night.
  • Federal Reserve Bank (nearly 2 years) - Lured by promises of 40 Hour Weeks by the Previous Owner, I went to work for him. Yes, again.What a joke. This place had travel, crazy hours and backstabbing group members. You literally could trust NO ONE. If yer gramma worked with ya, you couldn't trust HER. Seriously, it was so disheartening. I didn't realize how much it had dragged me down emotionally until I left. The one skill I really honed at this place was how to cry in a bathroom stall without ruining my eye makeup.

Obviously, my current gig is pretty damned good. The pay is low, but the bennies are awesome. I wouldn't have it any other way. I am not sure what I want to do next and am pondering that careful mix of Interests vs. Economic Viability. In the meantime, I'll enjoy my time answering the demands the Mini-Man.


Anonymous said...

Wow Cagey - that is an impressive list. I also once worked at a factory making switches for small motors, my kids find that extremely funny! But you do have the best job of all now.

Hope you are feeling better, I am close to the end of the sickness period and it can't get here quick enough!

Anonymous said...

Interesting career! I also worked in the financial aid office, when I went to law school. Fun!

Anonymous said...

That is a lot of jobs!

Nice, too, that you are getting calls from headhunters--just to know you're still in demand and those years in the trenches paid off. Even nicer that you don't have to respond to them.

Lisa said...

My friend Cheryl worked for R&Y and had the same sort of experience. She was ALWAYS gone... She worked for the government after that -- serious culture shock!

Anonymous said...

That is one heck of a list, how do you fit that into your resume? ;)

I had Maccas as my first job too, and I don't regret it at all. Good times, those were.