Saturday, June 10, 2006

Summer Job

It began when I was 10 years old.

I delivered a small, weekly 8-page newspaper in our subdivision for $1 per month. That was in 1964. Good money.

I worked in a couple of restaurants and a cafeteria washing dishes in my teens. I enjoyed it. I liked that weekly paycheck for $35 or $40.

The best job I had (ages 17 & 18) was working for a civil engineering firm on a survey crew. Those are the guys you see on the side of the road holding a tall multi-colored stick while someone hundreds of feet away looks at the stick through what appears to be a camera. That "camera" is actually called a theodolite. The goal is to collect detailed data on elevations and coordinates for future building sites. Down here in Houston, that means working in the daytime heat. All day long. We'd get started by 7am and finish around 3pm. There was always driving time included to get to a jobsite. My tan stayed really dark, especially for a blond kid. We worked in rice fields that would become new housing subdivisions. The worst place was near Lake Houston where a new housing development was being planned. It was just a huge thick forest. We had to machete our way through the trees and thick brush, often fighting off the water moccasins. I got pretty good at decapitating them. I worked with some crusty old beer-drinking, cigarette smoking men who musta been in the 30's and 40's. It was their career. It was a summer adventure for me.

What was your favorite summer job?

20 comments:

Gwen said...

My favorite summer job was being a beach badge checker on the Jersey shore. We worked out of the borough so I became buddies with all the cops. They took care of me and some others who were always in the line of trouble. We partied all night and walked the beach all day. Sometimes it was harsh with the hangover. But I was young and could brush it off pretty easily. I was sixteen.

Scott W said...

Working at The Other Side in Nashville as a food/cocktail waiter. Disco had just started, glam/glitter rock was in full swing and I was nineteen. July 4th weekend we had an employee drag show, and that started my short lived career. It was great, great fun.

Scott said...

My favorite summer gig was playing in the "Beach Band" at Cedar Point, in Sandusky OH (probably the most kick ass amusment park in the country!!) I earned a lot of money that summer (was intended for college) and drank about 2/3 of it up! Man, that was an awesome job!

recoveryroad said...

I love a man with a theodolite. Lol.

Trudging said...

I worked for the public defender's office. We used to joke that we owed our jobs to booze. 90 of the clients were drinking at the time.

NMAMFQLMSH said...

I must say you have had one of the most interesting lives. Summer job...I was lazy and always took the summer off. Still do though I think I need a job now.
I see you,
JJ

Shannon said...

I just love this dAAve
my favorite was when I was 14, and I worked for the summer at the daycare. IT WAS GREAT I could play all day, and I did. It was a time where I was in trouble a lot, so this made me feel like I mattered. I mattered to the kids

Tab said...

The best summer job I had was when I was 14 and worked at a
Fish 'n' Chips stand at the beach!
I loved it!
The sunshine,the ocean,all the people and tons of free food :P
Hmmm...maybe I should go back and work there for the Summer again? lol
Cool post!
Thanks for sharing ~

psychbaby said...

ya know, I don't think I ever had a summer job... weird, huh?

Have a good one DAAve.
xo

BigSkymAAck said...

I never had a best summer job it was all work. Not much fun in any of those. I do have a favorite winter job though.
SC

lash505 said...

My favorite job was lifeguarding on the beach. All the girls liked and all the free bails of pot washed ashore in front of my tower. But most of all free beer at the strip club a block away.That was my liquid lunch.

Oneida said...

My best summer job, was renting bikes and mopeds on Rush street in Chicago. The peoples you meet on the streets of Chicago were great.

Mary Christine said...

I almost didn't share this, but what the heck! My best summer job was being a housewife - a couple of summers down in New Mexico. My husband was always out of town. I had some neighbors who drank like I did, they had kids the same ages as mine. We were always at each others' houses, and at the pool. Oh, and I was having a 'fling' with the cable guy... and he was cute!

Daily Piglet said...

First of all, thanks for 'splaining this b/c I've always wondered what those dudes were up to.

Summer job? Cleaning motel rooms in Chimney Rock, NC (my Mother had sent me to live with my biological father to teach me a lesson--which didn't work--it made it worse). And another would have been offering to cut lawns for people.

Kenny said...

FAvorite summer job was working in a chemical lab making polymers and freeze drying them and crushing them and then analysing them

AAwoken said...

I think my favorite summer job was interning at the 1980 Democratic National Convention. That was one of the most intense experiences in my life, let alone summer job. The week of the convention they put us up in the Mayflower Hotel, free room service and long distnace phone calls. There was a room setup for partying. And I mean hard partying. Everything imaginable was there is big bags. Big politicos snorting away like....well like they weren't big important people. I was stunned to think that our nation's leaders were acting like me. Actually, I think I thought it was all very cool. Amazing shit I'll never forget.

AAwoken said...

Whoops!
Mayflower Hotel before convention week. Statler Biltomre during the convention.

red head gal said...

My favorite summer job was working in a gin mill on Cape Cod, Massachussetts. That was before alcohol became a problem in my life, long before. It was get up in the AM and go to the beach, work the the 3 PM to 10 PM dinner shift, then party with friends until late....would do it again in a heartbeat!

Sober Chick said...

Pretty cool Dave, I always wonder what those guys are up to.

My fav summer job was not working and being a full time college student. This was only 4 one summer, been working since High School. Having to focus on school only was my favorite job and I wish that I could get paid for it. I would be a student 4 the rest of my life if it paid the bills.

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