(cartoon copyright Nance Thacker 1986)
click on image to enlargeRecently during a conversation a co-worker uttered this sentence “I worked at the department store spraying perfume…”
“Wait you were a “spritzer girl” how cool is that!” I exclaimed. She must have thought I was nuts.
Spritzer girl! As a child I marveled at the sight of them, women perfectly turned out in tailored suits, stilettos, coiffed hair, flawless skin and make up. They were the total antithesis of anything I would ever be; I was in awe of them.
We began to talk about odd jobs that we’ve had. Memories of my experiences spilled into my head; I have had a virtual truckload of jobs. So when she suggested that we should make a list that idea just stuck with me, so here it goes:
Production line worker at L.A. Jones & Co. which produced Roux hair care products
Happy Foot Girl – distributing Happy Foot products in Burlington Mall
Submarine sandwich maker – at the CNE
Booth attendant for maple syrup – at the CNE
Salesperson – (revisited a few times - at the CNE, health food store, picture store)
Assistant to Veterinarian in a one person office – take x-rays, front desk, assist in surgery, clean kennels, bathe dogs and cats etc.
*Waitress (revisited this profession many times at coffee shops, diners and a deli)
the only job I’ve been fired from and deservedly so, I was a lousy waitress
Still Room Girl at Jasper Park Lodge
Short order cook
Cleaning lady – working independently
Cashier at a health food store working my way into
Assistant to manager
Weight training instructor (Nautilus and free weights)
Teacher of cartooning
Artist – paste up, graphic art, calligraphy, murals for kid’s rooms and playhouse
Store manager of a picture store
Inker, painter of animated films
Camera operator for a local newspaper
Researcher - for a labour market data base
Receptionist – (revisited periodically at a Racquetball Club, for a chiropractor, and at a massage and shiatsu therapy centre)
Construction worker – with my husband’s company doing demolition, painting, tiling, installing flooring, general go-fer
Tarot card reader
Mingled amongst them I studied and practiced the skills of my present occupation as a wellness consultant – the practitioner of healing body/mind/spirit modalities summed up in my profile.
I’m sure you are thinking, “my God this woman can’t hold down a job”.
Or you are asking yourself WHY so many; which is a question that can never really be answered for many reasons such as:
- My response to the question will vary depending on - my vantage point i.e. if I am reflecting from within a situation vs a few years down the road; my attitude about myself and my present situation at the time of reflection – feeling good about it vs not so good.
- Who is asking the question? What is their bias and their attitude towards me i.e. is it one of judgment or compassion.
- The role that: the power of intention; the invitation to participate in the dance of synchronicity and the opportunity of chance; the alignment of the planets; the impact of past life experiences and interlife choices, plays in one’s life if you believe in such things.
So if I am looking for the definitive answer to why then I’ll be wrestling with the question until eternity and will drive myself crazy in the process. But, if I use the why as an exploration of possibility then magically at any given time all my answers may be valid and a richer picture of my life is revealed. Whys such as:
1. This lifestyle supported my passion for art and my yoga habit for as recently as 15 years ago teaching yoga was not done for a living but as a virtual karma yoga practice the pay minimal, the attitude being that the pursuit of financial reimbursement and resulting ego gratification might get in the way of the purity of intention contained in the teachings. So, my earnings from teaching yoga had to be supplemented by other jobs.
2. I have ADD.
3. My choices were inspired by an admiration for George Plimpton’s (aristocrat and literary journalist) idea to step into the shoes of other professions such as playing quarter back for the Detroit Lions, pitching in a National and American League exhibition and, my personal favourite, trying out as an aerialist for a circus for the experience of it. (I am presently an admirer of the Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe who has had more jobs than I and made a real career out of it to boot.)
4. Somebody asked me, “Can you do…?” And I said yes.
A more relevant question than “why?” would be, “What did you gain and learn from it all?” and “did you have some fun along the way?”
And I would answer, “Lots!” and “yup.”
(cartoon copyright 1986 Nance Thacker. All rights reserved.)