Warning: Declaration of ThemeSwitcherWidget::update($new_instance) should be compatible with WP_Widget::update($new_instance, $old_instance) in /home/kingston/hitormiss/wp-content/plugins/theme-switcher/theme-switcher.php on line 0

Hit or Miss


Following Mike and Sparky‘s lead, I’m posting a list of all the jobs I’ve had.

Envelope Stuffer
The first “job” I can remember (other than chores like mowing the yard for my own family, etc) was stuffing envelopes for my mom’s boss (see below) one weekend. In payment, she gave me her complete collection of vintage Agatha Christie paperbacks, which I still have boxed away somewhere in my parents’ house.

When I hit middle school, I graduated from being babysat myself to watching other kids in my neighborhood. I sometimes wonder what become of those little ADD freakazoids who lived on my street.

Bag Boy / Cashier (1991-1993)
My first real paying job was at the Winn-Dixie Supermarket next to my high school. I worked there for two years, battling gender-stereotyping that as a man I should be bagging groceries or mopping floors instead of working the cash register like the women. My hard work (or my obvious failure as a “man’s man”) resulted in a promotion to running the express-lane register. I was also accused of my first (and hopefully last) incident of sexual-harassment (a total misunderstanding).

Busboy / Mouse impersonator (1992)
During my second year at the supermarket, a friend convinced me to quit and apply with him to work at Chuck E. Cheese Pizza. My boss at the supermarket told me he’d hold my job for me because he expected me to be back within a week. I only lasted one night.

Mailroom “Supervisor” (Summer 1993)
My mom has a much more interesting work history than I have. After helping my dad through college while working as a dental hygienist, she was a stay-at-home-mom until my youngest brother started school. She went from wrapping packages at Christmas-time, to being a Whitman’s sales rep, to helping an Accountant friend who self-published a newsletter for Peachtree Accounting software users (which grew into a successful publishing and telephone support company). When Delicia married and moved to Georgia, she left my mom in charge of the office. So my mom (the woman who didn’t want to touch our first home PC in 1984 because she thought she’d break it) became “Vice-President” of a computer-related company.

To make a long story short, I spent the summer before college stuffing newsletter and book orders at my mom’s office. As the sole member of the mailroom, I got to boss my younger brothers around when they came to help.

Prison Pharmacy Technician (Summer 1994 and 1995)
After a glorious first year away at college, I returned home to find that neither of my brothers (who previously had shared a bedroom) wanted me to bunk with them; so I was temporarily installed in our seldom-used dining room with a curtain rod separating me from the living room. A week went by and my parents concocted a scheme to send me to live with my uncle, the toxicology professor. His university handled the contract to provide pharmaceutical services for the state prisons, so I became a pharmacy technician at the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Stillwater. I would have gone back a third year, but they bought an enormous mechanical pill-sorter to replace me.

Library Assistant (Summer 1996)
After spending the previous two summers in jail (See above), I stayed in my college town to do some community theatre. To pay my way, I shelved books in the library. After being a fan of libraries all my life, I realized I could have a career working in them and started my search for a grad program in Library Science.

Resident Assistant (1996-1997)
My senior year of college I finally got to be an RA (after being turned down the year before). I’ll be honest: I did it originally for the free room. But it helped me grow and develop a lot of confidence. Unfortunately I didn’t realize you could also have a career working in “the dorms,” which would have saved me three years of grad school (see below).

Librarian (1997-1999)
During grad school, I had an assistantship running a library in one of the residence halls, worked on the reference desk at the Undergraduate Library, and interned for the summer at UTC (where I developed a webpage they’re still using).

Along the way, I wound up working as a graduate RA and was then promoted to a supervisory position. With two graduate degrees under my belt, I eventually realized that my love of libraries might be better focused just being a patron; so I decided to hit the Oshkosh Placement Exchange and look for a job in Residence Life.

Hall Director (2000-present)
I spent three years working at Truman State University. I had great friends and it was a friendly community, but it was in the middle of nowhere. So, this past year I decided to look for work on the East Coast and wound up in Manhattan working for the New School.

Do I like being a Hall Director? Yes, but I’m sensing it will soon be time to move on to something else. I’m starting to look at graduate programs in Higher Education and Student Affairs, so that I can continue to work for colleges without being pigeon-holed just in housing and residence life. Or maybe I’ll go into tech support. Who knows?

There’s a statistic somewhere that people of my generation will go through (on average) 5 career changes in their lifetime. My dad doesn’t seem to understand this, since he’s worked for the same company his entire life (though the company went from being Combustion Engineering to ABB to Alstom). And since he didn’t live in the dorms during college, he doesn’t understand at all what I do.

Fortunately, my mom has my back. After my family moved to Tennessee, she tried a few new bookkeeping jobs before winding up at Chattanooga State Technical Community College, assisting the University Auditor. So now when my dad blusters about something related to my job seeming screwy, my mom pipes up that he just doesn’t understand because he doesn’t work in Higher Education like the two of us 😉

2 responses so far (Respond)


This is erie. I’m (a soon to be) hall director in Missouri and wrote my own CMS for my blog.

stockholm | 20 Apr 2004

Job History
I’m hopping on the meme bandwagon. (Is that redundant? I’m not sure.) Here’s a list of every job I’ve ever held. I’m not sure if I ever got paid to babysit or to shovel snow, so I’m leaving those off. My job history is rather directionless, as you’ll s…

The Tin Man | 20 Apr 2004