Courtesy of James at Patriots & Peoples, I’ve been tagged with a getting-to-know-you meme. It’s nearly summer break for those of us still working according to the agricultural calendar, and there’s water running in the No. 3 ditch so I’ve got to get my sugar beets and onions in the ground soon here in Potterville. But, I can take a few minutes to answer the quiz. Think of it as a fun divertissement until the polls close tonight and the screams for Hillary to “take her boobs and go home” are renewed again with manly vigor:
1) What was I doing 10 years ago?
Same thing, different univeristy, and different book.
2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
- Drink coffee
- Read the Denver Post
- Tidy Up
- Answer e-mail
- (I’m doin’ it now.)
3) Snacks I enjoy:
What is this, preschool? (Sorry, James–that’s just silly.)
4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
- Drink coffee someone else makes for me.
- Read the Denver Post someone else brings to me.
- Tell someone else to tidy up.
- Answer e-mail using only LOLCat-speak, just to annoy people, and just because I could (U no U wud ansr me if I hd $1B!)
- Hire someone else to mow my damn grass.
5) Three of my bad habits:
- My triathlalon times are so incredible they’re intimidating my workout buddies.
- I haven’t had time to bake homemade bread to give to the Food Bank since I’ve been volunteering so many hours with Save the Children.
- The terrible mess on my desk has cost me numberless offers of endowed chairs at prestigious universities because I keep losing the contracts.
6) 5 places I have lived:
- Washington, D.C.
- Somerville/Cambridge, Mass.
- Oxford, Ohio
7) 5 jobs I have had:
- Produce department clerk in a supermarket
- Evening/weekend receptionist at an inn on a college campus
- “Fly Girl” dancer on the TV show In Living Color (1989-1991)
- Dry mount press operator at a frame shop
But, instead of passing this along to other bloggers, I’d like to invite my commenters to answer one or more of the questions above, either on their own blogs or in the comments. Have at it, friends!
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5 jobs I have had:
1. Video Store Clerk
2. Coffee/Tea/or Me Sample Guy for Import Store (I pushed a cart around the store with thermoses filled with coffee, looking young and perky).
4. Event Planner for a Property Management Company
My career trajectory is obvious, no?
Five Jobs I have had:
1. Answering telephones (using one of the old corded switchboards) at a publishing company
2. Stamping dates on insurance policies
3. Typist at title insurance company
4. House cleaner
GayProf–I thought perhaps you, of all of my commenters, would have shared my experience as a professional dancer! And Susan: a switchboard! Wow, that’s almost like saying you interned in a buggy whip factory or something. (Kidding!)
1) What was I doing 10 years ago?
I was in sixth grade in Minneapolis. I wrote a book report about Canada that year. It wasn’t very good.
5) Three of my bad habits:
Visiting historiann’s blog instead of writing my research paper. Which hopefully will be good.
Drinking large quantities of Diet Pepsi.
Drinking large quantities of caffeine in general.
1. Restaurant dishwasher. (The absolute worst–I put in one 13-hour day and left forever.)
2. Warehouse worker. (Eh.)
3. Page at the U. of Penn. law library. (Dull job but I arrived as a union organizing drive was starting and jumped in enthusiastically; when I quit a year later we had a contract and a 15% across the board pay raise. Solidarity forever, ‘s what I say.)
4. Circulation manager at the Communist (CPUSA) newspaper, the Daily World, for six harrowing months in 1968; I got out just in time to avoid developing a really serious problem with the booze.
5. Freight brakeman, then locomotive engineer, on a variety of railroads, mostly the (now defunct) Southern Pacific in Northern California. Some lousy conditions (night shifts, outdoors in foul weather, terrible food and “hotels” on the road etc.) but good pay and occasionally some solid job satisfaction. My “real” trade–I did it for 25 years, those other gigs were strictly hit and run. Those who want to know more should immediately read Linda Niemann’s brilliant book On the Rails. She and I worked many of the same districts, though she started later (when the industry finally started hiring women in the operating crafts) and thus faced tougher conditions, in a declining industry, than I did.
Historiann, as a switchboard operator I made the transition from the old cords to a really new PCX machine where I just pushed buttons c. 1972. But the old one was so romantic. Ernestine, she was my model.
The worst of these was stamping dates on insurance policies. It was a three week temp job, and when I didn’t stamp dates, I looked up policy numbers to see when they had been date stamped. That is a job which has almost certainly been eliminated by computers, thank goodness. On the other hand, working in a title insurance company convinced me that it is a total racket. We excluded any possible claim, so it was only useful if something came completely out of the blue. The company belonged to 4 lawyers, but there was one person on staff, and while in grad school I went in from time to time to help when there was a back-up. Oh, and we typed carbons and had to correct the carbons. Office work has been changed (probably largely for the better) by PCs.
Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Hire a better typist for my blog who didn’t have a day job that got in the way of her work for ME!
2. Purchase a vast collection of Oriental rugs just for me to tinkle on.
3. Have water bowls that would be automatically refilled installed on every floor of our house. Oh, what the heck, I’m a billionaire — in every ROOM of our house.
4. Hire someone to chase squirrels around the yard. I’m old, tired, and filthy rich — Let some other dog have its day.
5. Get that damn Dog Whisperer sent to Gitmo where he belongs. Who the hell does he think he is, trying to control my species?
5 jobs my typist has had:
1. corn de-tassler (she really did grow up in Indiana)
2. fry cook
3. housewares salesperson
4. cub reporter
5. English prof/LGBT Studies director/professional queer
Snacks I enjoy-
1. X-tra spicy pork rinds dipped in guacamole
10 years ago I was about a week away from graduation (high school). I was two months away from my first of many trips out of the country while also anticipating my freshman year of college at the University of Northern Colorado.
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Just did this on my blog.
2. Dingman’s Ferry, Pa.
3. Iowa City
4. (rural) Bucks County, Pa.