September 5, 2009

Memory Lane

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated in 1882. In 1884 the event of honoring working men and women was made official and the rest is history.

Labor Day also marks the last holiday of the summer, an unofficial end to summer, and the traditional queue to pack away the white shoes, slacks, and jackets.

This celebration of hard working American's got me thinking back on all the jobs I've had over the years. It gave me a chuckle, so I thought I'd share them with you in hopes you'll share too.

1) My first income came from my mom who paid me $10 a week to iron dad's hankies. Hankies are those delicate little square pieces of cloth that men and women used before Kleenex arrived on the scene. I'd go into the basement each week and transform freshly washed wrinkled rags into crisp folded and presentable hankies in no time at all. It was an easy ten bucks.

2)The next form of income came through babysitting. I remember taking care of cute little Blake, our neighbor on the south side of our home, and Kelly and Casey who lived on our north side. More than once or twice I've wondered what these darling children are up to today. They must be in their 30's by now. Heavenly Father I pray you bless them this day!

3)My third job was official as it payed taxes and social security. I don't recall my hourly wage, I only know it taught me I never want to work with food or retail. It was a dairy store called Zarda Dairy. We sold milk, eggs, egg nog, sundaes, banana slits, pop, and a few other sundries. I took the job because I wanted to make some money but I hated everything about it. If I ran the cash register I had to learn all the sales for the week. People actually cared if I didn't charge them the sale price for their milk and they'd say something about it. I, on the other hand, couldn't figure out what the big deal was. After all, what's ten measly cents? The truth was I was too lazy to memorize the forever changing adds. If it had been up to me I'd have set the prices permanently to make it easier on everyone.

Then...there was the ice cream. Would you believe that at 16 years of age, though I had heard of a banana split, I didn't know how one was made. I'd never had one. When the manager showed me how it was made, I stood wide eyed and slack jawed wondering why in the world anyone would want such a conglomerate of food mixed into one bowl. I was never able to make one with passion because I couldn't get past the disgusting mixture of food. (If you love banana splits I apologize) Between not caring whether folks saved a few cents and slapping food together that was fattening, unhealthy, and disjointed, the dairy store served well to avert me from sales.

4)After the frigid dairy store, I got a job working as an orderly (yes girls can be orderlies) in the Recovery Room of a hospital. This job solidified my love for medicine and it was there I eventually became a student nurse.

5) As a new graduate I worked one year on the orthopedic unit. I worked the 3-11 shift and carried a ball bat in my car in case my late night drive home became more eventful than planned in the not so good part of town.

6) I always had a passion for critical care so after orthopedics I moved to the Intensive Care Unit. To this day my favorite area is that of cardiac intensive care.

7) After seven years in ICU, I took a job as House (hospital) Supervisor in order to get off nights. Now, talk about an interesting job. The nursing supervisor was the one who took over for all the department managers after hours. I took calls and problems from every department of the hospital. I'll never forget the night I was so busy I thought my legs were going to fall off. My pager was buzzing off my belt and I was hungry as a horse. I grabbed a sandwich but didn't have time to take much of a break. Being near the ER I ducked into the Out Patient Department, which was closed, turned on a few lights and sat down at the desk to eat and review the staffing schedule. I'd taken three bites of my sandwich when something felt funny. Looking up I peered through the glass window into the dusky dim patient care area ahead. Squinting to see into the darkness, I was not so pleasantly surprised to see a dead body perched on an ER cart waiting for a funeral home pick up. I was so disappointed I couldn't even eat alone.

8) After many years working in the hospital, I went to work as the nurse at a school for children with communicative disorders. Having Dani made caring for these children somewhat natural, but believe it or not this job proved to be one of the most stressful jobs I've ever had.

9) For the next ten years, I home schooled Dani. As her mama, teacher, and caregiver this time of focus was by far the most touching jobs I've ever dedicated myself to.

10)At the present I am back into the hospital setting working in the Quality Department. Relying on all my past years of experience we monitor and help maintain the highest standards possible for safe and efficient health care. It's good to be back in the hospital setting. Sure beats making banana splits!

Ok. Now it's your turn. What are the jobs you've had through the years? Which ones did you like most and which ones were you most happy to leave?


katiegfromtennessee said...

Hi Mrs. Nancy:)

I worked at a grocery store in highschool, at a bookstore during all of my college years, and at a photoshop, home retail, and temp work after college. Now, I really just want to be a stay at home momma:)



Cheryl Barker said...

Fun post, Nancy. I started with babysitting, worked in a yummy donut shop in high school and got to take home leftovers (my family loved that!), graduated to secretarila work in the Registrar's office all through college, before finally becoming a teacher. Loved it but knew I couldn't give my own kids the attention they deserved if I tried to do both so I spent many years being a full-time mom and homemaker. When my girls got into jr. high and high school, I started on my writing journey, and that's the path I'm still on. I've been blessed and have enjoyed all my jobs, though I did have to go to work way too early back in my donut shop days :)

Abba's Girl said...

I too have an aversion to banana splits, I don't think I would have liked that job 1 bit.

I was a classroom assistant at the ballet studio, made a few dollars a month, received a pair of new tights at Christmas and a new pair of ballet shoes each year. (Mom appreciated this aspect of it.)

I baby sat for several children. I loved them all so much.

When I was 17, I went to work at a travel agency for 3.75 an hour, minimum wage was around 2.00 at the time, I felt rich. I delivered tickets to our corporate accounts and answered phones, worked with a great bunch of ladies who had fun but were totally professional.

I taught ballet and pointe for years, but the night hours became too much and I retired.

I also worked by day at my father's investigative firm. Worked with all men...they never gossiped, lots of sports talk and discussions about cases and the latest headlines, it was a nice atmosphere. I could blast praise music all day and no one minded.

Hope you had a great weekend!