Jobs I've Had

I was thinking last night about all the different jobs I've had over the years, and how many were "relevant" to what I do now. I suppose they were all relevant, since they got me to and are a part of what I am now, but there are a few that I consider to be a direct link to what I do now. They also signal a conscious shift in my outlook with regards to my career. Note that while this is roughly chronological, and includes only wage-earning jobs, I've done the same job at multiple employers, so I rolled up those positions.

  • Car wash carhop Learned that ill will created by older siblings can negatively affect job duration
  • Gas station attendant Learned how change the oil in a VW, smoke Marlboro Reds
  • Busboy in a fancy restaurant Leaned how to set a proper table, which side to serve and clear form, hang out with waitresses
  • House painter Learned about importance of health insurance. First management experience, and my team sucked
  • Apartment painter Learned how to paint student housing interiors, survive all day on a diet coke big gulp
  • Sorority houseboy Learned how to steer clear of a house full of college girls
  • Mail room of McDonalds world headquarters Discovered they serve beer in the HQ McDonalds
  • Printing plant Learned about union-mandated breaks
  • Bartender Discovered bar tending isn't that much fun, really.
  • Stereo equipment sales Learned how commission sales work (or doesnt)
  • Lawn maintenance Learned how to drive a big truck, second management position
  • Busboy Learned that laundromat/bar combinations are a great idea
  • Picture framer Learned how to get involved with much of the female sales staff, third management position
  • University telecom warehouse storekeeper Learned about DOS/Windows, and all the types of RJ jacks. First direct experience leading to current career.
  • Telephone customer service/technical support Learned about flaming co-workers via email not being a good idea, fourth management position. Also first experience working in a meritocratic workplace. Led to beginning of current career.
  • Product design and management Learned I loved designing interactive products, fifth management position. Start of current career.
  • University computer science department design intern Learned I had no idea how to build a large website, learned a lot about methodologically sound research.
  • Interaction design consultant Learned a lot about client management, had to lay off my first employee.
  • Interaction design manager Learned a lot about excellent and horrible management, big company politics.