My first seven jobs

No, I never worked in a coal mine.

coalmineThe meme My First Seven Jobs has been showing up on social media a lot in the last couple of months. I had avoided it until I read an article about what your first seven jobs say about you, and then the exercise intrigued me. And hey, I need a Labor Day weekend post.

I am a little bit fuzzy on what constitutes a job. When your father drags you on some task, for which you are not being paid, I’m not counting that. And having looked at other people’s lists, I’m actually adding a couple that I would not otherwise have considered.

1. Newspaper delivery of the Press newspaper, Binghamton, NY. Six evenings plus Sunday morning for about two years, a job I inherited from my godparents’ grandson Walter. Used the money to join the Capitol Record Club and buy Beatles’ albums.

2. Babysitter. I did this less than a half dozen times, never for more than two kids, two boys who lived near my grandmother. I was pretty good at it, I seem to recall.

3. Singer, with my father and sister Leslie, off and on for four years. We didn’t make a lot of money, as we did a lot of gigs for free.

4. Page at the Binghamton Public Library, for seven months when I was sixteen, a job I inherited from my parents’ godson, Walter. Same Walter. Helped people with the microfilm machine and retrieved back issue magazines. When it wasn’t busy, read Billboard and Psychology Today.

5. Assembly line worker at IBM Endicott. I graduated from high school in January, then worked there from March until early September. I remember the boss wanted me to stay, but I was heading to college.

6. The box factory, which I did for two weeks, longer than either of my two predecessors.

7. Janitor at some department store in New Paltz. Being a janitor was also my eighth job, in Binghamton City Hall.

No, my first seven jobs did not include working in a coal mine. Nor did Lee Dorsey‘s. Or any of the members of Devo.

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