Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Some of you have wondered at the source my stories. First I have lived a pretty long time, a lot as a divorcee which accounts for the variety of men in my life, but also I have worked most my adult life with the public. Oddly, I was only fired once and usually quit for what I thought a good reason at the time.

Regardless, when I look at all the jobs, I realize this is a spotty employment record at best. Being raised like an army brat and always moving, I found it easy to move on, change jobs and even cities. Only possible saving grace is that two of the jobs occupied 29 years, so maybe it is not TOO bad a record. Still, if I had to fill out an employment application today, I would find it daunting.

I started contributing to the Federal tax base in my 16th summer.

My first real job.

Dairy Queen Manager- I worked for an soft ice cream parlor and actually ran it by myself in the evenings and closed up. I was really excited when my boss told me the first week that I had to eat all my mistakes. Sounds like crazy management??? Crazy like a fox.

At first I had a few “oops” moments for my favorite dishes but in no time I got really sick of chocolate covered cones, banana splits and foot long hot dogs. After a few careless days, I never made a mistake again. What a smart man my boss was. Today I have to be really hungry to eat ice cream. I actually lost 14 pounds that summer and was looking anorexic. Aprons smelling like sour milk will do that.

Department store selling hosiery (that didn't come in an egg) and cosmetics—kind of a yawn.

Gas company clerk-- Now I was fired here. I was in charge of the disconnect and connect orders for the field service men. I was constantly ordering the gas of poor people with half frozen children back on with only a promise to pay of one dollar a week. That was the only job in the company available so they had no choice but to let me go. No amount of stern lectures from my boss could make me dispassionate.

Answering service –That was where I worked for the former call girl.

Morrison's cafeteria, worked all positions except cook—really ate well for a couple of years.

Dental assistant---- Kept passing out. I was OK with adults getting all their teeth pulled, but as soon as a child would get wild eyed with fear and go "ooh-ooh," I would hit the floor taking all instruments with me. Should have been fired but I quit first. My dentist used hypnotism in lieu of Novocaine which is a story for another day.

Private eye assistant-- that was kind of fun.

S&L job lasted 10 years where I worked as----
1. Switchboard operator
2. Teller

(Due to low pay, I also worked part time jobs while working at the bank
A. New Car dealership
B. cocktail waitress. This I really enjoyed)

3. Head teller
4. Administrative Assistant and coordinator of 9 offices and 40 girls.

College years in my early thirties.
1. Head counselor at a summer camp
2. Waitress at Red Lobster- yuck. I respect those who do wait tables and today I am an over-tipper but I was one who hated the job.
3. Factory assembly line worker-- bigger yuck. Funny however in a Lucy and Ethel in the candy factory way, but for another day.

Power company job lasted 19 years where I worked as a---
1. Meter reader
2. collector
3. meter reader again when I moved to Okeechobee
4. LSA my favorite all time job. A variety of field work.
5. Customer Service.

I took an early retirement offer when every office in the state was closed and 2000 jobs were eliminated. Thanks George Bush Sr.

While working for the power company, I also ran an animal shelter for 15 years.

Self employed day old calf raiser—loved working with cute calves with long eyelashes, but besides the beef market tanking, I kept getting attached to my herd.

Florida Turnpike toll collector

Gated community gate keeper

Some of these you have been exposed to. I could have highlighted links to those with stories attached but then this post would look like a Christmas tree. They can all be accessed through my “Search This Blog“ gadget near the top of the side bar if you are curious. Some are for future posts.

Today I am work free and seriously hope that never changes. I always gave 110% to my employers and now it is time to give 110% to Patti. So now you see where a lot of my former stories and where some future ones will come from. BEWARE.

And what was your most favorite or least favorite job?

Quick update.
All parts are working again with out much pain. Just a twinge here and there. My back went out right after my last post. I had tweaked it in the splat fall and it finally gave in and put me on the couch. That was good however for it forced me to stay put and let everything else heal.

Thank you so much for all your kind comments and I am glad you could see the humor along with me.


  1. Back pain is awful, when I fell 8 feet and broke an ankle, it left me with bothersome back pain for quite awhile.
    Most of those jobs, I'm familiar with Patti, having read your funny posts for some time now. I knew you were soft-hearted, but wild-eyed children dental patients making you faint...that made me smile!
    I was a stay at home mom, but providing daycare for my grandchildren was a Favorite thing to do!

  2. Least favorite is working in hospitals due to the politics, most favorite working a nursery - as in plants. I have worked and lived in almost as many places as you. I did like waitressing, put myself through college doing that. also did it several times in my life to get out of debt (former husband debt), too decrebit now to do it or I would. Another great one Patti, thanks.

  3. You think you hated being a waitress? I hated it more!

    I was 18 years old and got a job as a waitress at Snoufer's Restaurant on Chestnut St. in Philadelphia.

    The waitresses were dressed as French maids.You know; black dress with white lace collar and cuffs,black stockings and sensible shoes. If that wasn't degrading enough, we had to wear a huge white lace hankie exploding out of our left breast and a lace cap on our head.

    We had to go to the table and greet the guest(usually business men who liked the fantasy of the French maid catering to him);then take their order and watch a board for your light to come up to signal that your food was ready to be served. That's when the real fun began.

    You had to put all the food and drinks on a huge round tray and get in a long line of other servers. The purpose of the line? To have "Food checker" make sure that every item on your tray was also listed on the patron's check.
    God forbid the diner was a friend of yours and you were giving them a free coke or ice cream. The checker would take the check and proceed to look at the food on your tray and make sure every item was listed. By the time you got through that procedure, your arm was broken from holding the tray of food which was now COLD and the diners used that as an excuse to lower your tip.

    I only lasted a week before telling
    them au revoir and giving them their outfit back for the next poor girl to wear for HER week at that horrible place.

  4. Another super post Patti. My least fav was working in a bakery. My fav. working with teenagers. Your history is varied and always interesting. Thanksfor the posting....
    I'm glad your back is feeling better. Yep sometimes we "aged like a fine wine" ladies tend to be a little stubborn about taking the couch when needed.
    Be well, don't fall down, go boom. The Olde Bagg

  5. Great post. My least favorite job was as a car hop in the 60's. I was a terrible waitress--way too clumsy. I look forward to the future posts. Have to say, though, my all time favorite post from you or any one else was the one about the butt-ugly glasses. That's where I go whenever I really need a laugh.

  6. I really enjoyed this post. You have quite a work history. The job I did not like the most would be folding shirts in a laundry. The one I liked most was keypunch operator back in the 60's. I always look forward to your posts, they are always great.

    Glad you are doing better. Hugs

  7. WOW, Patti.....Well, it's no wonder you bave so many wonderful story's to tell...So very many varied and interesting jobs....! I look forward to reading more and more and MORE, my dear!
    And it is certainly time to give Patti 110% of your time and care. YOU DESERVE IT!

    And take good care of your back, ny dear....Having suffered with back pain on and off for a good 40 years, I know how horrific it can be....!

    Do let me know how you like "Love & Pain...etc."

  8. Well, that's a lot of jobs in a lifetime. With your talent for observation you must have come across and sussed out a lot of sticky-out bits of human nature - will we get to hear a bit about that side of things?

  9. Patti, You and I could sit and visit about life for ages. What an interesting time you have had, and are going to have. As the old saying goes, "Explore the Possibilities.

  10. Now, you had a lot of living to do! Yes, time for Patti. I can't compete with your variety; I worked in education, from the time I was fourteen.

  11. Wanda,
    BP really will get your attention. Hope yours is all better now.
    You are right, I am so soft hearted it is a wonder I have made it this far.
    Stay at home Mom is the best. That is why I love your blog so. You are always right there for your kids and grands. They are so lucky.

    Linda Starr,
    Think I would have loved nursery work also. I think waitressing is the toughest job there is. When you are busy, you are frantic.That is why I overtip today.

    Your outfit would have done me in. And the waiting in line with a loaded tray wasn't thought out very well, at least not by anyone who had to do the job. Golly, that place makes where I worked sound like a picnic.

    Linda in NM
    I'm wondering if your bakery experience turned you away from baked goods like my ice cream venture did?
    You are right, if my back hadn't gone out, I'd still be limping on a bum ankle.

    I too did a brief stent as a car hop. Had a ball flirting.
    So glad you liked my "butt ugly" post. It is truly my sisters favorite.

    I do remember key punch operators. My husband's sister did that and it was considered a prime job for women in those days. I'd imagine folding shirts held all the charm it does today when we do laundry.

    Thank you Naomi. You can only call me consistent if you consider changing jobs regularly, consistent.
    I have "Love & Pain...etc." set up for next week. I was just a smidge late to get it in for this week. Thanks.

    Being a born people watcher, working with the public was always a treat. Lets hope I can.

    Miss Dasey,
    Well, we do a bit of that every time we post. Aren't blogs wonderful? Thanks, I definitely have and will explore the possibilities.

    Had I chosen one job, it would have been either education or marine biology or a combination of the two.
    I sometimes envy those who stayed the course like you did. Kudos to someone who could hold a job.

  12. Bless your heart... Glad you are feeling better. I've been worried about you, Patti.

    By moving alot and having many jobs --I think that makes life more interesting. You have stories to tell, don't you? I LOVE it... My favorite of all of YOUR jobs is the Meter Reader one. Such a service!!!

    I haven't had many different jobs in my life. I was a part-time organist in a small church during college. I also was a paid singer in a church choir for a few years parttime. My first real job was a high school teacher (Choral Music and Math).. Then while my 2 younger sons were little, I taught piano and voice lessons. Once I went into church work, I did that fulltime for over 25 years...

    I don't remember a job I didn't enjoy... I would never teach school these days though... I loved my church jobs ---although when you work for a church, you take care of everyone and not yourself.... These days, I'm taking care of ME --just like you are!!!!

    Great post...

  13. I had two jobs before I got married at 19. I worked at a furniture factory, and at a Used Truck Sales. Ever since I got married I have been self employed.

    An Arkies Musings

  14. My worst job: telephone sales disguised as a "give a way" in Latrobe, PA...police raided the place at lunch time and took the "boss" out in handcuffs, the rest of the women just sitting and staring! I got up and left with another woman. I was 22 at the time and had worked there for four hours!

    Best job: high school English teacher (back in the day...Like Betsy, wouldn't do it now!)

  15. I was ll laughing and hah hahing it up. Then i got to your answering machine job the wind got knocked right out of me. I tried reading on but the humor was all gone. That side note kicked my funny bone right to the curb.
    I am sorry!

  16. Patti, what a life you've lead and continue to lead. Your ability to tell about it is a gift to all of us.

  17. Betsy,
    One thing you were always true to was you love of music. Everything seemed to stem from that.
    Glad you are taking care of Betsy now--rather you are letting George take care of Betsy. About time huh?

    Self employment is the best. You work twice as hard for yourself but your have no problems with your boss.

    Good grief, that could scar a youngster.
    Had I gone into teaching as I planned, pretty sure I would have had a better record. But with you and Betsy, think it would be a really tough job today.

    Awww, I am really sorry GQ and when I think about it, that could have been left out, in fact I went back and took it out. Had it not been "attempted" but actual, I would never have mentioned it in the first place. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Thank you much. It was mostly fun and I regret little.

  18. Hey Patty,
    Looks like you got the phalanges working again. I see they're working beautifully, like a chorus line at the old Roxy Theater. I marveled at all your jobs, me who makes my money the old fashioned way, I marry it! :) (as my granddaughter just said, "Hey, that was REALLY work)

    The job that intrigued me was the detective assistant. I'd like to be a slueth or a gumshoe. Must be a lot of funny stories there, too. I laughed out loud when you said you hit the floor with the instruments when you were a dental assistant. I can see it as a movie.

    Glad you're back.

  19. Girlfriend I just left you a message on your post about falling but after the long long comment it gave me an Error Message 503 so don't know if you got it or not
    So sorry about your fall.
    Love this post about your careers in life. You might as well pack your bags move to Texas and add Ranch hand to your resume. We could sure have some laughs together down here in the North Forty.
    I thought my resume was colorful but you have me beat. I just hate I have soooooooooo many years in Law Enforcement and not something else.
    Oh well can't change it now
    Love ya
    hope this comment works

  20. Great post! Well, unlike my husband, who held 3 jobs in a 38-year-career, I had a lot of jobs, too. One of my favorites was working as a greeter at the Space Needle (which I quit because the hour and a half commute finally got to me) and my least favorite was working as a receptionist for a mortgage company where the people were ALL CROOKS. I'd answer the phone and customers would cry and scream about their lives being ruined and people lying to them, and when I'd give the right person the message, they'd just laugh. And the place was filthy - mold in the microwave in the breakroom - ugh.

  21. I only had two jobs in my life, one for 12 years in a doctor's office and one for 17 years in a seminary.

    Medical transcription was my favorite but that's not done anymore. Too bad, I enjoyed it.

    You should be a very well informed person after that wide variety of jobs.

  22. Glad you're feeling fairly up to par again. Sounds like you have lead a very interesting life. Probably my favorite job was homemaker and stay at home Mom for quite a few years. I did baby sit with a couple of little ones, subbed in a school cafeteria, ran an early morning motor paper route, helped Abe with our own business, I was the buyer and shipper, subbed at the Vocational school and finally got hired full time, where I was the Adult Education Evening Secretary, loved the job, was there 17 years, and worked part time in our local Deli after I retired. Now I'm a stay at home again, do take the Granddaughter to and from school and read while waiting for her to get out of school in the afternoons. Would love to find something for a few hours in the mornings, like from 8 till noon. But those are hard to find. Will be waiting to hear more about your escapades.

  23. Wow!!! What a wonderful and diverse resume!!! No wonder you tell such wonderful've lived the life of a writer!!! So glad you are doing better!!! Love you, Janine XO

  24. I hope you did not miss-understand my comment. I was not being critical in anyway. It was just how it affected me.

  25. Manzanita,
    Thanks, all parts are in working order.
    Love how you married your money. Why didn't I think of that?

    Don't ya just hate it when a long comment goes off into cyber space somewhere? Thanks for the thought anyway and I am much better.
    I did raise calves, does that count as ranch hand?
    I dated a cop years ago and used to love asking him how his day went. Never boring. Can see why you stayed.

    Space Needle sounds like fun. Too bad it was so far away.
    That mortgage job sounds awful. Glad you didn't stick around.

    Don't people still do Medical transcription at home or is that billing? Scary when what we did and loved becomes obsolete.

    Well you certainly had a variety also. I would think with the recession, there would be a lot of half day jobs since employers can't afford full time. Me? I hope I never work again.

    Sniffles and Smiles,
    Thanks so much for putting a good spin on "having a short attention span."

    Oh, gosh no. Since it affected you that way, it might others and it was totally not necessary to the post. No harm-no foul.

  26. Am glad parts are beginning to feel like they belong together.

    My jobs were many but all related to retail pharmacy except one stint in a hospital pharmacy where I quit before I was fired. Did you knowthere are politics among nurses, doctors etc.besides all the on the side affairs.

  27. Glad you are feeling better. My fall onto my knee last Sunday jarred my whole body, but I am healing (if slowly). You sure have had a lot of jobs. I really wish I'd had more.

  28. Wishing you the best o health!!
    It's my first time to your blog and I'm now a "Follower"! :)
    Feel good!

  29. Nitwit,
    Guess there are politics in all businesses. Makes me glad to be retired.
    At least you did what you enjoyed. That is what we all seek.
    Hay, feel better soon girl.

    Dang, we just don't heal like we used to do we. Hope you are doing MUCH better.
    You found what you loved and stuck with it. Smart move.

    Thank you so much for stopping by. I checked your blog and you have a delightful one. I will be back again.

  30. I hope that your back is better soon! You have had a lot of experience with people! No wonder you are such a good judge of human nature. Your stories are always interesting. Thanks for your comment on 911! It was one of the most atrocious crimes against humanity. It caused the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  31. Hey, Patti....Thanks for coming by and taking that little bit of a "tour" with me....I hope your back is improving each and every day....!

  32. Now Dairy Queen Manager is a hot job. I visit Dairy Queens infrequently, but when I do I wonder why I didn't come back more often.

    Least favorite job? Oil Tank cleaner-outer. Best job? Still looking for it.

  33. Are you sure your name isn't Stephanie Plum? I think Janet Evanovich must have read your resume before she started writing that series.

    I hope your current job is physical therapist/nurse to make sure your back is strong and pain-free again.

  34. Glad you are feeling better. I enjoyed the journey through the employment years. :-)

    My first job was a cashier at KFC. Such fond memories.