Welcome to The Cat Site
your cat community
Interact with our community

What Job Did You Take In Desperation But Liked Better Than You Thought?

Discussion in 'The Cat Lounge' started by doomsdave, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. doomsdave

    doomsdave Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

    4,846
    5,714
    Dec 2, 2016
    California
    I'm riffing off a thread started by @Reecejackox.

    I've taken jobs in my time that I knew I'd hate, but I needed the money, so . . .

    There were others I ended up liking a lot more than I (or a sane person?) should.

    For me, it was being a taxi driver in the late 1990s in the San Fernando Valley, in Los Angeles. No Ubers or Lyfts, then; they tested you by seeing how well you could use a "Thomas Guide," and tried to weed out the crabs and grouches with a "what would you do if" test. And, they checked to be sure you had eyes that opened.

    I turned out to be good at getting the tips and getting people to LAX fast, without getting anyone killed. (More of an accomplishment than you might think.) Had some (mostly silly) adventures, all in a day's work. Got to know Russians, a Sikh grad student who spoke fluent Russian, and a 60-year-old Eritrean who married the hottest 18-year-old chick in his home village. Among many others. Made about $1300 a week, but soon found something better.

    So, what about the rest of you? Are you still working such job?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
    catsknowme and Mia6 purraised this.

  2. nansiludie

    nansiludie TCS Member Top Cat

    2,171
    1,209
    Mar 14, 2014
    Wow, thats great pay lol. I work in housekeeping, not great but better pay than what I made in fastfood.
     
    Mia6, doomsdave and catsknowme purraised this.

  3. Mia6

    Mia6 Mother of two Top Cat

    17,224
    6,759
    Jan 22, 2017
    Ohio, USA
    I worked a waitress job at a truck stop when I was flat broke. The customers were nice, I made great tips, and I could eat anything I wanted for free. The food was really good as well.
     
    doomsdave and catsknowme purraised this.

  4. catsknowme

    catsknowme TCS Member Top Cat

    9,800
    3,798
    Jan 2, 2005
    Eastern California,USA
    I began as a waitress in a "2-bit" coffee shop and did well but was able to switch to a dinnerhouse where I was trained by a French waiter. Later, I moved with my kids to a nearby ski town and hired on with the best (and busiest) restaurant in town. I had the time of my life for the next 11 years, until a local businessman spun out on black ice during a blizzard and T-boned my truck. I injured my neck and thus ended my rock-climbing, horseback riding and waiting tables. I waited on many celebrities and wonderful people including astronaut John Glenn and an elderly couple in their 80s from MA who would backpack from Yosemite to Mammoth Lakes. it paid less than Doomsdave's taxi job but it allowed me to work only part-time in the day. It taught me how practical that I was raised - except for really obvious celebrity figures, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, I was TERRIBLE at recognizing faces and was often less impressed with status than with a person's real personality. I was even called "culturally illiterate" by a well-known weatherman from ABC7-Los Angeles. :dunno: I did get to try on a World Series ring from an Oakland A player and got to go rock climbing with a group of FA-18 pilots; another time, I met some ladies who knew my mare's grandsire, Tontos Time, from his racing days at Los Alamitos. Memories that still amuse me :clapcat:
     
    maggiedemi, Mia6, doomsdave and 2 others purraised this.

  5. Mia6

    Mia6 Mother of two Top Cat

    17,224
    6,759
    Jan 22, 2017
    Ohio, USA
    I'm sorry about the accident. You've had a very interesting life and I'm sure you have fond memories.
     
    maggiedemi and catsknowme purraised this.

  6. maggiedemi

    maggiedemi TCS Member Top Cat

    9,341
    14,209
    Mar 26, 2017
    I hated Waitressing. My favorite was probably babysitting. I love children, especially babies.
     
    Mia6 purraised this.

  7. catsknowme

    catsknowme TCS Member Top Cat

    9,800
    3,798
    Jan 2, 2005
    Eastern California,USA
    I really dislike waitressing, too! Serving in a dinnerhouse was a completely different experience; instead of turn-and-burn, it was an intimate dining experience. With each new "table", I would think to myself, "those guests are about to have the best dining experience of their lives". Mentally and physically, serving dinner was challenging; thorough knowledge of etiquette, the menu and the beer and wine list was essential. For instance, if a guest wanted to avoid garlic, I had to be able to custom design a menu. It was also essential to preserve a sense of harmony within my section as well the dining room, whether it was helping control unruly children, managing drunks or keeping support staff (bussers/hostesses) feeling valued. In addition to great tips, I loved getting postcards and thank you notes. For a brief moment in time, those people were fellow passengers in my journey of life. From the good experiences, I was blessed with joy and satisfaction and from the bad experiences, I was blessed with the opportunities to learn patience, fortitude, courage and compassion. Sometimes I had to deal with people by "reading" them as I would a dog or horse - once a very mean lady turned out to be a grieving mother who had to i.d. her only child at the coroner's office (her son was visiting our area and died in a crash on a winding mountain road); another mean man who made his daughter cry at the table was having a severe altitude headache and nausea - he felt so much better after a "cocktail" of tonic water, Angostura bitters and fresh lime, that he later took my suggestion of using pennyroyal for high altitude headache AND his family recommended me to their friends.
    @maggiedemi: I am always glad when good people are drawn to the nurturing arts - children are such treasures. They love learning and they are usually fun to be around. It is too bad that jobs working with children are so underpaid. What better Investment can there be than in our children? :heartshape::angel:
     
    Mother Dragon, doomsdave and maggiedemi purraised this.

  8. doomsdave

    doomsdave Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

    4,846
    5,714
    Dec 2, 2016
    California
    Being a cabbie brought out and exercised the caring side of me, I was surprised (and gratified) to find.

    But shouldn't have been. Taxi drivers are often life's first responders before the cops and firemen get there, if they do. Drivers often catch fares in compromising positions; drunk, drugged, abandoned, beaten, defeated, or a combo of all of those. More than once I offered to take women beaten by lovers male and female (so they told me) to a safe house, no charge, if they wanted to go. Or a guy who appeared to have been shot or stabbed, to the hospital if they wanted to go.

    Astounded to be refused more often than not. But, unless they pass out, you take 'em where they want to go; to do otherwise is quasi-kidnapping.

    Getting the big tips was nice, but being a mensch, or at least offering to do same, was better.
     
    Mia6, catsknowme and maggiedemi purraised this.

  9. catsknowme

    catsknowme TCS Member Top Cat

    9,800
    3,798
    Jan 2, 2005
    Eastern California,USA
    I hadn't thought much about what city cabbies would encounter but that makes sense! When I went to NYC, I always tried to get our cabbies' stories (same with shuttle drivers). At my first time to NYC (sorry, Easterners and Angelenos - where I come from, "The City" is the one and only San Francisco, CA), the honking was annoying until 2 different cab drivers explained that they use the honks as a sort of Morse code to communicate with each other.
    I hate driving in big city traffic and greatly admire the professional drivers who deal with it daily. :salute:
     
    Mia6, doomsdave and maggiedemi purraised this.

  10. Winchester

    Winchester TCS Member Veteran

    24,175
    7,611
    Aug 28, 2009
    In the kitchen
    After I came home from doing my college internship and rural fellowship, I played around for a couple months until Rick said, "Dear, you need a job! Unemployment isn't going to last forever." I saw an ad for a Customer Service Rep for a local model train company and applied. And got the job.

    It was actually quite interesting. The business was all about model trains, the engines, cars, the pieces. People would call in to order their pieces and I got to know many of the men who called in. I took their orders, ordered office supplies, and worked on the web page. It was a neat job, but the pay wasn't all that great and there were virtually no benefits to speak of. I knew (and they knew) it wasn't a permanent position for me.

    And when the planning job opened and I was called about applying for the position, I applied and became a planner.

    But I do fondly look back on the job and the people there. It was a much better job than I thought it would be.
     
    DreamerRose and catsknowme purraised this.

  11. catsknowme

    catsknowme TCS Member Top Cat

    9,800
    3,798
    Jan 2, 2005
    Eastern California,USA
    @Winchester : :thumbsup: What a fun job! I think of the joys that you were able to bring to your customers. Your benefits were not "bankable" but I am sure that you were able to fine tune many skills and got great satisfaction from helping your customers. My brother and I have always loved model trains. Even riding on Amtrak, I find it amazing as well as delightful at how easily strangers meet and converse....there is a unique charm in riding a train.:salam: :itslove: :alright: :hugs::cheerleader: In my mind's eye, I can easily imagine your customers building their model train sets as well as the delighted guests, including children and other train aficionados, watching those train sets in action! :) :yess: :popcorn: :clap: :clap2:
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
    Winchester and maggiedemi purraised this.

  12. PipersMom

    PipersMom TCS Member Adult Cat

    129
    569
    Oct 25, 2018
    Pennsylvania, USA
    In 2008, I was post college and post internship and having trouble finding a job. I applied for a job in the county elections office during the presidential election that year. Me, being super socially awkward, did not look forward to the part where I'd have to interact with the public. I was really surprised to find that I ended up enjoying and looking forward to working the window. People were generally really friendly. The pay was not great, but it was a really fun and interesting experience.
     
    Mia6, catsknowme and maggiedemi purraised this.

  13. catsknowme

    catsknowme TCS Member Top Cat

    9,800
    3,798
    Jan 2, 2005
    Eastern California,USA
    @PipersMom : :clap: Good for you in facing your challenges. I can be very shy because I grew up in a rural area with few neighbors so I know how hard it is to feel comfortable dealing with strangers. Not only did you conquer your fears, you actually enjoyed your job! :winner:... YOU:salute:
     
    PipersMom, Winchester and maggiedemi purraised this.

  14. Tobermory

    Tobermory TCS Member Top Cat

    2,615
    6,269
    Dec 13, 2017
    Oregon
    In the late '70s, I married a guy who had just finished his DVM. We moved to a rural county in Panhandle Florida that was classified as a "veterinary deficient" county because back then, the government had a program where it would repay a huge percentage of a vet's school loans if they did.

    I had given up a job in magazine publishing to move, and I discovered that jobs for women with degrees in rural Florida were pretty limited. My best opportunity for a decent salary was to become a teacher. I was not then--nor am I now--a person who cares much for children. But I applied for and was hired as a 7th grade English teacher in mid-year to replace someone who had gone on maternity leave. It was brutal. They were brutal. Seventh graders are very adept at scenting insecurities and uncertainty, and newbie teachers and substitutes are prime targets for being tormented.

    By April, I was a wreck. But I came home one day so angry, and stressed, that I said to myself, "It's either them or me...and it's NOT. GOING. TO BE. ME!!!" Grrr.

    They hired me permanently at the end of the year, and I went on to teach for seven more years. I actually came to enjoy it tremendously even though they dumped morning hall duty and lunchtime detention on me. I kind of liked the "bad" kids and got on really well with them--even the one who came up to me during morning hall duty, showed me a (live) snake, and asked me if I wanted to pet it. Rotten child. :lol:

    Teaching made me more confident and more tolerant and more understanding. I'm glad I had the experience.
     
    catsknowme, maggiedemi and doomsdave purraised this.

  15. catsknowme

    catsknowme TCS Member Top Cat

    9,800
    3,798
    Jan 2, 2005
    Eastern California,USA
    @Tobermorey : :salute: My - you have a great attitude!! My sis was a substitute teacher for middle schools and had interesting stories. She was in HR for Verizon for decades so she was well prepared for the sassiest and meanest but, oh boy, those kids can be awful! She said that often the "too good to be true" kids were the most sneaky and the "bad kids" were just upfront.
    I am so impressed that you did the job full-time for 7 years!
     
    Mia6 purraised this.

  16. Tobermory

    Tobermory TCS Member Top Cat

    2,615
    6,269
    Dec 13, 2017
    Oregon
    Thanks! It was a very different time. I couldn’t do it today. Teachers are so undervalued.
     
    catsknowme and Mia6 purraised this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.