Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass- it is about learning to dance in the rain.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Odd Jobs

I've done some odd jobs; and then I've had some odd jobs!! For three days I was a soda jerk. (Hee Hee). I made fountain soda -- On the first day I told a young teenager that we did not have Chocolate Coke. Little did I now, it was a best seller -- for the soda bar at the mall. But PJ from Missouri had never heard of putting chocolate syrup in a coke, so it did not exist on that day for that kids.

Then I waited tables at the University Banquet center. One night at a faculty banquet, I let a drop of coffee from the lip of the coffee pot hit the bare back of a faculty wife. She scremed loudly enough to be heard three counties away. Her husband thought it was funny. There were about 500 people crammed into a room that could have nicely held 300...maybe. Every time I turned sideways and sidled past their chair to avoid bumping into the back of the person at the next long table, he'd grin at me. Then laugh when I blushed bright red.

I did well carrying plates. I could manage five at at time: three on one arm and two on the other. If there was no one to "unload" one of the plates, I could only carry four. But...I didn't drop a single one.

Those were both "work your way through college" jobs.

Right after we were married, I had a hard time finding a job because we only had one car and my husband had to drive about 30 minutes to work. So I applied for a factory job near where he worked.

I ran a punch press. Usually a punch press cuts sheets of metal, or bends and shapes them. However my punch press was a specialty one.

Remember when it was all the thing to have your Christmas cards engraved with your name? The punch press was set up to engrave Christmas cards, the big fancy ones with velour on the Santa costume and sparkles on the snow. There was a template for the card, I'd set it on the face plate and the machine would print it. (Okay. Gotta go find a picture. This isn't translating.)

The machine was big and ugly like the one above, except the one I operated had a big arm with a round plate that went up and down in a rhythm kind of like the little manual one on the left. I had to move the cards in and out rhythmically without getting my hand smashed.

It was kind of fun. I'd start the thing slow, and move it faster and faster working as the rhythm built. Place the card with the right hand; remove it with the left. But every now and then my boss would come by and hit the emergency "stop". When the noise from the thing was silenced, he's warn me not to go so fast or I'd get my hand in there. He'd quote how much the psi was...I don't remember, but it was several tons. Enough that my hand would be only a greasy spot if I goofed. The guy running the machine before me has lost a couple of fingers in the thing.

I loved running that thing as fast as I could get it to go. Only once did I think I was in any danger. That day I had it going fast enough that when my right hand positioned the card, it wasn't quite straight. I almost reached in to straighten the card. instinctively, without thinking. Then quickly I realized that I wouldn't have time to get my hand out again. And I reached to the throttle and slowed the thing down for the rest of the day.

What Odd Jobs have you done??

Stay tuned tomorrow for the smelliest job ever. For me anyway


Linda said...

You have had some "odd" jobs! Guess the oddest I had was a barmaid and I didn't have a clue how to mix drinks. It was in SC when they had the mini bottles. What a nightmare!

Ballerina Girl said...

hmmm, your jobs were interesting for sure!
as for me? does being a ballerina count as odd? HA!

His Girl said...

I've had no odd jobs, but am really really enjoying reading about yours!

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