Snapshots from a Variety of Odd Jobs

I have been memed or tagged by L. L. Barkat regarding the strangest job I have ever had.  (This originates with the people at "High Calling.")  I am supposed to write about the strangest or most odd job I’ve ever had and what I learned from it.  (You might enjoy looking at this interesting post, "Lessons from Odd Jobs.")

My first inclination is to say that I haven’t really had an odd job.  But, maybe that would be a little too quick.  I have had a variety of jobs.  Most of these occurred from the time I was sixteen until I had been out of college for a year.

My jobs were not odd in the sense of being bizarre or different from what anyone else experienced.  They were odd in the sense that I would never have dreamed of doing some of these jobs.

1.  How odd to be working all night on weekends at a fast-food hamburger place.  Odd?  Only in the sense that I would have never dreamed of serving tacos and hamburgers, cleaning floors, and changing out vats of grease at 3:30 AM.  

2.  How odd to be standing, during the night, by a massive bun oven at a bakery in Dallas.  Odd in the sense that for hours I stood by this oven feeling its ferocious heat, retrieving pans after various kinds of buns were baked.  The same buns then moved along on a conveyor belt to where they were bagged and prepared for delivery the next day to grocery stores all over the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  (The same buns, by the way, were put into three or four different kinds of bags for the same grocery store.  Though these were the same buns, they would each have a different price.)

3.  How odd to work several years for a large oil company basically doing odd jobs and running errands.  How odd to be sent one day in a company car to a massive house in Highland Park.  All I knew is that I was carrying a document in a brown envelope that was to be signed by a woman and then returned immediately to the office.  How odd to learn that I was carrying papers that were related to her divorce.  How odd to stand nearby while this very woman, who appeared to have been crying, quietly signed these papers.  

4.  How odd to spend five hours a night loading UPS trucks while in college.  Was the job itself odd?  Not really, I suppose.  It is odd, however, to look at a box and realize I was placing a box loaded with hundreds of live lady bugs onto a truck.  

Are any of these particularly odd?  I don’t know.  I do know that I never would have dreamed of doing some of the jobs that I’ve done.  I do know that very often I thought about people who did these kinds of jobs their entire lives. 

I gained a new respect for people who had odd jobs, repetitive jobs, and jobs that didn’t seem all that desirable to me.  Nevertheless, many people who do these kinds of jobs full-time (not part-time or in the summers between semesters like me) have often worked very hard to perfect a skill or task.

I am supposed to tab five other people, tag this post as  "Lessons from Odd Jobs," and  "… link back to the Lessons from Odd Jobs page and and email this month’s host at “Marcus AT highcallingblogs DOT com.”

(This tag goes to: Jen Gorham, Kinney Mabry, Steve Puckett, Ted Gossard, and Dusty Rush.) 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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7 thoughts on “Snapshots from a Variety of Odd Jobs

  1. Thanks for participating, Jim! The detail about the divorce papers broke my heart.By the way. I’m supremely jealous of your theme. And I’m a fellow fan of Freebirds from my days at Aggieland. 

  2. I too was saddened by the divorce papers. Though the lady bugs brought a smile to my face. Oh, and the buns. Who knew such bun-deception happens on a regular basis? : )