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Worst job: painting solid yellow paint on an endless supply of construction barricades on the overnight shift (age 16).

Best job: management of high-tech new-product development with a well-functioning, highly motivated team.

Hey Pete-

Sorry I did't get back to you sooner, but life was so busy after FEE. Here are my blog addresses:

http://mental-spew.blogspot.com/
http://colloquium.wordpress.com/

Ok so I worked in restaurants from dishwasher to executive chef which was good. In fact, best job was exec sous chef at a new hotel where I got to spend an entire summer designing a menu with 3 nationally reknowned chefs. Or the summer I worked overnights at the convenience store that everyone hung out at.

Worst job: either marketing job I did one summer on straight commission or the summer I worked in the plastics factory.

BTW, Kirk, is that you?

Worst jobs:
1. Picking green beans at age 12. Long rows of pole beans, the big kids stole from my bean sack.
2. Thinning sugar beets--1/4 mile long rows, no shade, the Mexican thinners were 3x as fast as I was.
3. Trimming cows' feet. Good money that put me through college. Too much time at the wrong end of a cow.
4. Mayor of a small town.

Best job: University professor for the reasons Pete states.

My best job was being a student of Agricultural Science. As an undergraduate student I was paid 800 pounds per annum from an Agriculture Council scholarship. The Council also paid the tuition fees. There were two Council scholarships in each state so Tasmania was the place to be (by far the smallest state). Six of us started the Ag degree that year and we became the first graduates of the program – previously Ag students had to travel overseas to the mainland after first year. 800 pounds became 1600 dollars in 1966 and in 1967 I went to Adelaide for Honours on a Meat Research Studentship that was worth the same amount.

Adding on some pay from working on the family farm over the long vacation meant that I ran a small car, lived in a residential college and still saved money hand over fist through the course. My father was so relieved to be spared all that expense that he gave me an open account at the bookshop and I made good use of it, including a lot of non-Agricultural reading from the remainder tables.

My game plan at that stage was to attack the world food problem, perhaps working with some international agency like FAO (does that still exist?). By the time I was through Ag it was apparent that the problem did not need to be solved by scientists, so I moved to Sociology (not having found any economics that made sense at that stage) but that turned out to be a dead end as well. Actually worse than a dead end, but that is another story.

Yes, FAO does still exist http://www.fao.org/

My worst job was probably working as the Rapid Response team in the Drug and Alcohol Branch of the State Health Department at a time when the drug problem was high profile, a massive program was being implemented to address it and the Minister wanted practically hourly bulletins on the progress we were making to put out the fires and make him look good.

Worst jobs: During college in the summer while I was back home I'd sometimes do 'light-industrial' temp work. For a couple of days during one of these summers I worked at a glue factory scraping the left-over glue residue from giant empty glue barrels. I'd put on a rain coat, climb up on a step ladder and use a firehose that sprayed steam and water into the barrel to loosen up the glue. Then I'd climb down in the barrel, sit on a milk crate and scrape it off with a putty knife.

In another temp job I got to clean soot from the walls of a ski-resort that had been severly smoke and fire damaged. This also included standing on a scaffold in a raincoat (again!) and pressure spraying a two-story stone fireplace to remove the soot. In the summer heat - of course.

Second Best job: Audio technician for the house theater on the Costa Romantica cruise ship. I got to ride the ship from Ft. Lauderdale through the Carribiean, across the Atlantic and do circles around the Medditeranean for three months in 1998. That was pretty fun but not something I could do for an extended period.

My best job: Sitting at a desk all day writing software applications for the nuclear weapons complex. I like being respected, making good money, and getting to be both very technical but also having room for creativity.

I've come a long way and done lots of different things. I've worked in a chemical lab, bartended several times, interned at a recording school. Each one of us is pretty much a small business, selling our services. You may not get what you think you deserve, but you get the going rate for your services. If its not going so well, you may have to rethink your strategy. You either give up and blame the world or get motivated. But then, anyone here knows that. Cheers!

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