May 22, 2009

What's Really on Your Resume?

Courtney Kaplan's picture
Courtney Kaplan
Principal, Program Planning

Photo credit Philo NordlundPhoto credit Philo NordlundFor those of us at Hot, it's been an indirect path to our digs at 585 Howard. We've come from other careers, other cities, even other countries, before landing here. Which means we've had a lot of crummy jobs along the way.

In the belief that everybody enjoys reading about somebody else's humiliation, we want to share with you some of our work-experience low lights. First to share, our Producers.

Developing client relationships, managing project teams, allocating budgets and crafting schedules are only some of the things our producers are responsible for dealing with at Hot. It takes a unique skill set honed over many, many experiences to be a good Producer. Most of those experiences have been wonderful, others not so much.

So, "What was the worst job along the way to becoming a Producer?" Here are some of the responses we got. Enjoy!

When I was 23, I was working 3 jobs on top of working as a nightclub promoter where I had to pay bands with my own money (in order to get them to play I would promise guaranteed payments regardless of how many people they drew in).

I've had lots of crazy jobs: I made fried chicken at KFC (which was part of Gino's at the time), was a pot washer in the cafeteria kitchen at college, and did tile work for a contractor in Philly named Rocco. Interestingly, I can't really say that any of those were all that bad.

Being in charge of the daily obituaries; either receiving them from local mortuaries (morticians are the nicest people, by the way) or from grieving families. I learned very quickly how to momentarily forget about my woes and put on a happy, consoling face when the receptionist would call me (at deadline, mind you) and chirp, "Obit walk-in!" I'd have to drop whatever I was doing and head to the lobby window, never knowing what to expect. I remember the day (I was also covering two co-workers' desks) I put my foot down and threw my hands up. "Enough!" Friday the 13th, 2006 was the LAST day I ever had to do obits.

While in the Poli Sci department. at Berkeley, I got paid to index a book. I didn't know what I was doing—I wrote down every damned instance of almost every word. I think my index was longer than the book itself. Did anyone really need to know that "geopolitical" was mentioned on pp. 3, 5, 8, 176, 524-8, and 625?

When I was 10, I was a cashier in a grocery store. I got hassled by people who wanted to buy alcohol yet insisted that it wasn't legal for a 10-year-old to sell it.

My sister and I were both waitresses in a kind of theme-restaurant set in 1836. And I had to wear black tights, a long prairie dress with an apron (complete with bonnet) and serve tour buses full of senior citizens who never tipped. If that wasn't bad enough, but my sister and I had to drive into work together. We'd get into fights and try to ditch the other (in full Laura Ingalls garb) in some humiliating public area.

My worst job ever was at Victoria's Secret in midtown in NY (57th near Park, don't think it's there anymore), because it was a huge, two-story store with a separate, overly scented body product store-within-a-store—SO gross! You could not get away from that smell—it was like Bath & Body Works mixed with Yankee Candle.

Sadly, I was once a pizza delivery gal in Chapel Hill, NC. I'm notoriously horrible with directions and back in those days there was no GPS. So pretty much every time I went out I got lost and delivered cold and very late pizza in my sad college car with a pizza light attached to it.

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Joseph Chan's picture

My worst job after graduating from college is working the sales floor, and I had to do other duties which was not part of my job.

Cleaning the bath rooms when it jam.

Courtney's picture

Yeah, so many crummy jobs start out with the promise of an easy summer ;)

Kendell's picture

Heh - bad jobs are always a hoot to hear about.

My first job was working for a Conway Dept. Store, over the summer. Now when I was hired on I was told I would assist with store activities (stocking, register, etc.) what actually transpired was a long 2 months of cleaning out the store's dusty attic, disposing of used/unsold items, conducting maintenance runs and handling a few encounters with the local vermin!

Fun times :o)

P.A.T.'s picture

None of those jobs sound bad.

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