Occasionally, I get some gentle ribbing about how many jobs I've had in my life. I bring this up on the occasion of my retiring from the hospital. It is an occupational hazard of a wannabe vagabond writer to have had several jobs. To a career oriented person this would seem like a problem. Luckily for me, I don't self identify by what I do for a living. Further, my real career is exactly what I've been working on for the last five and a half years - fixing up a boat to go sailing and writing about it. Looking to my life, rather than my jobs, I've been on track and I'm good with that.
The job that I am starting in a week or so is ironically the one I thought I was going to do when I left the road in January of 2011. Back then I wasn't too happy when the training program was pushed out. In hindsight, I am impressed how carefully the company has brought on new people. Rather than bring on people in a panic and then have to let them go as new business expanded and contracted, they seem to have hired behind the curve of their growth. I can appreciate that from the shop floor, and from a businessperson's perspective as well.
So, I got into the pharmacy world. Being a Pharmacy Technician played well into my latent geeky tendencies. I have enjoyed the work and the people I've worked with; in both pharmacies. I worked with, and for, people who believed in me, supported me, and helped me at every turn. In the long run, however, the last two years have been an experiment to see if I could find a part time job that paid well enough to allow the extra boatwork time. In a perfect ...er... job, I could work part time to afford the hours I need at the boat, yet also afford the parts and supplies and living expenses to feed the boat project. Ultimately, the math was not working out and I'm headed back to a full time gig.
Beyond being full time, the new gig plays into skills and strengths I already have, and gives me the opportunity to polish those skills and learn more in the area of composites. Check out my visual resume. 'Composites' is a ten dollar word for fiberglass work, but 'composites' usually means a company that's a little more high tech and a little cleaner than just fiberglass. I was in a slew of 'fiberglass' shops down in Florida. This new place is clean and high tech, and seems to be well run. More on them later. I'm still on track, slowly but surely; different than I felt two Januarys ago. Everything I do is an attempt to promote my success at the boat project. Nothing else is permanent. This new gig is a good choice to further that effort.
While I was working in Customer Service many moons ago, I used to talk to a Mennonite gal a couple times a day. She worked at a large countertop shop that we supplied with laminate. Like anyone else around me, she heard a lot of my stories. She listened with a peculiar wonder and decided that I had lived many lives. I made a list of 'lives' for her back then. Lately, my stories have people thinking I've had a lot of jobs. The stories must at least be interesting enough for folks to pay attention to the mundane details of my resume. So here's the jobs list, starting about 1980:
Salesman/Truck Driver, cheap paintings and frames
Research Associate, Shock and Vibration Laboratory, School of Packaging
Designer, Returnable Automotive Packaging
Sales Engineer, Automotive Packaging
Sales Engineer, Plastic Components
Founding Business Partner, Plastic Components and products made from recycled plastics
Plant Foreman, Automotive Accessories
Employment Recruiter (headhunter)
Customer Service, hardwood plywood and countertop laminates
Office Manager, moulded wood products
Composites Lamination Technician
Truck Driver, again
Machine Operator, injection molding