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August 1, 2009

This morning, after my kid ran into my room, jumped on my bed, and ripped me away from my dreams (he did snuggle with me for a while to make up for it), I yawned, dragged my laptop over, and did a little work.

Right now, I’m working seven days a week. It’s not all day every day – sometimes it’s just an hour or two – but the nature of my job dictates that I log in on a regular basis. It’s kind of a pain and I don’t always like it. Sometimes I threaten to up and quit and make WAHD bring in all the dough. However, the fact that I’ve stuck with this gig for three years now is, I suppose, a testament to the fact that I ultimately enjoy what I do, even if I won’t admit it.

Three years is a record for me. I have a strong work ethic when I want to, but I am also a notorious quitter. Look into my past and you’ll see the deflated remnants of a whole string of jobs that I started and couldn’t stick with. Among them:

*Administrative assistant. Actually, this was the best job I ever had, working for the best boss I ever had in the summers after my senior year of high school and freshman year of college. I took calls, wrote letters, and entered data. I got to wear nice clothes and eat lunch in the full-service company cafeteria (I even had my own tab). My boss never said a negative word to me, ever. But I was 19, thought I was too brilliant for that kind of work, and moved on to “bigger and better things.” 

*Starbucks barista. At first, this gig was fun. I joined up at the start of the holiday season and enjoyed a two-month honeymoon period during which I was constantly high on peppermint mochas and cranberry blondie bars. Inevitably, though, the buzz wore off, and the decaf-triple-venti-nonfat-sugar free vanilla-with caramel latte divas started to get to me (not to mention the arrogant bastards who would advise me to go out and get a college degree so I could “make something” of my life – frustrating because at that point I had a graduate degree).

*Animal shelter cat room assistant. Cats. Lots of them. Fleas. Lots of them. Pee. Lots of it. During this brief stint of altruism, I sneezed constantly and smelled like an ammonia factory. The worst part was that whenever one cat got sick, all of them would, and then they’d be euthanized en masse. I lasted two months before calling it quits.

*Journalist. For one manic summer, I was the only reporter for a tiny weekly paper in rural Montana (not far from where the Uni-Bomber had his hideout). My job was to cover three towns spread out over 77 miles of highway. I wrote about car accidents, small-town courtroom dramas, logging disputes, forest fire prevention, school plays, the county fair, and lumberjack contests. I also took all the pictures. They paid me $9 an hour. That’s the same summer I ran up a mountain of credit card debt.

*Bookstore employee. There was nothing difficult about it. I was assigned to unpack the books and put them on the shelves. Embarrassingly, I lasted one day and never went back. I literally didn’t show up for my next scheduled shift. It was an Office Space moment for me: ” I don’t like my job, and, uh, I don’t think I’m gonna go anymore.”

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