super contra
5/3/2006 10:43:00 AM

And now for something geeky and reminiscent.

I used to play Super Contra at the arcade when I worked at the Sandspit. Yes I've had some odd jobs in my life. Remembering that game has reminded me of all the different jobs I've had. I haven't exactly ran off and joined the circus ( ;) Bill ) but there were some odd ones.

  • Ferris Wheel Operator
    (I wasn't heavy enough to actually run this properly, I used to get it going backwards all the time.)
  • Tilt-a-whirl Operator
    (People barfed all the time on this ride, you really had to pay attention. You couldn't slack off like you could with the Scrambler.)
  • Scrambler Operator
    (Yes this involved staring into space for 10 minute intervals.)
  • Go-Kart Race Controller
    (I'd get on the Mic and just say the pre-race instructions in both languages after listening to them a gazillion times over 2 summers. That and say dirty words to the people as we ended the race. Since the 4 of us had headsets we had our own little party with the poor saps who thought they were controlling the race. Whenever I hear the words "slow down" or "take it in the pit" to this day, I chuckle over our version of those phrases.)
  • Milkshake Maker
    (I scooped so much ice cream that summer my right arm got bigger than my left.)
  • Frog Bog Operator
    (Sandspit was like a regular circus...or "carnival" as we say here in PEI.)
  • Milk Can Operator
    (You know where you throw softballs into a milkcan for a prize. I learned to juggle while working at that station.)
  • Tea-Leaf Reader
    (I still get asked to do this one. I was the "Kitchen Witch" and I somehow liked that everyone looked at me differently, like I had some awesome super powers.)
  • Lobster Retail Entrepreneur
    (Ahh, my first business. My partner and I shipped lobster to Ottawa from PEI. I even designed the logo before I went to graphic design school. No that logo didn't help get me accepted.)
  • Telemarketer
    (This one still makes me cringe. I lasted 2 hours and was then hustled to model and asked to take my shirt off. I bolted immediately and was creeped out in Montreal by everyone for weeks. It was the only job I ever held while living in Montreal.)
  • La Cache Salesperson
    (I loved to sell things, but I hated how everyone did it. My technique involved constantly trying to create new store displays to feature the items...one day I barely finished my display when someone bought the clay pot that was the centerpiece.)
  • Chevy's GO GO Dancer.
    (Sure it was no electric circus, but when our songs played, up on the bar we went in our little 50's skirts and shaked that thang. Kinda like Tom Cruise in Risky Business, same shades. Actually serving drinks was a real let down compared to performing.)
  • Junior Designer
    (I was terrified, but damn I had some fierce Freehand skillz at that point. Bring on vector signage!)
  • Art Director
    (All the newspaper ads, signage and t-shirt designs I could handle, plus window displays for Christopers, Dave's Cave, Charlotte's, & The Haberdashery.)
  • Senior Graphic Designer
    (See I did have a normal job as a professional for a number of years.)
  • Computer Technician / Web Developer
    (After only one course covering A+ certification I dived in. I've only fried one hard drive too. Pretty good stats for the amount of systems I've opened up. Oh yeah and I managed to code now and then too.)
  • Programmer Analyst Instructor
    (This was a one month position, that actually paid while I finished up the course myself. It's likely because I was such a freaking geek, and had such a high average. They probably thought I was dedicated...I was really petrified to fail.)

Geeze there are some weird ones there. My point of all this is today when I'm working on my business and living the ups and downs of it, I will remember where I came from. The jobs that have led me to this point. I must have needed all of those skills to do what I'm doing now. Although I can't think right now how freaking people out on a ferris wheel has anything to do with it.

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