Thursday, September 8, 2022

My Last Job

A simple list of all of the jobs that I have had would fill the page. My work history has been a vagabond's journey that began with me outside the church after each of the Sunday masses hawking the diocese's weekly newspaper, the Tablet, and a smaller magazine called the Sunday Visitor. That took at least six hours. Me and my friend Bobby, and I can't remember if they paid us or not. That was sixty years ago. Last week I resigned from what should almost certainly have been my final job.

Almost certainly?” I hate to break this to you, but our exciting new world has denied us certainty in any matter that you could think of. I could peacefully live out my remaining years, or I could be reduced to begging for coins in return for teaching young English-learners the mysteries of English grammar.

Several of my jobs were pleasant, but difficult. Some of them were physically demanding and totally annoying. A couple were just annoying. One or two were mellow and almost enjoyable. The lawyer jobs were all very stressful. My worst job was letter-carrier for the US Postal Service. In New York weather? Are you kidding me? Summers are way too hot, and winters are way too cold, and it rains all year. I lasted just under two years. The second winter was out of the question.

I recently realized that I had spent most of my adult life sleep-deprived. I was lucky to get almost seven hours of rack time, and often had to settle for six. I've been making up for it, and enjoying every extra minute.

My last job was in the “mellow” category. I worked there for almost fifteen years, a statistic that amazes me every time I consider it. My previous record was three-and-a-half years. My vagabond's journey of a career made many stops, lasting between one day and about eighteen months to two years.

Does the Peace Corps count? My ex-wife and I joined together. Peace Corps spun the Fortune Wheel, and it stopped on Thailand. A teacher training program. That was mellow, and I believe that they were happy with my contribution to world peace and understanding. That was a term of two years and three months. It turned out to be too much of a good thing. The resulting rebound-depression back in California resulted in the end of my forty-year marriage.

I returned to Thailand, because I knew the situation, had many contacts in education, and I knew that I could easily get hired and provide myself with a good quality of life. I taught for a time at a big high school full of naughty, lazy students, and then received an offer that I simply could not refuse for what turned out to be the last job I'd ever need.

My last position was as a lecturer for the Faculty of Law at a big government university in Bangkok. I taught undergrad and graduate classes, and was asked to travel to the school's remote campuses all over Thailand about ten times every year (until COVID hit). My deepest thanks and appreciation to all of the faculty and staff at Ramkhamhaeng University, and a special mention for several who have predeceased me, and many who have already retired or simply moved on. Thanks to everyone who ever helped me or made me feel welcome. I almost never felt like an outsider.


Anonymous said...

Get your tablet, get your Sunday Messenger. Flash back memory. Could the Bob , friend ,be Bob Leary, my phony cousin, who passed his weekly tablet route off to me when he picked up his next job at George’s deli. I delivered 25 papers each Saturday for early delivery of all the hot Catholic news, but never hawked papers after church. The tablet route paid me 2 cents per paper, plus tip. It was usually .25 cents with the exception of my grandmother who gave me $5 each week. Nice tip
There’s a great ending to this story and the job which led to me making my very last confession with Father Wetterer after missing paying for the papers for an extended period. All was forgiven. I then began my next job as a soda jerk at Bernie’s Candy store where my life of crime continued

fred c said...

I had a Tablet delivery route as well. And my partner at church was indeed Bob Leary. I left all of that behind when I ended my St. Fidelis situation. I moved on to Catholic high school, where I invented "quiet quitting." I did earn a diploma, but my rank in class was 271 out of 291 students, which I thought was perfect.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous? Is that you Lou?