Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I have not had that many jobs. Work is something I have to do in order to eat and feed the family. It is not something I have to do to give me a sense of worth. If I did not have to work I wouldn't. I know people who are defined as a person by what they do for a living. They don't feel complete unless they are doing some type of work. These types of people have pretty yards which require a lot of work. They say it relaxes them. I try to imagine myself "relaxing" sweating in the front yard, slapping mosquitoes from the back of my neck, and planting things that are just going to die anyway not matter how well they are cared for. This sounds insane to me. Thanks but no thanks.

Having said all of this I realized that I have not had that many jobs. Here is the most recent list of things that I have done for money (where taxes have been deducted). I do not count selling crack back in the 6th grade.

1. Fry cook @ the Iron Skillet Resturant (Truck Stop) in Bucksville. They let me go when they realized that I could not work past 10:00 PM since I was in school. The manager had a tremendous realization of his own importance in the grand scheme of things. Without him the world spin off its axis all life would end. That is how important it was for me to make sure food was kept at 180 degrees. Fantastic job.

2. Bag boy @ Food Giant in Bessemer. Had to wear a white short sleeve button up shirt with a black bow tie. The bow tie did more to draw attention to my long skinny neck than the mullet could have ever dared. I was thinking about going on break when I looked down aisle 4 and saw a kid yarking up Cheerios and Beanie Weanies all over the canned goods. I immediately went on break and Mark Lee had to clean up the mess. I lasted 6 weeks because I worked 6 weeks without have a Friday or Saturday night off. This is unacceptable since I have always been a social butterfly. So I just didn't show up. It seemed easier than calling in and getting fired. Turned out it was. This is the only job I have been fired from.

3. Pianist @ Sonrise Church in McCalla. Started when I was 19. Left the church 11 years later. Great job. Eventually started working with the students (all three of them, 2 brothers and their cousin). Did that for 7 years. The worship leader when I started was almost as bad a leader as I was a pianist. If you didn't know this was Shawn Stinson. His car smelled like cheeseburgers back then too.

4. Movie Gallery in Bessemer. Had this job for 9 months during years 4 and 5 of my undergraduate career. I really enjoyed this job. It paid nothing however. One of the things that I hated about the job was corporate. This is the only job I have ever had where anything remotely resembling "corporate" was part of the gig. They would send little posters that were required to be hung in the break room. They were for motivation. Pithy little sayings that someone who got paid a lot more than I did would come up with to motivate all us little people. I really hated those posters. Crap like "Do the best you can do and it will be the best you can do." I would have preferred something like "If you do the best job you can do it will make us more money. You however will continue making $5.25 and hour. If you're lucky." At least this would have been honest. You see, I am a self motivator. Which is a nice way of saying that you cannot motivate me. Speeches and sayings and sing-a-longs don't cut it. You can motivate me either positively (more money) or negatively (less money or fired). At least I did not have to wear a bow tie.

5. Kinnaird Drilling and Pump. I did this for 4 years. During this time I added about 25 lbs. I would like to think that at least 15 of that was muscle. You may be thinking this is the type of job that is ill-suited to History majors and poetic souls. And you would be right. Sometimes I really liked this job. But there aren't many hotter jobs when it is hot. Or colder jobs when it is cold. There is an old saying about a well diggers butt in January. I had that butt for 4 Januarys and it was cold indeed. A lot of the old well diggers that I would meet were missing fingers. Several fingers. But at least they were poor. Wait a minute.

6. Southern Company Services Non Destructive Examination Unit. I did this for about 4 months. This was designed as temporary employment. There were a couple of weeks that I worked 90 hours. The money was good but I have never worked in a place as spiritually toxic as this. Without going into detail I felt good about leaving that place and shaking the dust off my workboots as I went. Dust and asbestos.

7. Bagby Elevator. Purchasing. I have been working here nearly 4 years. Great place to work. Good people. I buy parts for elevator mechanics. Did you know an elevator mechanic makes $39.50 per hour after he has been in the trade for a few years. Time and a half overtime. Double time on Saturdays. Triple time on holidays. We are talking nearly doctor money. People have asked me why I don't get in the trade. Because a lot of those guys are miserable. two guys that are near my age have recently gone through horrific divorces. It can take a toll on things. Money is not worth it. Money should not be the only thing motivating what you do for a living. Money cannot buy peace.

8. Sonrise Church/Westwood Baptist Church. Student minister. 12 years. I was amazed after I typed this number. I have had the opportunity to marry 2 students that have gone through my ministry. I would do this job for free. If I had to pay to do this job I would pay. I really hope that Kara doesn't read this. People would say that teenagers are different now than they used to be. I have not seen that much of a difference in the things that matter in 12 years. granted they look different but they want the same things out of life. They want to be accepted and they want an identity of their own, separate from their parents and family. Love the job that I have now. Sure I go to church with crazy people. Who doesn't? But even some of the crazy ones love me and support me.

You know what? I have had a lot of jobs. Youch! Who would even hire such an aimless vagabond? Don't tell anyone.


Shawn Stinson said...

Well, that's not exactly the blog "shout-out" I would have picked for myself, but very true.

Also, I haven't thought about Mark Lee in a loooong time. I wonder what he's up to now?

Joseph said...

Shawn, you have to admit that neither one of us was very good. At all.

Joseph said...

As for Mark. Rodney told me that he was living in Montanna. Not sure what he is doing.

Jamie said...

I like that you think of yourself as a poetic soul.

Also, I think we should have you wear bowties on Sundays.

Joseph said...

Here's a poem I have been working on.

Roses are red
Jamie's a dork...

That's all I have right now. Poetry ain't easy.