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Aug 19, 2022Liked by Isaac Fitzgerald

In college back in the 90s, there was a blind philosophy professor. I had a work-study job wherein I read to him: sections from philosophy texts as he prepped for lessons, student papers, etc. The weirdest (coolest!) thing was that he had an encyclopedic memory and would point to a shelf in his office and say something like "I think the Descartes "Discourse" should be the third book from the right with the blue binding and I believe Part 4 on God and the Human Soul is the section I'm looking for." He was never wrong!

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Aug 19, 2022Liked by Isaac Fitzgerald

Well, my first job out of college was driving the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, a 23-ft long fiberglass hotdog/bun. Our job title was "Hotdogger" and we appeared at all kinds of events, from grocery store visits to high profile sporting events. I logged thousands of miles up and down the east coast and through the midwest that year (early 90s). I drove in rush hour traffic in Manhattan and filmed a segment with Gilbert Gottfried for USA Network's Up All Night. Mostly, though, it was radio spots with the local morning zoo show, lots of puns and dodging innuendos, and handing out so many wiener whistles to little kids and their parents, who often remembered the Wienermobile from their own childhood.

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Aug 19, 2022Liked by Isaac Fitzgerald

About 25 years ago, I found myself working for the first time as something other than a writer, in this case, a car salesman. It was my first week on the job. I had $12 in my checking account, and the manager who knew salespeople were easily replaceable, was rude and condescending to everyone. I thought about telling him, "I am a grown-assed man and you can't talk to me like that," but knew this would get me fired on the spot. Instead, I went to his office. He was on the phone. "Get out," he said as he waved me away. I sat down. He finished his call and glared at me, "What?" To this day, I do not know where the words that came out of my mouth originated. All I knew was that I had to do something to change the terms of our relationship, and it had to be something that would disrupt the terms of our interactions. Out came this, "Henry, has anyone ever told you, you have really pretty lips. And I say this to you not in a homosexual way, more like a prison thing." It was the goofiest most off-the-wall thing I had ever uttered. Henry was silent, and I was pretty sure his next two words were going to be, "You're fired!" And then he smiled, and the smile gave way to a laugh, and we were on a different level. A few months later I got hired on a Steven Bochco show and I was back in the world I knew. But for a while, car sales was my world and it was nothing like I expected.

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I was an actor in situational training for police officers dealing with domestic violence. We'd go to hotels in rural Idaho, re-enact domestic violence scenarios from existing police reports and cops would have to figure out who was the aggressor, who was telling the truth, etc. It was strange and pretty depressing work but it paid far better than a lot of other performance opportunities.

I also packaged and shipped cocktail napkins for a summer.

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Aug 19, 2022Liked by Isaac Fitzgerald

Detassling corn back in Iowa. A two week job of sweating and getting cut by corn leaves but getting a fabulous suntan! Fourteen years old back in the 70's.

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Aug 19, 2022Liked by Isaac Fitzgerald

In college I worked for a semester in the food studies department's call center and cold called people to ask them about their turkey preferences.

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I was a corpse delivery driver in Boston for a bit in my 20s. I also did Pizza Delivery. Indie Bookseller. Accidental Drug Dealer. Dunkin' employee. Street Busker. Embalming Instructor. Bemused Podcaster. Video Projectionist at an Adult Theater... I've had a lot of jobs.

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Aug 20, 2022Liked by Isaac Fitzgerald

I was a “secret shopper” for the New York Philharmonic for a while - my job was to go to concerts, interact with all the customer service people, and then fill out a survey about each interaction. Because I had to interact with everyone, they gave me a free coat check ticket (so I could talk to the coat check folks) and money for a drink or snack at intermission (so that I could talk to the bartenders). I also got free tickets to concerts I could not afford at the time. To call this a “job” was generous, I still can’t believe they paid me.

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Aug 19, 2022Liked by Isaac Fitzgerald

Drove an ice cream truck, big stick shift, real ice blocks, summer of my junior year in college. Ate 10 cent fudgsicles all summer. Drive suburban neighborhoods in second gear for hours.

Cooked dinners for a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic fraternity house during another summer. Learned how to make 10 pounds of ground beef palatable for so many tastes. Tacos were always a hit.

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I worked customer service at an early version of a "Netflix but for porn" kind of place. Ghostwriting emails for our CEO "Virginia Beaver" was funny until they put me on the phones.

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Aug 19, 2022Liked by Isaac Fitzgerald

My weirdest job was driving tractors on my family’s tobacco farm (which incidentally is on the same road of the brewery you’re visiting in Sept 16!). My other weirdest job was helping sew bags of compost at my friend’s compost company using a machine they built themselves. And pet sitting a hedgehog haha.

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Aug 19, 2022Liked by Isaac Fitzgerald

I live close by, next town down river... maybe we'll bump into each other on Sept 16!

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Aug 19, 2022Liked by Isaac Fitzgerald

I worked for a mail order company that was housed in the basement of a very old post office in Westmount, Quebec. Some of the items people bought were really heavy and we had to package them, print the labels and lug them up huge steps to the main floor so we could mail them off. The only weird thing about it was that the basement was old stone walls, damp, not well lit and ... okay, it was really creepy when I had to work there alone. Those times when your imagination takes over and you're sure someone is watching you (which they weren't, I don't think!). I was 17 at the time, first job, trying to do my best, but boy I did not like working "underground".

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Aug 19, 2022Liked by Isaac Fitzgerald

I've not really had weird ones, but just a lot of them. I've been a gardener at a church, a gas station attendant, a hardware store guy (nails by the pound! The biggest table saw ever!), McDonalds cook, mover (that is a normal job that produces odd stories), city worker, foot courier for a customs broker, journalist, web developer, I did print production, flat checker for an alt weekly...

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Love a normal job that produces odd stories!

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Aug 19, 2022Liked by Isaac Fitzgerald

It's just that there are sort of four kinds of folks who move: career movers, folks who can't find anything else (which includes trades who are in a downturn), folks who have ... erm... issues and college kids. It's a very strange, at times toxic mix. But at the same time, everyone moves, so it's mundane. But the things I've seen (extreme Rutger Hauer stare).

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Aug 20, 2022Liked by Isaac Fitzgerald

So my weirdest, or most unusual job, was actually my very first job at age 12-13. I breezed and exercised race horses at a local track! I did it for about six months and absolutely loved it. It’s a very adult world and I felt like a real bad ass, especially when I got to go to the greasy spoon that was on the racetrack grounds! Something about going to a restaurant to buy my own breakfast felt very grown up!

Unfortunately my job ended when my Dad decided to take me to work one morning, usually my boss picked me up, and saw the dubious environment his little daughter was spending time in! I had to quit that morning lol!!

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Aug 20, 2022Liked by Isaac Fitzgerald

I’ve never had an unconventional job, but I’d like to hold space for everyone who has worked long-term in customer service and is/was expected to be so much more than someone who picks up a phone and fulfills a straightforward set of tasks—especially in the hospitality industry! One day you’re a nanny, minding a perfect stranger’s kids during an impromptu walk-in that lasts for the better part of your shift, the next you’re installing the new communal microwave then making an emergency tampon run for a patron the morning of her wedding 😆 Don’t even get me started on working overnight shifts for luxury car services… the number of times I’ve been asked to “bring all the girls” from the call center to party on yachts…

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Aug 20, 2022Liked by Isaac Fitzgerald

I shared a job as janitors with my husband when he was still in college after I had graduated. Huge church with a horseshoe shape balcony & 3 rows on the main floor, plus a 2 story office & Sunday school building. 3 ministers and 2 secretaries, supposedly a part-time job, they assured us. Yes, we were naive and didn't know not to trust a minister without verifying! It was the job from hell, tons of trash, no one in the congregation ever cleaned up after themselves and some even hid things behind doors to 'make sure we were really cleaning'. We were fired because a board member became upset that he found bags of trash in the basement waiting to be burnt in the household size incinerator, which would only take about 1 1/2-2 bags at a time. There were always at least 5-6 bags on Sundays because they used paper for EVERYTHING! Also, the youth minister was unhappy about lime rings around the water line in the toilet bowls. I said I cleaned them every time with the industrial cleaner they bought for that. He said his mother would chip them off with a chisel! I hope he heard me tell my husband as we left that I understood now why he had never married! No modern woman in her right mind would put up with that nonsense!

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