Friday, August 14, 2009

My past lives...

One way to truly get a sense of someone is to look at the jobs that they have held in their lifetime. This post will serve as a timeline of my occupations, with a couple of brief notes on them.

Mowing Lawns-
Every pre-adolescent boy should have to do this

Laminating pool passes at the local rec center-
Ah, good ol' downtown Lenexa, KS. This was my first "real job". I made $2.90/hour, and spent my first paycheck on a pair of Nike Air Flights.

Caddy at Milburn Country Club-
Decent money for a 14 year old kid, plus I got to meet some celebrities (I was honored to meet the late Derek Thomas, before his accident took his life)

Performer for Party Animals-
Yes, I would dress up like cartoon characters, and do birthday parties, fairs, etc. Don't laugh, I used to make like $300/day doing it!

Host at TGIFriday's-
My first restaurant job. This is where I learned that managers would sleep with waitresses, and that cocaine actually exists...steep learning curve at this place!

Working the Pro Shop at Milburn-
This was quite possibly the easiest job that I have ever had. I moved golf carts, and drove the cart that picks up balls on the driving range. In fact, I just might go re-apply there again.

Waiting tables at Houlihan's-
My first waiting tables job. I still have nightmares about this place!

This takes us through high school, now on to College:

Bartender/waiter, Buzzard Billy's Armadillo Bar and Grillo, Waco, TX-
This place was absolutely nuts to work at. I'm certain future Friday posts will include stories from here.

Bartender, El Chico, Waco, TX-
After getting fired from Buzzard Billy's (my only time ever being fired), I worked here for a couple of months. It sucked- imagine that when you eat at one of these places your margarita was pre-mixed in a 50 Gallon drum!

Mobile Disc Jockey (also some office work), Complete Music, Manhattan, KS-
This was a great job that paid my way through K State. I actually sometimes wish I was doing this again- it was also a source of great foddor for Friday posts.

Mowing Lawns, Riley County School District, Junction City, KS
One summer's worth of work that provided me lots of stories!

Wilderness Instructor, Summit Adventure, Bass Lake, CA-
My summer job in college (and 7 months after), after I got my life straightened out a bit. Fantastic ministry, just didn't pay enough

Now on to post-college (let's see where my degree in Recreation Park Administration led):

Health Club Membership Sales, Lenexa, KS-
I only worked here for about 3 weeks, as it was the epitome of a "hard sell" situation. Trust me, these guys DO NOT have your health and well-being as their main concern.

Chick-fil-A, Corinth, TX-
I went from working behind the counter to General Manager of the place in less than 120 days. This is where I really started to hone my management skills.

HR Manager, Weathertrol Supply Company, Denton, TX
This was the best, and worst year of my life work-wise. I went from knowing almost zero about HR to being well versed in most aspects. My boss (who would later be my Father in Law) even admits that he "chewed me up and spit me out".

Waiter, Wildwood Inn, Denton, TX
I worked here on weekends, and this is where I really fell in love with wine.

Waiter/Manager, Smith and Wollensky, Denton TX and Boston, MA
This job led me to really fall in love with good food, and led us to Boston, which was fantastic.

Wine Sales, Ruby Wines, Boston, MA-
After working 70-80 hours a week, for very little money and never seeing my wife, I gave up the restaurant gig. This distributor took a chance on me, and provided me with a wine sales education that you can't buy. This was a fairly large company, with 38 sales reps, doing around $75M per year in sales.

Wine Sales, Premier Cru Wine Company, Saint Louis, MO-
Much smaller company, where I work now. Brought me and the wife back to the Midwest, for which I am grateful.

Long and boring, sorry about that...sometimes it's just fun to walk down Memory Lane, you know? Hopefully, you get a bit of a better sense of who I am, and where I come from. I firmly believe that a person should enjoy the work that they have. The average person spends about 100,000 hours working in their life time, they might as well have some fun doing it!

Until Monday, Cheers!

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