Blog a Job (Part 1)

Not blow job.

I know on first glance it looks like that but its definitely BLOG a Job. Apologies if you've entered this site with an alter motive and a wayward google search.

So I was nominated a couple of months ago by wordsmith and tapestry smith, Alice at Nipper and Tike, if you follow that link, you will find her. I can honestly say, "I was well up for it init." This is like getting little nosey into someones employment history and to compare who really has had the shittest job.

A big reason why I like this task and immediately agreed to do it (though put it off for a couple of months) is that as a doctor, there is an expectation, like alot of careers, to just stay in the same career for ever.
I remember I viewed my school teachers when I was a kid, that they didn't really exist out of school. Similarly I get the feeling, most people just expect their doctor to just be a doctor and only a doctor, almost not seeing that they are a person with a family life and other interests outside if it. But there is a wealth of creativity in doctors. I've know GPs who are lead singers in indie bands on the side and hospital docs who work with puppets as a second job (yes, that's you Dr Ranj). I've known web designers that have gone into medicine and, conversely doctors who have changed career to photographers and food hygiene inspectors.



Here are my two having a go at the family business


For me lowlights are highlights, basically if I can make a joke out of it or send myself up, it's a highlight. Anything for a laugh - so here is my tongue in cheek online CV (well half of it).

I like to think I've cornered the market in shit first world jobs. I've had part time jobs since it was probably illegal and I think my starting way was around £3/hr, which is likely unheared of now:

First job: 

'Doing menial tasks for my parents for child slave labour wage'

I'm sure you have partaken in this right of passage as a child and if you have, it's certainly something you should pass onto your children. I used to get 50p for cleaning the car from my mum. My dad was a lot more shrewd in business and drove a hard bargain (ha ha- drove, what a pun!) and made me do inside and out for 50p - Honestly, an ingenious way to get your car cleaned on the cheap.

Other tasks included 20p for sweeping the drive (stones from one side to another - a pretty fruitless task), and cleaning blood off the walls...so maybe I should explain we didn't live in an abattoir or a dungeon, but we had an over excitable golden lab that used to whip her tail across the highly floral 90s wall paper, flicking blood from the whipping of her own tail on the wall. So, yes, cleaning the blood of walls can be a job for your children.

Our lab was like this one, but with more blood

I actually quite enjoyed those jobs. We lived in the sticks and only had 4 channels on TV - I hope that explains the actual enjoyment I had for those tasks.

Baby Sitting:

'Looking after someone else children you hardly know, whilst eating the food in their fridge'

Every teenage girls right of passage was to baby sit, least it was in the nineties ands noughties. I used to baby sit my sister's cast-offs (whenever she was busy, I was second in command for the job). On the whole it was a great job - you got to eat their posh yogurts from the fridge and do your homework whilst watching Blind date, until you meet a demon child...


She was like this, only with less remorse and 7 years old

...I only had one encounter with a child that embodies the title of 'little madam.' She was like butter wouldn't melt when her parents left, only to turn like the spinning of that little girls head in The Exorcist. Except she didn't spew green vomit, only high pitched screams akin to Verruca Salt in an "I want it know' moment.

At 10 pm she demanded to get her rabbit out of the hutch in the pitch black, only for it to escape and we (well, I) completed a Benny Hill sketch running around after it. That felt with she then wanted to watch a two hour film before bed which 'her mum always let her.' When I said no, she actually said "I'll scream until you let me", followed by another benny Hill sketch into chasing her around with the phone whilst she threatened to call her mum to tell on me.
Whilst my ears were ringing from her high pitched tones, I had an epiphany. This kid was so badly behaved, why was i trying to install some discipline?

So she rang her mum, and told her everything was fine (all with an evil glint in her eye to me) and then I let her watch her age inappropriate film. Hey, it's not my funeral and I certainly wasn't going to volunteer babysit her again - by this stage I could care less what her mum would think at the end of the night. This kid must of gone through babysitters like my kids eat jelly tots - no wonder her mum skipped off happily for a night out, without having to cleanse her daughter in holy water again for the evening.
And if you're wondering, by the time mum and dad were home, she was asleep. To her parents i had done a pretty standard job of baby sitting her. And no, I did no return for round two.


Indian Restaurant Waitress

"Gaining an encyclopaedic knowledge of birianyi whilst scoffing Bombay Mix....and working like  dog"

Looking back on this, I possibly was working outside the law for my age (15 years old, when I started there), working never ending shifts from 5.30pm until when the kitchen was cleaned, often gone 1.30am. But we did get a free chicken tikka and naan on break time, so every cloud and all that.

I think I literally ate my own weight in Bombay mix in between waiting tables, but luckily in those days was blessed with a very fast metabolism. I could tell any curry on sight back then, which is obviously a highly sought after skill....er....but I wasn't a very good actually waitress. I don't think that  I got that you had to give good service as part of being a waitress, I just wanted to get the job done i.e. no good at the whole smile and chat thing. I mean I was good at getting food to the table and a dab hand at stacking the dishwater but I didn't factor in the tip factor AKA chat factor.

Private Waitress


"Not as kinky as it sounds but did involve a repetitive strain injury of the wrist"

Almost exactly what I looked like, except I had much less poise and no dangly catheter bag

Basically a big house down the road wanted some waitresses for their garden party (to you know, look good in front of their hoity-toity mates I presume), so us local pheasants went to assist. It was all a bit Thomas Hardy (apart from the manor house was a pretty ugly 80's build, fully retaining all its 80s 'character'), we brought food out in out volovants in our quant pinnies (yet more 80s fodder), in the blissful english sunshine and then scrubbed the plates like skivvies in the back. 

The next day, the lack of dishwasher was evident from my sore, aching, creaking wrist. A trip to the GP confirmed the diagnosis - repetitive strain injury secondary to extreme washing up. I suppose I could of sued for industrial injury but instead I used it to my advantage and got off PE for a week.



Safeway Cafe Waitress

"Free Dishwasher facials and a yearning to get to work on the tills"

It's as this point I realised how many part time jobs I had as a teen.

Safeway opened up in the neighbourhood and I was desperate to get out of waitressing. I looked at those till girls with awe...they looked cool and classy, beeping shit through the till, free from sweat with a delicate poise passing that tin of beans through the scanner. Unfortunately, with my skill set, I was placed in waitressing/cafe skivvy.

I honed my skills in microwaving at 1000W, facial steam cleaning with the industrial dishwasher and cleaning up sticky toddler spills...so basically this job set me up for motherhood.

Safeway cafes main aim seemed to be to humiliate its employees by dressing them in the worst uniforms possible. They brought out a new uniform one time and the trousers were akin to what MC Hammer would of been delighted with. One month we had to do 'Italian month' which involved an Italian themed tabard and boater hat complete with hairnet. I'm convinced this outfit scuppered my chances with one of the hot shelf stackers....either that or my nervous inability to communicate beyond a giggle whenever he was near.

That was me, minus trombone


Care Assistant

Now, I actually loved this job. My employers cared about the residents, the carers had enough time for the residents, and I got to work with and make friends.

This is going to sound soppy and out of character for me, but it was a privilege to be caring for these residents. I remember, chatting away with an old ex school mistress with alzheimer's, who I'm sure was formidable in her day, as she busied around her room. I'd try to convince her to put on her nightie; she would oblige only if we rambled about the children she taught and looked through her photos. 



There was one lady, who I'll always remember. She had parkinson's and the warmest personality. Gradually she lost the ability to talk and was frozen unto her own body, but never let it outwardly get her down. The night before she died, we sat in her room whilst I handed her chocolates her daughter had bought her, whilst we read through some cards from her family. I had no idea she would die that night but I think she knew she would. She seemed to be in a time of peace and happiness before she passed away - possibly the best state to be in. If you can have a 'good death', then this was one of them.
Lovely fulfilling job, that one. 


(Illegal) Weigh-bridge Operator and Grain Laboratory Technician


In the summer before I went to uni to study medicine, I needed to get some cash together to go to Belize with my then boyfriend (much later ex-boyfriend). What better way, than to get exploited by a student holiday job?

Living in Suffolk at the time, there was a large company that processed grain, rape seed etc and used us cheap sixth form/uni students to save away in the lab. For £3.36/hr we tested if the flour made was the right consistency and counted out how much 'admix' (crap other than seed) was in each batch of crop from the farmers. Riveting stuff.

As I lived near to a more local branch I was placed there on my own with two burly men who ran the weigh bridge to weigh the lorry's loads and worked the machinery to put the grain in the right silo. This is all bit layman terms.

I think this tractor makes it look sexier than it was

I basically fannied about in the little lab, making flour and counting out crap from rape seed in a petri dish. Though I did get upgraded to illegal weigh bridge operator. Illegal because you had to have a licence to press the button to weight the lorry, which I didn't possess. Though I was an excellent illegal button presser.
After a few weeks, I got a lab buddy, a girl who was in the year above me at school. We had a great laugh - she fancied one of the burly guys and we listened to top tunes on local radio. In the end it was worth the measly minimum wage, if not just for the company.

Agency Care Assistant


"Shits 'n' giggles: Social service poo catcher"

Whilst at uni, I took weekend jobs around East Anglia's care homes. My husband nick names me the poo catcher after an incident where a resident was hosted up from the commode only to quickly open their bowels. For some reason, my hand shot out and I caught the poo. At the time it seemed like the sensible thing to do and of course it demonstrates my dedication to the job and cat like reflexes in stool grabbing. But it was pointless as I could of just let it drop into the commode beneath.
See, some jobs are for the shits and giggles, literally.

Once again though, a skill that sets you up for motherhood.

This jobs helped in these kind of 'mum' tasks

Primark Sales Assistant


"Part time Pant folder"



Now this was probably 10 years ago or so, so maybe a lot has changed since then, but if I had to say what was my worst job, it would be this one. Praise be due to to the Primark employee who's main job is tidying and folding after the onslaught of bargain shoppers, under the overbearing eye of management.

I was assigned to the knicker section, where I spent most of the day tidying pants and refolding up nighties. Just so you know, every time you unfold and scatter a nightie over the display at Primark, some one has to today that up, repeatedly. It was a weekend exercise in futility.
Though I did learn how to fold a T-shirt properly there (and there was ample opportunity to practice). Thats about the sum of the positives.



To be continued.....

That sums up part 1 of my blog a job (online nosey CV) with my pre-medicine jobs, of which there have been a-plenty. Stay tuned for part 2 which will be a potted history with funny tales of my house jobs and into working mother-dom.

I will ask a few blogging peeps to pass this forward (and you know have a little see what has moulded their careers) later in the week and add them on the bottom. I actually want to chose most of the people that Alice from Nipper & Tyke tagged! But of course this is an inclusive party, so everyone is invited to write their own.

I'd love to hear anyones worst jobs and best jobs - please comment below or come hither to Facebook or somethin'. Or better still write one on your blog.

Now get back to work!

6 comments:

  1. I was also a waitress who never quite grasped the 'be friendly get a tip' angle. In my (& evidently also your) defence, when eating out, I prefer waiting staff who bring me my food, remove my plates & otherwise leave me alone. But apparently some people are more sociable than me & like the odd interaction. Weird!
    I love the maid with the catheter - I hear they all had them back in the day. You were no one in society until you had a maid with a catheter.

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    1. Fantastic - we should set up a restaurant together...and get someone else to be the waiting staff.
      I can never find the right picture ie, all the ones I want have to be paid for, hence the maid with a catheter.

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  2. Oh my God, this did make me giggle, especially you catching the poo.
    I worked in Miss Selfridge and that was DIRE!

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    1. glad you giggles! sorry for the late reply, have been all encompassed by going back to work. For I would of loved to have worked in Miss Selfridge when I was a teen - I would of trialed all the range of nail varnish colours they had and spent my staff discount spice girl inspired clothes...but not done much work. What was it that was so awful about it?

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  3. Little did I know that the till roles were coveted, I always envied the freedom of the cafe staff and ciggy counter people! Don't tell me those lightening reflexes haven't helped with motherhood :)

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    1. Ha ha - we should of job swapped! If only Safeway would of allowed it!

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