This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Railroad Worker, Retailer, Radio DJ, Roustabout, Roadie, Road Warrior ( #AtoZChallenge )


#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter R

           Railroads have been a fascination for me since I was a young child.  But railroads have fueled many imaginations since their inception nearly 300 years ago.  Aside from that fact, railroading might have been passed down through my family heritage.  For a while my maternal grandfather worked on a railroad.  That was before I was born, though I often heard stories about his working on a railroad operating a steam engine.  Working on a railroad not only sounds interesting, but it also sounds like a good topic for a song.

         Retailer is a common occupation that is not too bad to pursue even if it is often not particularly lucrative.  Most of my jobs dealing with tangible goods were related to the wholesale end of selling.  In the late eighties I did a few month stint working at a Radio Shack. I did enjoy the work environment and the people I encountered, but, alas, I didn't have a good grasp on what I was selling.  Still, the upper management did attempt to recruit me into managing a store.  That store would have been farther than I wanted to commute so I was hesitant to take it.  Then a wholesale position opened up for me and that was the end to my retail job.  I'd rather sell merchandise wholesale to retailers anyway.

        Radio DJ sounds like a dream job to me.  I'd do that one now if I had a good offer.  However I doubt whether I'll be getting that offer anytime soon.  I don't know that my voice is all that good to be a radio personality anyway.  But spinning discs on some late night radio show sounds kind of cool.  I'd play some weird music until the guys on top told me not to anymore.

        I was frequently around roustabouts when I was working in circuses or carnivals.  I'd rather be that kind of roustabout than one that works on oil rigs.  The pay would be a lot less, but I'd still be under a show business spell.  Still, it would be a rough life and I don't think I'd be cut out for that.  Likewise being a roadie for a rock and roll band.  It might be a glamorous life in some ways, but I'd rather be on the stage than setting it and cleaning it up.

       Most of my life I've been a "road warrior" as I've traveled the continent playing shows all over the place.   I've become very adapted to travel since I've been doing it since childhood.  I love the road and I am suited to the lifestyle of traveling.  Road life has a lure for many of us.  I'm one of those.

        Do enjoy long road trips?     Have you taken any extensive train trips?    What retail selling experiences have you had?  

Friday, April 19, 2024

Questioner, Quality Controller, Quoter, Quibbler ( #AtoZChallenge )


#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter Q

            Question for you:  Do you like to ask questions?

             I am a big questioner in many respects.  I am curious about the world around me as well as the people I meet.  No, I don't think of it as being nosy--I just like to know about things.  I like to hear stories and histories.  To me this is not weird, but completely normal.  I'd love to have a job asking questions, whether it be to get opinions or find out facts about people or what people might know about.  In my years spent in management as well as those working in marketing research, I've been in positions where my job was to ask questions.  I liked that role then and I still enjoy it.

          Quality control is vital for any business that wants to maintain a good reputation.  In my past jobs I've often been a stickler for giving customers a high quality of experience with me and the companies I worked for.   Insistence on quality control is pretty much practicing the "Golden Rule" of respect for others.  I like good quality whether I'm paying or not and I try to provide good quality as much as I can.  I can handle quality control because this is what I expect as well from others.

             Not only as a writer and blogger do I sometimes quote what others have said, but throughout my life I have enjoyed a good quote and will sometimes cite my own when I can remember them.  I've never been that great at memorizing things so I tend not quote very often off the cuff.  I keep a few books of quotes on my shelves just in case, but usually these days I'm more prone to just go online to find an appropriate quote.

           Quibbler some might say is more my style.  I don't think I quibble that much, but sometimes I think it's necessary when you want to excel in things like quality control.  I'm not really that much of a quibbler, I just play one on television.  Well, not really.  That reference was kind of a quote that I've heard elsewhere.  Don't know where I heard it, but I don't want to quibble about it.

       Do you think "Quibble" is kind of a dumb word?   Are you a stickler for high quality in the work you do?  Is there a favorite saying that you like to quote?

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Printer, Publisher, Packer, Painter, Psychologist ( #AtoZChallenge )


#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter P

         Printer might have been a good career choice for me.  My grandfather, my father's father, was a printer and quite a respected and accomplished printer at that.  Sadly I never got to meet him since he died well before I was born.  My father was only 12 years old when his father died in 1936.  From what I've read about my grandfather, he was not only highly proficient at his job, but he was considered to be one of the most well-read men in Clarksburg WV.  Sounds like a man that I would have liked to have met and sat down to talk about history and what he had read.  Maybe some printer gene was passed down to me since I am so fascinated by printed works and newspapers.  I never went into any kind of print profession, but I guess I could have.

        Maybe I could get into publishing one day. I know there are some bloggers who are also publishers of books and such. Publishing would certainly give me some advantage to having my own books published, but I guess I'll leave that job to someone else.  That is, if I ever have a book that needs to be published. And that could happen you know. 

         A number of my previous jobs have involved packing whether it was packing boxes to ship to customers or packing truckloads to ship to wherever. Packing is something that I enjoy.  It's much like putting a puzzle together at times.  When I was working on roadshows, the first packing of the truck was usually a bit of a challenge to get everything onboard just right the first time.  After that we would always pack the truck the same way to make the process fast and expedient. Of course, since I was manager, I was usually involved in the business of the show itself while everyone else did most of the packing. But over the years I did plenty of my share of that work.  I didn't mind it at all for the most part.

        Prior to going on the road with a show, I was involved in much of the show prep and a big part of that was painting sets, props, and show cases so I did a lot of wielding of paintbrushes during those times.  I've also painted walls in houses--my own and others.  In my senior year of high school my parents let me paint our family room with a wild psychedelic design and that became a gathering place for many of my friends for a number of years.  After I moved out of the house they eventually painted and then paneled over my artwork.  I wonder if anyone will ever discover it years from now and wonder about it all?

         My plan going into college was to major in psychology and become a psychologist or something in that field.   I pursued that aim for a couple of years until I switched over to a major in English.  Psychology still interests me a great deal, but I'm probably better off for not having gone into the profession.  I've got enough problems of my own let alone take on someone else's crazy problems.  I'm good at listening, but I'm not sure I give the best advice.

        Did you follow through on your initial career aims of high school?   How are your organizational skills when it comes to packing?   Have you found a good publisher that has helped you achieve your writing goals?