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!

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Carnie, Cook, Clerk, Customer Service ( #AtoZChallenge & #IWSG )


#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter C   

          Coulda, woulda, shoulda--yeah, I could have done lots of things in life.   But I did what I did and that was pretty cool for the most part.  Still, it's fun to think about what might have been--or what I'm glad wasn't.

          I could very possibly have been a carnie, traveling the country conning customers with shyster games, operating carnival rides, or working in a tent show of some kind.  Actually, I have on a couple of past occasions worked in a carnival show for short stints.  Not a lifestyle I'd probably have wanted to continue for any long period of time, but it was fun to do it for those short whiles when I was younger.  During my college years I also worked at a carnival supply company where I encountered many carnies.  Sure, they get a bad rap (sometimes deservedly so), but most of the carnies with whom I dealt were okay people.  Most worked hard during warm weather months and some of them spent winters in Florida or some other warmer clime. Seems like it could be an interesting life, but the life of the carny is not really my thing.

         Since I was a kid I've kind of enjoyed cooking, so I guess the career of cook or chef could have been one I might have pursued.  From all I've heard, restaurant work can be pretty stressful and things can get hot in the kitchen.  Cooking as a career choice might have gotten old fast.  I do enough cooking these days since I'm the cook in our household.  When my kids were growing up I usually cooked for them.  Now they are gone and I just cook for my wife and I.  That's enough cooking for me.

         Over the years I have worked both as a store clerk and a customer service representative.  Those were okay jobs, but I can't say I would have wanted a life career doing either.  Same with construction worker:  That was a job for the younger me and I wouldn't have wanted to do that my entire working life.  Though it's all commendable work.  There are just other things I'd rather do.

        Sometimes we just take jobs because they are there and we need them.

        Have you done any of these jobs?  What do you think of work that involves constant travel?   What is your favorite food to cook?

      The Insecure Writer's Support Group

Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog
     The co-hosts for the April 3 posting of the IWSG are Janet Alcorn, T. Powell Coltrin, Natalie Aguirre, and Pat Garcia

April 3 question - How long have you been blogging? (Or on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram?) What do you like about it and how has it changed?

         I've been blogging almost as long as I've been doing Blogging from A to Z April Challenge--15 years!   When I first started in September of 2009 I was transitioning from a career that had basically ended primarily because of the internet and into a life where I was exploring the possibilities of income derived from the internet.

       The first few years were challenging and exciting.  The blogging world was so new and unique to me.  At last I had a way to fulfill my writing aspirations without going through the traditional channels of the past.  Now I could set up my own platform, write whatever I felt like writing, and just publish it for anyone to access.  That was what I liked.  However eventually I found the computer life interfering with my real world life.  In recent years, my enthusiasm for blogging has waned to some degree and certain other issues with computer and personal time have decreased my online time.

        Over my years of blogging I don't know that blogging itself has changed as much as the attitudes of individual bloggers have changed such as my own has.  I've seen bloggers come and go and the ones I continue to follow seem to be carrying on as they have.  And there are those who now blog in a similar way to which I do.

        For now, I continue to keep blogging since I do understand the potential in it.  Maybe my blogging will increase again as I find more personal purpose to it.  Or maybe I'll just continue doing what I've been doing.  I don't think I'll ever stop posting on my blog anytime soon, but for now I've got no great blogging impetus propelling me forward.  If that comes, then maybe I'll be on fire for blogging again.  For now I'll just tend to the embers of creativity until it's time to fan the flames.

        What do you find to be the most useful aspect of blogging?  Has your blogging activity ever interfered with your life?   Do you now blog more or less than you used to?


  1. You are one of the pioneers in blog writing. I meant to join the A-Z again this year, but forgot.


  2. You began just before I did.
    While it's waned, the monthly hops like this one keep people connected. It's those friendships that matter.
    Carnie sounds like rock star - on the road and busy. Not for me either.

  3. I would never want to be a cook…ughhh. I don’t like cooking even though I can cook well. I do like making a good roast or rouladen which is delicious. I’ve been taken by a carnie in one of those pop up fairs:). I would never want to work in customer service…my ex worked at Radio Shack and the crap he dealt with,..he could write a book.
    I was a Credit Counsellor since 1991 and, I guess, in some ways, I still am. I deal with people in financial crisis who need help. I love it because I always liked budgeting and I like helping people.
    I’ve been blogging since 2009 and still enjoy it. I have mutated from just posting my cards to finding Alex who opened the doors to the A to Z and meeting wonderful people.

  4. Cooking is my new hobby and one that will replace writing and publishing eventually.

  5. Hi, here's Pat Garcia, I too think that blogging is personal, more intimate than social media. I hope your flame stir and you find yourself returning to it with fire in your bones.
    Shalom shalom

  6. We started in the same year! For sure, blogging has interfered in my offline life, which is why I do less of it now. ☺ Along with providing me a creative outlet, the connections to others all over the world are the best things about blogging.

  7. I enjoyed participating in the AtoZ, and I do miss the challenge. I hope one of these days I'll have April free enough to take it on again. As to your job...nope. I've missed out on doing those, but I did help my husband build our house, so I guess you could say I was in construction one upon a time.

  8. I don't remember exactly when I started blogging, but I know it was because of you ;-) I ran across something you'd posted online and when you responded to my comment I was hooked!
    My first job was in a downtown jewelry store with a city bus stop right outside the door, which made for interesting clientele ;-)

  9. I don't really like cooking all that much so that wouldn't be one of my choices. I was a cashier at Mervyn's for a while but I was spoiled by my working from home job that I didn't last long there either. Fun topic this year, Arlee! Thanks again for creating this journey so many years ago.

  10. Work that requiress constant travel gets really old, really fast. Take my word ffor it.

  11. Constant traveling would have been okay, but the PEOPLING for the carnie! Not for an introvert. Cooking - I have catered a large meal for over 100 people and worked in waitressing, but for a constant job - that constant push takes a special personality which I don't have. Doing tax preparation on one level is just a customer service representative job. I have held a lot of jobs over the years. -- As for blogging, the most useful aspect is returning to writing after a distraction from life "oh, I need to get a blog post ready for this week".

  12. Jamie (
    Customer service was one of my least favorite jobs, though I did it more than once.

  13. That's impressive you're doing A to Z, Arlee! I did it once, and that was a lot on top of my day job. For a few years I was a coach (swim coach) but that didn't last long, because I'm not a morning person. Now I'm a counseling psychologist. Happy blogging!

  14. I have known some Carnie guys who also did warehouse jobs on the side. Temp work, really. Just trying to earn a living, like most people.

    Maybe it is the bloggers who have changed. Or we've aged and not enough young, fresh blood has jumped in. Maybe the younger generations prefer video, or something that can be consumed in under a minute.

  15. I love watching cooking and baking competitions on Food Network. As much as I love the idea of working in a restaurant or bakery, though, I'd probably soon gain back all that weight I lost. I don't think I could resist helping myself to the delicious food being prepared.

  16. Sorry, that last comment is mine. I accidentally did something that made my comment anonymous.


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