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!

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Dishwasher, Driver, Deliveryman, Dreamer ( #AtoZChallenge )

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter D


       Dishwasher is one of those drudgeries that we often think of as a bottom level job.  Yet, one of my most memorable jobs was that of a dishwasher and it really wasn't a bad job at all.  Then again, it was a job I only held for a couple of weekends.  It was October of 1975 and the magic show that I had been working in was in a lull of a layover that found us staying in Terre Haute Indiana.  We didn't have any immediate bookings so I went to Manpower temp agency to find some job that would give me quick money to get me through the dry time.  What they offered was a weekend job washing dishes for the National Guard.  Apparently they were trying to encourage their members by hiring outside workers to do the grunt labor like dishwashing.  The pay was above the norm for that type of job and the hours were ideal for me.  The workplace conditions were outstanding and my coworkers were educated guys like me just looking for extra money.  It was a very nice job actually and we could fix our own breakfast and lunch when the meal rushes were over.  The best part for me was having access to all the milk that we wanted including chocolate milk.  As a chocolate milk fanatic at the time it was like my ultimate milk dream.  It's not a job I would want to do forever, but in those conditions it was not a bad dishwashing job at all.  

        Driving is one of my favorite things to do and fortunately for me many of my jobs involved a great deal of driving.  My favorite driving was when I was touring on shows and drove my van or occasionally a show truck.  That was long haul driving much of the time and I'd enjoy listening to music and enjoying the scenery.  However, I also had a job with an airport shuttle which I enjoyed.  My shift would start very early morning and I was usually off by early afternoon.  Those were some great hours despite having to wake up much earlier than most of my jobs.  I've also done a number of delivery jobs which I enjoyed a great deal.  That work was especially interesting in towns where I was staying temporarily because it gave me a fast track learning experience of unfamiliar territory.  It was like sightseeing with occasional delivery stops.  Delivery work has it perils.  Since my experience was typically in smaller towns I didn't have to deal with the types of things we've been seeing lately with Amazon drivers and such.   Dogs were a concern at times and  weird places could be a bit uncomfortable, but mostly the work wasn't too bad.   If I had pursued a career with some company like UPS or FedEx then I'd probably have a nice retirement right now, but that's not what I did and now I am where I am.

         My dream job would be to be a dreamer.  I find it annoying when certain political hacks refer to certain immigrants as "dreamers" and even pass laws referring to that term.  Heck, I used to call myself a "dreamer" before it became a political term for people who are dreaming about whatever handout they can get from our government.  All of us are dreamers.  We all have some kind of dream so no one group can claim that exclusive right.  I've dreamed in my life and I've actually lived my dream working jobs that I had only hoped to have when I was a kid.  I am a dreamer.  Now if I can only get paid just to dream and share my dreams with others.  Sounds like a true dream job to me.

       What work have you enjoyed that might be considered drudgery by some?   What is the worst work environment you can think of?    What is your biggest dream of a job you'd like to do or have done?


  1. Jamie (
    I worked as a dishwasher. It was Ok, until the previous owner of the restaurant sold the place to a man who turned out to be quite mean, always yelling at everyone. I ended up getting fired by the new guy after about four months.

  2. I would have lived to be a dancer like Cyd Charisse or Ginger Rogers. I wanted to take ballroom dancing but there was no such thing around where I lived.
    I washed enough dishes at home I did deliver parts or picked up parts or cheqies for the sawmill business my parents ran. That was nice to do. The worst job..working in a slaughter thank you

  3. I've been a desk clerk and a dispatcher, still do tons of data entry. A DJ sounds like a fun job. A Detective sounds like an interesting occupation. I'd be rich if they paid me to dream ;-) I'd love to be a director of a Museum or Zoo.

  4. My worst job was a temp job at Tanglewood's summer camp for young musicians in 2002, which lasted all of one day. I was supposed to be cleaning the old Victorian houses and dorms on campus, but my co-workers soon left me to my own devices, and no one really gave me any explanation of my full duties. Mostly I emptied dehumidifiers and washed windows, without interacting with anyone for long stretches of time. By the end of the day, the heat and stress had given me my first migraine. I never returned for a second day of work.

  5. It's true, we are all dreamers! Seems like it's part of being human. I worked at the Costco food court for 5 years, making pizza and washing dishes, and I loved it. My dream job would be to earn a living by writing books. I write books but don't earn a living by it. That's the only thing I would change about my life.

  6. My worst wasn't so much the environment, it was the hours. It started at 6am, and I had to get up at 4:40. 4:30am should only be a time you get up to go to the airport! I was too old for that kind of early! My education is in library science, yet I've only interned and volunteered. I didn't study that until my 50s though.

  7. "Dog harasser" is about my speed right now...

  8. Being a writer is kind of like being a dreaamer for a living, right?

    Man, that dishwasher job: good pay and all the chocolate milk you could drink? You were in high cotton there!


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