In may wayward youth, as I focused on writing and performing, I wound up taking a lot of side jobs while other people built meaningful, lasting careers. Some of them were your standard barista/pub worker jobs, but there was a litter of oddities… jobs that now appear as mysterious blanks spaces on my resume. But here’s a little peek at part of the resume behind the resume – a few of the jobs on my secret resume.
Security at a dive bar: It was one of those bars that was a dive, but also being discovered by hipsters. 90% of the job was laughing at people’s pathetically fake ID’s and walking around a rainy parking lot late at night.
There were frequently fights, but usually just chest-puffing nonsense. One night a bartender got part of his ear bitten off. Apparently it has to do with the pool tables. “If there’s pool tables,” the manager told me, “there’s fights.
It also paid just nothing, especially for what the job potentially involved.
Submarine tour guide: This was for one of the last non-nuclear submarines, permanently docked in Portland: The USS Blueback. I can still smell the fuel and body odor if I think about it. Fascinating job – I’ll occasionally still dream about the sub, and its living conditions. One drawback though was that employees trained new employees, which meant the information took on a certain “Telephone Game” quality after a while.
Every week or so I’d do a little “fact-checking” mission with the manager, that often had me worried he’d burst a blood-vessel.
Tree farm-hand: Just out of college I worked for a while on a tree farm. There were two owners who split everything, including the employee budgets. My boss hired me. The other boss hired 4 workers from Mexico and Central America. They were working when I got there, and working when I left. Very nice guys, but – understandably, for being here illegally – very shy. I thought it would be a great opportunity to work on my Spanish, but they were too polite to ever correct me.
I loved being outdoors all day. The job was often the most intense physical labor I’ve probably ever done, peppered with occasional silent calm – like hand-watering or pruning, Bonsai style. These were the days my girlfriend inevitably visited – hoping to see muscles flexing under a sheen of masculine perspiration.
So there’s a little history of the Byronic Man for you. There’s more to my secret resume, but another time, perhaps…