Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Special Day.

Many of you have mentioned the jobs that you have had.   I personally have not had a lot of jobs in some ways, and many jobs in other ways.

Youth Jobs.

My first job was mowing the neighbors lawn.  It was a great opportunity for me.  My father let me use his lawn mower, and his gas to mow the neighbors lawn.  I received $4.50 each time I mowed the lawn. 

From there I moved to a paper route.  I delivered around 30 papers throughout the neighborhood and made about $20.00 / week.

Just before I entered 9th grade, the guidance counselor called, and asked if I wanted to work at the Western Auto Store.  I had that job from 9th grade through my senior year.  I worked for the same man that my father had worked for when he was a kid.  I started at $1.80 / hour and ended at $2.00 / hour.  This was in 1978. The job had some great aspects, and some very boring aspects.  I was able to assemble and fix bicycles, lawn mowers, vacuum cleaners, and various other equipment.  At Christmas Time I assembled all sorts of children's toys.  The down side was cleaning and stocking shelves.

The summer after I graduated I worked for the Youth Conservation Corps at a Fish Hatchery.  In the YCC program we were there 40 hours a week, and paid for 30.  The other 10 hours was used for Environmental Education.  This was a great program, and we worked our butts off.  The last week we moved 72 ton of gravel and top soil for their new sewer system.  We cut down trees into firewood with 2 man cross cut saws (we weren't allowed to use power tools).  We made trails through the woods.  We cleaned the fish race ways.  We raised some of our own fish.  It was a great job.

In college I worked as a Computer Operator.  I had to feed the punch cards into the computer, and run the students jobs.  They were allowed to run a program 3 times a day if they were lucky.  (I would sneak in a lot of extra runs for people at night time.)

The summers between college I worked at the Elementary School as a janitor.  We'd clean the whole school before classes started again in the Fall.

I graduated from college in May of 1980.  At the age of 19, in July 21, 1980 (30 years ago today.) I began working at Cornell University, and still work there today.  I began work as a night time Computer Operator, working the Four-Midnight shift for  COCORP a special research project.  A few years later the research project needed somebody to inspect all of the incoming data, and asked if I would like the job.  I began to travel around the country several times a year to inspect the seismic crew.  As that project was winding down, our department had purchased a new mini computer called the VAX 11/750, and needed somebody to operate and maintain it.  I took over that position, and have continued to maintain a long list of computers and software to the present day.  (Decstations, Sun, Silicon Graphics, Gateway, Dell, Apple, IBM, ...)  There is always something new, and interesting.  I've also enjoyed working very closely with the researchers and the graduate students throughout the years.  It's always something new. 

At this point Photography is a hobby of mine, and I'm really enjoying it.  I see it as a possible next career after I retire.  I enjoy the technical aspects of it, as well as the creative side. We'll see where it takes me.



k.a. barnes said...

I have a potentially stupid question: fish race ways???

My mind is reeling at the comic possibilities of this, but I'm sure it's something much more practical. You all weren't racing fish, or something similar in your downtime, were you?? Like cockroach racing or frog-jumping contests?

Gary's third pottery blog said...

30 years, wow Stevo!

Gallow said...

It was always a pain cleaning up the beer cans, popcorn bags, Number 1 foam hands, and hot dog wrappers at the end of the races. ;-)

A fish race way is a large long concrete tank that simulates a stream or a river. It has water coming in at one end, and going out at the other end.

k.a. barnes said...

Ah. Yes, much more practical. But I like the imagery of MY fish races. ;)

I'm thinking Walter & Clarence might like to attend the fish races. (Clarence might have a bit of a betting problem.)

George and Maureen Johnson said...

Wow Steve you are really an impressive person. That is what George and I need, a responsible person to guide us.
I admire people who can focus, and accomplish something. SIGH, it will never be George and I. We are way too immature. I often think that when we got married (were just little kids) might have something to do with it! lol lol lol...:) Sort of like, "The Immature, guding the immature"! lol :) YOU ROCK!

Reverend Awesome said...

I just now realized I didn't know what you did for a living other than photography until now, StevO. Fascinating. I love these work stories!