Thursday, April 05, 2007

Before I was Marketing Mommy

Well, I've been in marketing and promotions for much longer than I've been a mother, but I held down a whole lot of unrelated jobs before getting my current gig. In chronological order, here's my CV.

Babysitter (12 - 18 years old)
Cash money! The best gig of all was getting paid to keep an eye on the younger kids as I worked on my tan and ordered pizzas at the American Embassy pool in Pakistan.
Bus girl (13)
I cleared tables and made peanut buster parfaits at the No Name Cafe in Islamabad.
Sales girl (15)
I lasted one week at a creepy, bug-infested candy stand at the dilapidated 7 Corners Mall in Falls Church, VA. Turned me off of chocolate covered peanuts for a year.
Sales girl (16-17)
I sold pricey baby clothes and personalized kiddie furniture at boutique called Hoohobbers in the Pentagon City Mall. It seemed like every kid born in 1992 was named Ashley.
Cashier (17)
Nothing turns you off of deli sandwiches like working the register at Stuffin' Turkey, a food court favorite of the Army recruits who frequented Pentagon City. Every day some guy would answer my "Can I get you anything else?" with a "Yeah, your phone number." I was the only white employee aside from the manager, and I was also the only employee who never rotated onto sandwich making or refrigerator cleaning duty. I only worked the register. Coincidence?
Sales girl (17-18)
Back up to the second floor of the mall! I sold humorous tee shirts and jeans at Aussie & Co. and ended up dating one of my co-workers. My manager was a petite curly-haired 20-something from the Boston area, and I was completely in awe of her.
Office Assistant (18)
I learned to file under the patient tutelage of a woman with hair down to her butt in a freezing cold office squirreled away in the SSA building at the University of Chicago.
Camp Counselor (19)
I gained 25 pounds in 10 weeks and got yelled at by really rich New York parents at a terribly-run private Jewish camp in Maine. For a measly $900. My favorite memory: Being told by one mother that her fourth grader wouldn't be doing bathroom chore rotation because she didn't know what kind of sexually transmitted diseases "you counselors brought in from who knows where." And the mosquitoes were fierce.
Office Temp (20)
I worked in a bunch of different downtown offices, answering phones and doing data entry. This was before every office had internet, so I was usually bored out of my mind. And sometimes I had to wear hose.
Public Relations Intern (20)
I don't have many memories of my time with Performance Chicago. I just remember really primitive copy machines and computers and a fax machine that still used that horrible roll paper. I got to see some cool shows for free, though.
Bank Teller (20-21)
I was a special services teller at the very old-school Hyde Park Bank, which means someone trusted me to hang onto the $15,000 in my drawer. I wired money, issued money orders and took large cash deposits from local drug dealers. I also remember processing a deposit from dinosaur expert Paul Serrano. Both of my co-workers--single moms in their 30s-- had been with the bank for seven or eight years, and they seemed to spend a large portion of their $9/hour wage on elaborate manicures. They lived with their mothers.
Assistant to the Publishers/Marketing Coordinator (21-24)
This is where my career really began. I had way more responsibility than any 21 year old should as I did a little bit of everything at a local alt newsweekly. I did accounts payable, helped figure out where to put the ads, recruited, trained and covered for receptionists, and planned parties, movie screenings and other promotions for the paper. I even got to plan an author roundtable for the Printers Row Book Fair.

I decided I liked the creative side of promotions and marketing better than the schmoozing/financial side, so I decided to become a copywriter. I put together my portfolio and two weeks later I was hired at my current agency. That was almost seven years ago.

What random/horrible/unusual jobs have you held?