Hello, my name is...
Updated: Mar 2, 2019
I don’t really read blogs, nor have I ever written one, so this is going to be an interesting experience. I have no idea what constitutes a good blog, or what people would want to read.
I’m working on publishing a book, that’s something I should put in this, eh? It’s in its final stages (last edits are being done, the cover art is being tweaked). I’m excited because it took me over a year and a half to complete. I’ll be publishing it myself through Amazon Createspace. That creates work for me, but essentially cuts out the middleman; hopefully subverting my laziness. It’s not a novel. I felt that such an undertaking would be too heavy for me on the creative side, so instead, it’s a collection of fourteen short stories. Each story is based on a tattoo. The name of the collection is “14 Needles,” written primarily in the horror and fantasy genres. One or two other genres may have snuck in there, though.
For every story I write, I try to put a little bit of myself between the pages. I take events or places in my life, past or present, and include them in each story. They say you’re supposed to write what you know, and I’m a firm believer in that. I find it’s a good way to root a really ridiculous idea or story in reality. Despite whatever supernatural elements exist between the margins, there is also a bit of my human experience somewhere within.
I was listening to a podcast called “Unattended Consequences”, hosted by Patrick Rothfuss and Max Temkin, and they spoke about how authors will occasionally list some of the worst jobs they’ve had on the sleeve. I like that idea. It gives you a sense of where that person came from. Shitty jobs are perfect for the creative mind; at least, they have been in my experience. When my tasks were menial, I could transport myself away, make up a story in my mind, figure out how a character in my situation would react if something fantastical were to happen.
I counted out my jobs with Erin Fong and I came to 16. She beat me! She’s had a whopping 20 plus! Man, the stories she could tell.
Anyway, in chronological order, the things I’ve been paid for are:
I cleaned newly built condos. Got them ready for the tenants.
I was a signaler in the Canadian Military.
I worked at a recycling depot, sorting the materials.
I worked in a microbrewery as a laborer.
I did renovations on College dorms.
I sold Christmas trees in New York City.
I went on tour with a band.
I worked in a call center.
I constructed stages for the Montreal Jazzfest.
I constructed stages for the Just for Laughs festival.
I worked as a stagehand for rock shows in Laval.
I was a doorman.
I was a busboy.
I was a landscaper.
I was a busboy, again.
I was a janitor at a hospital.
I’m hoping to be a writer.
My all time worst has to be when I was working at the recycling depot. It only lasted three weeks until I changed jobs to the brewery, but it was shitty. The pay was garbage, the work was physical, as hauling around pallets of metals and plastics and newspaper is tough, and at the end of every day, I smelled like stale beer and mold. I pity whoever had to sit on the bus beside me after a day of working there. The one thing that made it bearable was my boss. A few times a week at noon, a coworker and I would go to the supervisor’s office, and someone would pass around beer. Nothing makes a sucky day better than getting to have a beer and a sandwich with your boss, at lunch, after being on your feet for six hours. Sometimes, if it’d been a particularly brutal morning, we’d be half in the bag before going back to work.
My best job was working at a brewery. Who at 22 would hate that job, I ask? All this to say that these jobs taught me many things. They were the reason I met so many incredible characters, some of whom may find their traits or stories in anything I write. They sparked some ideas, which helped the germination process of others. Most importantly, they gave me enough money to travel, do some crazy shit and just generally stay alive.
Alright, I think I’ve gone on about myself long enough. What about you, blog readers? What’s your shittiest job? What, if anything, made it tolerable? I look forward to your stories, should you chose to post them, in the comments section below.