I dropped off my daughter this morning at dance camp and asked about the skirt I made for her. Is it the right fit? Is this like the others? Is it the right length? At that point, the teacher asked me, "You MADE that?" Yes. "Did you make it last night?" No. I made it this morning in about 20 minutes.
Now, this is just a circle panel skirt in a fabric that doesn't need to be hemmed. There is no seam. The only sewing was attaching a waistband. It took me longer to research and ask people about it than it did to just sit down and do it.
$9 worth of fabric. Retail - these skirts go for $32.
The director came in and asked me about doing seamstress work for her and some other people.
This is my blessing... my curse (as Monk would say) :o)
I seem to collect jobs. At any given time I have two or three of them at a time.
Because of my shiny object syndrome (SOS, if you'll remember), my interests are varied - as are my jobs.
Earlier in my blog posting I hinted to listing some of the jobs I've had. It's important to note that I've never been fired or asked to leave a job. My average time on a job is 2 years (or a little more). I started working when I was 15 and desperate for my own money.
My first job was working with ODU's Annual Giving Dept. This was basic stuff - filing, organizing, etc. Real "no brainer" activity. Closer to home, I decided to get a job at McDonalds. That lasted about 4 weeks before I broke my foot and could no longer work there. I had an "open toe" now and couldn't work with a cast for safety/health reasons. (A blessing in disguise, really.) I spent the rest of the summer doing cold-calls for Nationwide Insurance. BORING!
The next summer had me working as a hostess in a Japanese restaurant. Easy enough. I learned some basic Japanese, learned to tie an authentic obi and how to properly wear a kimono. I was even yelled at for wearing my hair down once. All of 17 and I had no idea that it meant I was "available". The Japanese businessmen were apparently interested. LOL A brief stint of modeling. It's really not as easy as it looks to sit and look vacant. :o)
I took my money and went cross-country to California. Wow. What a great time. One of many trips to the northern coast.
When I came back, I had another job lined up with ODU again in the Annual Giving/Development office. This is the office that does fundraising for the university and processes it. I was one of those processors (accounting assistants). I was so fast at data entry, we used to get calls from the computer department asking me to slow down because I was stacking commands so quickly that the mainframe was crashing. (I still type 160+ words a minute). That job came to an end when the governor (Wilder) started abolishing positions. My job had gone from Hourly to Classified and was now a "new position". All new positions were gotten rid of to save money. Thankfully, they put me in another. Unfortunately, it was one I hated with a passion - atheletics. This job lasted 6 months of me enduring sexual harrassment, verbal assaults - it was horrible. My supervisor was later fired (about 6 months after I left). I was the sixth assistant he had had in 2 years. Finally, someone took notice.
Okay, so after threats from Larry Leckonby that I'd never get another job on campus, I landed one with ODU Ballet (now non-existant but it was wonderful in its day and the only job I truly miss.) I was a theatre production assistant and did this for 2 years. I spent mornings working at a local talent agency organizing and afternoons and evenings at the ballet. It was great.
Then I found out I was pregnant and had no health insurance - neither did my husband so a friend of mine got me a job working at a nursing home as a computer specialist. Easy peazy. Slowly, I started doing less computer work and more patient care. Pregnancy took me out of the job and while on maternity leave, I was offered a job at my son's pediatrician's office as a medical technician. I did basic patient care three evenings a week.
Meanwhile, my trips to Botanical Gardens earned me a position as a paid docent. I spent mornings at the Gardens and evenings at the doc's office. I had a nanny for a brief time (an hour each day I worked) but then hubby changed his schedule so we just "tag team" parented. Mornings, I could either take him with me or my mother would watch him. Perfect.
Alas, Jake got sick... and he got sick because I brought home rotovirus. It was terrible. I put in my notice at work. I couldn't bear to think that I could bring him something worse.
Botanical Gardens worked out for about 4 years. I liked it but quickly grew tired of ill-mannered public schooled children. I went on my maternity leave early after having to break up a fist fight between kindergarteners and getting hit in the stomach while pregnant with my third child.
A friend called me with a job offer to work at Ritz Camera. I did this on and off for 6 years. I really liked working in the photo lab. Maybe it's the voyeur in me, I don't know. :o)
In between, I worked as a wine taster for Broudy Kantor (now National Distributing, I think.) and did a brief stint at J. L. Hammett (a teacher parent store) for the 30% off of books and supplies for homeschooling. They went out of business while I was on maternity leave with my second child and Broudy Kantor stopped having wine tastors after another company's employee drove home while intoxicated. (There's always someone who has to ruin a good thing for everyone else, huh?)
My same friend from Ritz eventually left them to work in the medical field. My invitation followed shortly. This time I worked at an urgent care. Much more exciting. Unfortunately, I seemed to catch everything that came in. My final straw was catching Croup (at age 32) while pregnant with my second child. It made the decision to resign easy.
Somewhere in all of this, I started a charity group (All Crafts 4 Charity) and this remains a passion of mine over a decade later.
I've left out a few here and there. There was the balloon selling job when I was a teenager (strolling the boardwalk selling balloons - it's trickier than you'd think!) The home health care I did for some of our area's wealthy seniors.
The thing is, I've never been without a job and I've never had to look for one. They always find me.
Now I have to think about what it is that brings them to me? Law of Attraction? My openness and willingness to help? I'm not sure. Whatever it is, I want to teach it to my children so they too will never have to go looking for a job. I think if you like what you do (even if it's many things) jobs will find you. People like to know you are confident in your work and like doing it.
The old question, "What color is your parachute?" would have to be rainbow colored. There are just too many facets.
Of course nowadays, I teach art locally as well as teaching cake decorating. As long as people have birthdays and get married, I've got a steady source of income. I like having my own money and not relying on hubby to give me an allowance. And while he assures me that he works so I don't have to work outside the home (and that my job as home educator and mother is the most important of both of our jobs), I still don't like being dependant on someone like that. I want my own spending money without having to ask for it.
I don't see a time when I'll ever not be working - not because I have to (truth is, my current job costs ME money) but because I want to do new things.
So when my friends ask me about my career path and choices, I have to tell them to sit down. "This will take a while." And when they are amazed at all I do, I remind them that most of these have been part-time with children and that's how I can do two jobs and still call myself a SAHM. I can work two small jobs as long as I make room for the big one - motherhood.