Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Real Jobs

I started “working” for a living when I was 15.

When I say “working” I mean going somewhere, doing something, having taxes taken out, and getting a check for less than what I was supposed to take home.

My first “real” job was as a photographer. I would go somewhere, take a bunch of pictures, develop them, give them to the people that told me to go to that place, and they would give me money.

At first this did not pay much but I thought it was a job- I would go to a baseball or football game, watch player’s play, then get paid.

It was fun and I was pretty good at it. But the whole time I did it- almost twenty years- my friends and family would say "OK, but when are you going to get a real job?"

Most of my family was in the construction business. They built things-they made things that other people paid for.

Homes, businesses and stuff. They would show up to an empty place, spend some time there, and when they left there was a building or home left behind.

Others in my circle fixed things- things like cars and trucks or shoes.

They provided a service that others needed.

All of these people had what is known as a “real” job.

My dad, while he didn’t make, build or fix anything, he did supply things that built or fixed things. He worked for a tractor company for over thirty five years.

He didn’t make tractors. He didn’t drive tractors.

He didn’t even sell tractors.

But he did sell parts of tractors and when all of those parts were put together, that tractor built and or fixed just about everything. Highways, skyscrapers, homes, and factories.

That was a real job.

All the while, I took pictures and everyone said “Hey, that looks like fun, but when you gonna’ get a real job?”

Well, about 17 years after I started, after making a pretty good penny and winning some awards, I decided enough- I need a real job.

So I sold my business, looked in the paper, and found a real job.

I worked in security. I watched other people while they went to work in their real jobs.

I watched them go in and out of factories, banks, stores and building sites.

All the while my friends and family said “Seems OK for now, but when you gonna’ get a real job?”

This lasted for 8 years. I went from officer to supervisor to boss at the largest security company in the world. I was watching 1,500 officers who watched other people go to and from real jobs.

This, I found from listening to others, was in itself not a real job either.

After almost thirty years, I still didn’t have a real job.

I took care of my family, bought a house, paid my bills.

But I still hadn't found a real job.

So I packed up, left it all behind and went out searching for a real job.

I now work for one of the largest companies in the world. But When I tell people what I do they say “that’s nice, but when you gonna’ get a real job?’

After thirty years of enjoying going to work at non-real jobs; working for other people, working for myself and having other people work for me, I see others go to real jobs that create headaches, family problems, stress, and heart attacks.

Yet I can still pay my bills, spend time with my family and my best dog Chuck, and not have a real job-

Know what I found out?

I don’t want a real job.


Blogger wonderbread74 said...

As I read this funny and thoughtful piece, I kept thinking: What would Jamaicans think about this story?

I mean, one guy worrying about having one job. How about all those Jamaicans struggling to keep just eight jobs, mon!

9/24/2005 6:52 PM  
Blogger Pops said...

I knew a guy once who had every job you could think of- cook, actor, bartender, comedian, writer, it goes on and on and on-

Al Gonzo- where are you?

9/24/2005 6:55 PM  
Blogger POPS said...

very dope piece. yeah i think you were right. we got parallel plot lines going on...

10/09/2005 12:31 PM  

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