Posts Tagged ‘Jobs’

Martha Southgate author of “The Taste of Salt” was complaining about the movie “The Maid” on CNN.   Then, on comes one of the actresses and says something like, that she had to debate doing the movie because she had trouble with doing a part (that of the maid in 2011), that being a maid is demeaning.

Now, don’t shoot me if I misunderstood because far be it for me to get anything wrong and run with it, but I’m not about to stop now.


Is being a ditch digger demeaning?  Is it more demeaning to be a lawyer than a doctor or a babysitter than a waitress?

Were these maids possibly treated in a demeaning manner?  HELL YES!

But, were they also doing an honest day’s work for less than an honest days wage to feed their families?  HELL YES!!

No matter what society you live in, you do the best you can with what you are given.

I grew up in the 50s, in a household that did not believe that women should go to college.  Women  were to be taken care of, (all the while they are cleaning the toilets, that  is.)  Did I finally get my butt through  college?  Yes, I did.  Did I pick the best vocation for the    money?  Well, no!

I started off in pre-law.   Made straight A’s and thought about doing something, other than being a  lawyer in this vein.  Then, I got a  divorce and needed to work to support my girls.  So, I became a legal secretary.   It was there, I was good at it and it was a wage.  I never once thought about it being demeaning  to be a secretary rather than a lawyer.

I have, however, been treated in a VERY demeaning manner by bosses, and then I have had other bosses who treated me like family.

In the end, I’m an artist and there is definitely a reason  why they call it us “Starving artists.”   I have my hand in about five separate ways to
make a living.  I get $200 here and $20 there.  I don’t care if I paint toilets,      there is nothing about working any job that is demeaning.

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Babysitter – This was my hobby and money maker, as a teenager. I was in demand because I was good at it. I always attended to the kids first; fed them decent food and read them stories. After the kids went to bed, I cleaned up the house. It was the best way to stay awake and I did not like to sleep on the job.  It is due to this job that I was able to purchase my first 35mm camera.


Dish washer at restaurant – I worked one day at this and eagerly returned the next morning to find the restaurant a pile of ashes. It was not my fault, honest.


Car hop – It was a drive-in restaurant, by Calumet High School. The owners were very “friendly” gentlemen, but all-in-all good to work for. It was here that I met my “what if” of love. Mom said he was too old for me. His name was Paul and he worked in Griffith, I was a teenager. A couple of years later, when I was planning my wedding and went to try on a “divorce” wedding dress, Paul walked in the door. It was his sister’s dress and his mother’s house. I had a feeling, right then, that I was marrying the wrong man.


Grocery store Cashier – This was before scanners and I found the job very enjoyable. I left it to attend my first college class, which led to my never ending quest for knowledge. This was also the first teacher who told me I should pursue writing as a career. Too bad I did not pursue punctuation more seriously.


Waitress at restaurant – I worked two days at this job, which my cousin found for me, and went home and threw up both nights, I was a nervous wreck and hated it. Sorry, Linda but thanks for trying.


Payroll at engineering firm – I really enjoyed this job and working in Chicago. I believe I held it for over two years when I decided to quit and attend college full time for pre-law. This was probably the place where I worked with the strangest people, however. I heard years later, that the girl who could never balance figures was the one who ended up becoming head of the department. Go figure!


Law Clerk – This was close to my favorite job. I worked for the best boss ever, Martin B. Friend, Esq. I was not strapped to a desk, but ran all kinds of errands and filings. This was also in Chicago.


Legal Secretary at different offices over many years- It is actually a job I enjoy, but none of my bosses ever equaled Martin Friend and one of them won my award for the Worse boss anyone ever had, in the world. I should have known, when he told me at my interview that he had already gone through three secretaries that month. I did work for Mr. Friend, as a secretary, during this time. I made the dumbest mistake by quitting to get married to a man I barely knew. I will be sorry for those two decisions for all my days.


Security work in grocery store – I did this part time, after coming back from Chicago, to Indiana, while attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. When I went to quit, the hours were getting too much for me and I took the job way too serious, I was offered to be security head of one of the stores. That probably would have been good but I really wanted to work at my art. During this job, I was hauled a couple of times through the door by shoplifters that I refused to let go of. They were making a get-a-way with my stores product and I was not going to let them.


Cleaning ceramic lab – Work Study at the School of the Art Institute-Chicago.  I loved it. I could smell clay dust at 7am, not so good for the lungs though.


Adjunct in Casper College – Okay, I have to say this was absolutely my second favorite job. I had time to do my own work, the pay was good and I love teaching. Although, when I taught KEY Camp for Casper College, it was even better. Hard work, but better. Believe it or not, the Jr High Student’s were easier to deal with than the college students.


My own studio – I worked at it from 6am to 10pm most days, until my health made it hard to do the physical work involved. I’m recovering and hoping to return next summer. I feel so alive when I am creating.


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