Other Work Experience

I haven’t always worked with computers.

Here’s a list of jobs I’ve had where I didn’t work with computers:


My first job in Grade 9.  I was a dishwasher for a fine dining restaurant.  Besides washing dishes, pots and pans, my responsibilities included preparing salads, desserts, and cleaning the washrooms.

One time, I was scrubbing the floor, and the head chef threw a box of knives into the sink over my head while I was just starting to stand up.

I didn’t stick around for very long.

My first and last job in the food service industry.

Quality Assurance Clerk

Later in high-school, I was a Quality Assurance Clerk for Peninsula Liquidators.  I think that was my title, anyhow.

This is probably the most interesting job on the list.

Do you know how Costco accepts returned merchandise, no matter what?  What do you think they do with the stuff you return?

And what about mishandled freight from Purolator?

They sell it in bulk to salvagers.  Salvagers like Peninsula Liquidators.

I worked on a team.  Our job was to open the big bins of stuff from Costco, and see if what was inside was worth selling.  If things were broken, we tried to repair them.  If things were scuffed, we tried to clean them.  If things were in pieces, we stored some parts in case we could use them in the future.

Whatever was worth selling got shipped to one of the PL stores.  If we couldn’t repair it, it was auctioned off.

It was a cool job because we never knew what we’d get when we’d open up a box.

I wasn’t there for this, but apparently, a “decoder module” for a fighter jet was found in some of the mishandled Purolator stuff.  They had to phone some government office, and some black vans pulled off and took it away.

Yeah, the mishandled freight from Purolator was probably the most interesting stuff.  You won’t believe what people will ship to one another.


I also worked as a gardener for a friends family for a few summers.  They had an absolutely massive yard.  Most of my job was weeding and replanting.

It was hard, sweaty work… but I liked it.

Greenhouse Labour

There are a ton of greenhouses in the town where I grew up. I worked in one for a summer.

This was probably the most exhausting, backbreaking labour I’ve ever done.  I can’t even remember what I did – it was so mindnumbingly repetitive that I think I’ve blocked most of it out.  I think I just did a lot of planting, and moving plants around…

And I had it pretty easy.  The Mexican labourors there worked harder, and longer, and probably for less pay.  They seemed happy though.  Happy enough to play a full game of soccer in the hot sun on our lunch break, while I panted, poured buckets of sweat, and caught my breath in the break room.

Driving Range Guy

Have you ever been to a driving range to whack a few golf balls around?  Somebody had to sell you the bucket of balls.  That was my job.

Oh, and after you smack them all into the range, somebody has to go pick them up in a truck…that was my job too.

It was a pretty cushy job, actually.  No supervision, and a relaxed pace.  Probably the most exciting part was when some guy got whacked in the head with a golf club, and I had to call an ambulance.

I don’t even really like golf.

Anyhow, I think that’s it.

2 thoughts on “Other Work Experience

  1. Tara

    I definitely think this is one of the great things about being young – you get to do tons of random odd jobs and not worry about what that means. Because of co-op though, the only non-computer jobs I’ve had are McDonald’s in grade 12 and on one boring work term and the GAP on an odd off term.

  2. Florian

    Nice! My list of odd jobs included:

    1) Distributing pizza flyers to apartment buildings in Athens, Greece. I still remember an old man who was literally waiting for me to pass the flyer under his door, and as soon as I did, he opened the door and started yelling at me 🙂 I was 14 and it wasn’t very funny then 🙂

    2) Construction worker when I was 15. Yup! Waking up at 5am to be at the construction site at 7am. Bending iron bars with my bare hands — OK fine, the heavy machine helped and I just had to push the button but still… The site was a school that was being renovated and my boss was a friend of the family. Needless to say that by the end of the first week I quit and I decided to study more at school, which is what my father wanted to teach me in the first place when he sent me there 🙂

    3) Cashier at a supermarket when I was 16. Fun times! There was this old man, a retired naval engineer who had served in the Greek Navy, one of the most rugged people I’ve seen. He’d come in the morning at 10am sharp, buy a beer, and he’d tell me the best stories about his travels around the world and the women he had met. Fascinating and classy dude, a moving encyclopaedia. Other duties at the supermarket included cleaning the God-forsaken basement that nobody had cleaned since the supermarket was built, and dealing with customers who think that everyone is out to get them: “The box should say 0.93kg and not 1kg — I weighed it!”

    4) Warehouse guy when I was 17. The warehouse was a huge building in the middle of nowhere, in some industrial neighbourhood in Athens. I was working there with one of my best friends, putting school backpacks into big boxes, which would then be sent to school item suppliers. The warehouse was so hot that after 3 months of working there I had lost about 10kg. Who needs saunas? 🙂

    Odd jobs are lots of fun.

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