Not a lack of commitment – an abundance of ambition

Before I had a blog, I posted some random notes up on Facebook. And since nobody reads a blog on a holiday (it’s Canada Day tomorrow), I thought I’d rehash this post I put up about all the jobs I’ve had over the years.

I wrote it last year, when newspaper reporters around the country lived in fear of the pink slip. Or at least, more in fear than usual. OK, here’s the list.

Globe And Mail
Started as a copy editor, now a reporter.  

Kingston Whig-Standard
City editor. Great building, good staff, terrible town. *

Peterborough Examiner
Started as education reporter. Then night editor, then city editor. Once had to unload trucks in the mailroom, on deadline.

Once I was a sailor, in love with only the sea.

Once I was a sailor, in love with only the sea.

Ottawa Business Journal
Reporter, web reporter, editor, etc. Spent time pretending weekly news was relevant and informative, and talking on the radio about things I didn’t understand.

Algonquin College
Forty students, and maybe three of them are working at newspapers. Which is actually a good rate for the program.

Ottawa Sun
Once staked out a family’s house so I could find out where their dead, murdering son’s funeral would be – it took almost 36 hours.

Algonquin College
Computer lab monitor. “Can you fix this for me, Steve.” “No.”

Because you haven’t lived unless you’ve driven 2,500-km to rawk Nelson, BC, for gas money.

The News
Oversized, arrogant, know-it-all editor tells me I have a lot to learn if I’m going to “make it” in journalism. You know, like her.

Silicon Valley North
“Can you write about biotechnology?” “Oh of course, I studied that in university…”

Dixon Management
Mow lawns without T-shirt. Hot, hot, hot, I know.

Bank Street Jeep Chrysler
When you smash the new car your supposed to park into the other new car you’re supposed to be parking beside, it’s best just to leave it there and go home.

Human Resources Development Canada
A fine summer spent drinking coffee, smoking, going for lunch and watching World Cup soccer.

The Rack
Retail bankruptcy liquidator. You remember Consumers Distributing? They had 10 miles of steel shelves per store when they closed. And I carried them all into a truck. And then, out of the truck.

Take-A-Break Coffee
Wash coffee pots in a warehouse, pretend to know how electricity works while fixing fancy perculators.

Country Style Doughnuts
A depressing week of employment. Quit after high school teachers recognized me and were a little too delighted by the whole thing.

Ottawa Citizen
Put inserts into paper, pile stacks of papers, sleep in the mailbags. Also, mushroms+factory=bad idea.

Quantum Placement Agency
Plant thousand of thyme and oregano plants around Peacekeeper Memorial in Ottawa in 40 degree heat. Never again eat anything that contains thyme or oregano.

Harry Rosen
Factory sale in a warehouse. Walked through warehouse, walked out of warehouse, collected $75 pay cheque.

The Bay
Christmas staff. Showed up for the first shift, and managed to stay on the payroll for 15 hours a week for three months.

Mello’s Diner
The one on Merivale, not in the market. I’d wash dishes after school, then peel potatoes. Quit when I realized toilet cleaning was also a duty, if even a long-neglected one.

Mamma Mia Pizzeria
Near my girlfriend’s house, and paid cash each shift.

Rocco’s Rocking Roadhouse
Peeled vegetables, washed dishes, showed up for my first pay cheque the day after it closed forever.

Arohon Pine Lodge
Deep in Algonquin Park, my job was to wash dishes for a summer. Drove up, moved into room, worked shift, realized I forgot my alarm clock and drove home. Screw that.

Merivale Arena
Concession booth guy. Keep the hot dogs shiny and wet, and everything is good.

Lansdowne Park
Peanuts! Peanuts! Penis! Peanuts! Peanuts!

Dickie Dee
Pedalled my ass and sold ice cream. Note the spelling of pedalled, pervert.

Rosini’s Italian Eatery
The chef learned to cook in prison, the owner had a glass eye he would suck on when angry.

Flics and Games
Movie renting guy. Possibly the best job ever, because you could smoke in the basement and watch movies all day.

Orleans Roofing
For three hot weeks in the summer, give or take, I pulled shingles off a roof with a shovel while my 20-something coworker drank vodka and told me about his band.

First job – worked long enough to buy an electric guitar from Intercontinental Music. About three weeks.

* Kingston may be alright. But not if you live on Bath Road and work 80 hours a week.


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