19-25 in the Orange Blossom State.

state bird

Is it just me or is this stroll down Employment Lane REALLY long? I feel like I’ve been talking/writing about all my old jobs for weeks! And I still have 15 to go!

In the comments section of any of our blogs, please (PLEASE) feel free to leave comments about whatever we are talking about, so in this blog you, our good-looking and brilliant Follower, could tell us about some of the jobs you’ve had! Can anyone beat my 33?

Alright, so today’s Saturday edition will be 19-25. Round out the jobs I had whilst living in the State of Theme Parks, traffic, beaches, oranges and the place where I was introduced to Chick-Fil-A. (Although I do not agree with their political views, I do 100% agree with their Original Chicken Sandwich. Delicious.)

Let’s see, where’d we leave off…oh yeah, me crying because I had to leave Disney. Well, guess what? I didn’t go too far…

19. Portobello Yacht Club Restaurant: This was a Fine Dining Italian Restaurant in the Downtown Disney area, right between Pleasure Island and what used to be called the Empress Lilly, now Fulton’s Crab House. It’s a (mock) Riverboat that’s been docked at Downtown Disney since the year of my birth, 1991……no, I’m lying…although I look young for my age, I believe…and have been told the same by others, I am not 22. It’s been there since 1976 (when the dinosaurs roamed the planet…)

Side note: The boat was named after the woman who christened the boat in 1976, Lillian Disney. Walt’s wife.

Back to my job at Portobello. It was one of those places that all servers had to wear a button down white shirt tucked into black pants, a silk-backed vest and a necktie. (like a Groomsman) Just not a good look for an overweight female, I’m sorry. Two biggest highlights here were A: You have to take wine education classes since they boasted one of the largest wine cellars in Florida…and guess who hates the taste of wine? Me. So, once a week, I’d sit at a large round table tasting amazing, expensive wines from all over the World. Sounds like some people’s dream, right? Not me. One teacher said to me once, “You need to learn to not make that face after every sip you take.” And highlight B: When you ate at Portobello, the server would come to your table with amazing in-house baked Italian bread and a dish with roasted garlic still in the clove. This was the only thing you could eat for free if you worked there. So, let me tell you…it was INCREDIBLE and I’d have about 8 heads of garlic a day!! No joke. If it weren’t for all the bread I’d put it on, all that garlic might have prevented my future heart disease (Refer to: http://wp.me/p317Rq-4Z) or at least be able to severely defend myself from vampires. Everyone in my life let me know that I reeked of garlic, all the time. That it seeped from my pores. Mmmm….pretty. You had to have five years of Fine Dining experience to work dinner at Portobello and they told me that Road Kill Cafe wouldn’t exactly be considered “Fine Dining” so I had to work Lunch, Cocktail Waitress and Hostess for 3 years first. That’d be A LOT of garlic…

20. Sprint Business Center: The hours and commute weren’t working for me at Portobello and I was losing all my friends and loved ones due to my 24/7 garlic reekage, so…when I was recruited to work at Sprint due to my highly acclaimed work at the Disney Call-Center, I had to jump on it. It was 10 minutes, not an hour from home and the “regular” pay was great (not “surprise” pay that comes from depending on tips) I couldn’t wait three years at Portobello to work dinner; where they really raked in the money. This is what I remember about Sprint…ready? An ambulance would come once a week to take someone away. Why? Because the intense sales pressure and stress was INSANE. Literally, insane. People would call IRATE about their phones being shut off at their place of business because they were behind on their bill and we were expected to turn it around and sell them a 4-in-1 Printer/Copier/Scanner/Fax Machine that they could purchase for $800 less at any retail store.

It was a Call-Center, so…they wanted you on the phones at all times. So, guess what that meant? A note on my desk in the morning from my boss that said, “You were 47 seconds late from your lunch break yesterday, please be on time from now on.” Or, “You took four bathroom breaks yesterday, please try to get on a better schedule with water consumption during the day.” No joke. I worked here for a good year and a half because the money was AMAZING. To this day, the most I ever made in a years time. But the stress was ridiculous and I broke after about 18 months. (P.S. This was the second place I worked, first being Disney, where people would literally threaten my and my colleagues lives because they were SO unhappy.)

21. No-Name Internet Vacation Selling Company: My sister was visiting me right after I quit working at Sprint and she had seen in the paper an ad for “Vacation Selling- Big Money- Short Hours!” Sounds amazing, right? Sounds totally legit, right?? So, I call. Guess what? They don’t have interviews. You go, learn what to do and “see if you like it”…The morning of my first day on this job, I put back on my Safari- Guide looking khaki business suit that I wore to my Disney interview and I carried a hand me down soft-sided briefcase and I drove to my new, high-paying, low stress, short hours career. The building is a bit run down, for such a well-to-do company, I thought to myself. I meet the man in charge. He’s not super friendly or interested in me. He says hurriedly, “This is who will train you today…” and introduces me to a guy who is wearing tight black jeans, a “The Clash” t-shirt and a black leather vest. He’s got an intense black mohawk and 42 ear piercings, a nose ring and covered in permanent skin art. “Come on,” he not-cheerfully says to me. I follow. (Remember what I am wearing?? Yeah, not exactly fitting in with the whole “Punk Rock/Homeless Person” dress code that seems to be in effect here.) This is what happens at this business, if you’re on the internet, you’d get a pop-up that said, “You’re the One-Millionth person to visit this site, you’ve won $5,000 in Travel Bucks! Click Here for more details.” The people would then click there and be instructed to call our number. It was a deal where you give us $2,500 and we give you $7,500 in travel “vouchers”…pause for reality check here…I lasted exactly one week. I always say, “That one week of bad karma will equate to one year being taken away from the total length of my life…” It was bad. End note: In “training” we were taught, “If the person speaks English too well, hang up.” True story.

22. Private Investigation Company: This might be in the Top 3 of longest running jobs that I’ve had. This was a PI Company that specialized in Insurance/Worker’s Compensation Fraud. I was an Administrative Assistant. I did a lot of typing and data entry. It was a fun place to work. Because my boss only believed that women should be Administrative Assistants, I made a lot of really good new girl friends. I saw A LOT of videos of people golfing, water skiing and doing all sorts of things that their company who was paying them disability wouldn’t be too pleased about. I typed MANY times, “The subject was seen walking into the clubhouse of XYZ Golf Club at 9:07 AM.” Hey, people, if you’re getting paid by your company because you hurt your knee and you’re out of work…DON’T GO PLAY GOLF!! Idiots.

23. Insurance Company: Long story, short…on this one. My Ex-Father in Law owned a small insurance company and after MANY years at the PI Company, I was tempted to join the insurance field to try something new. I went to work for him and I took Insurance classes and got licensed in the State of Florida. Not sure I ever sold a policy. But, I got a cool laminated card that looked pretty official.

24. Side Sales Business of Aforementioned Ex Father in Law (XFIL): I wasn’t really “feeling” the life of Insurance Saleswoman. My XFIL had visions of all sorts of different businesses (most somewhat related to insurance) and ways to get rich, so I started selling for another venture of his. In this role, I would call insurance companies and try to sell email advertisements that would go out to a very large list of insurance professionals.

These last two career choices might’ve been my worst choices of all. Never work with “family”…I’ll leave it at that.

25. EA Sports Game Tester: Yup. That’s right. I am the girl that HATES video games, but I was talked into moonlighting as an assessor for assorted video games that were in the “testing” stages. They liked to have novices come and play, see what they thought could be done to make their games enjoyable for the masses. My input: destroy them. This was a “per diem” gig…and I got paid in Video Games, t-shirts and Carrabba’s Gift Certificates.

Okay, so that wraps up my employment life in Florida. I moved back to NH shortly after this, which was great, since I had run out of places to work in the 65,755 square miles of Florida. The State that has the Mockingbird as it’s State Bird. I just Googled that. Makes SO much sense to me now. So ironic. Always knew Florida was mocking me.

Alright Followers, that does it for this chapter, I’ll return with the final 8 jobs soon. Hope your weekend is everything you’ve dreamed of and that you’re not calling some 800 number because you think you just won some big prize online. C’mon. You didn’t win anything and plus, you speak English.

Heart you.

-Chick A


Go to Part Five: Jobs 26-33. The Finale. (Get Your Hankies Out.)


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