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Every job I've ever had: part 7.

Every job I've ever had: part 7.

Holy sh*t. Part seven and I’m barely out of college? Maybe what they say about Millennials is true…just kidding. As if you can lump one person’s work history in with millions of other people their age. That would be outrageous. I digress. So where were we? Oh right, I was still living in my college town pretending it wasn’t weird that I had already graduated. Realizing it was time to go, I set my sights on Brooklyn, just like every other young adult raised in the NY/NJ/CT tri-state area.

Enlisting one of my former roommates, a budding photographer named Darnell, we found a beautiful, recently renovated railroad apartment in Bushwick. At the time, the neighbor was poised to become the next Williamsburg. I think they’re still saying that even a decade later. Unfazed, I was about to start a Ph.D. program at The New School and just needed a place to live and some sort of job…so about that.

Job #12 - Deli girl.

  • Age at time of employment: 23

  • Qualifications: My background in food service, no doubt.

  • Employer: Whole Foods.

  • Application process: Online application and in-person interview.

  • Onboarding: In person.

  • Training: In person.

  • Pay rate: Honestly don’t remember but I probably still have my pay stubs.

Before moving, I had a genius idea. It was probably someone else’s genius idea, but I’m just going to call it mine. I would get a job at Whole Foods near my house and then transfer to one of their stores in NYC. None of this went to plan.

First off, I applied to work in grocery. You know stocking shelves. Whole Foods wasn’t (probably still isn’t) keen on hiring women into those roles because you know, lifting. They pretty much told me that during my interview. An interview in which I had poison ivy and a brown recluse bite eating away to my calf (more on that another time). I wasn’t super surprised when they turned me down. I was surprised when they called me a few weeks later to say they needed help in “prepared foods.” Essentially, slicing cold cuts and scooping salads into quart containers. Whatever, I needed a job and proof of employment to secure my apartment. I would figure the rest out later. Spoiler alert: I didn’t and ended up commuting home to New Jersey on weekends, even after moving to Brooklyn to cram in hours and pay my rent. I quit a few months into this arrangement when it was clear I wouldn’t receive a transfer to Chelsea as I intended.

Job #13 - Temp girl Friday.

  • Age at time of employment: 23-24

  • Qualifications: Desperation.

  • Employer: Atrium Staffing.

  • Application process: Online application and in-person interview.

  • Onboarding: N/A

  • Training: N/A

  • Pay rate: Varied.

Realizing that money was a thing and so was grad school, I decided to try my hand at temping. I vaguely remember doing some data entry, going on some practice interview at Canon that I bombed and a few other odd jobs. I worked long hours in generic offices, never really knowing who I was working for or why I was there. It was depressing. The economy was tanking, and in a few more months, Lehman Brothers would collapse and the “Great Recession” would become a startling reality.

Back then, after working wherever, I would go home to Bushwick, buy potato chips and seltzer for dinner ($2 at the bodega). If I had a few extra bucks, I would treat myself to Pinkberry. Not exactly the glamorous NYC living I anticipated. Doors were not opening, and I was spinning out. At the same time, unbeknownst to me, my roommate had quit his job a few months earlier. He wasn’t paying his bills, and our landlords were not happy, and neither was I. My short-lived experiment was coming to an end, but right before I traveled the bridges and tunnels with my tail between my legs, I completed one last temp assignment for a man named Eugene Weiss. To find out where that introduction took me, you’ll have to read the next part.

Image by Niv Rosenberg.

Weekend coffee #64.

Weekend coffee #64.

Weekend coffee #63.

Weekend coffee #63.