Friday, May 4, 2012

3 Lists - Work, School & Home

Professionally speaking, we tend to share our end-goals with our friends, family and co-workers pretty openly. "I want to be a Head Accountant," "Yeah Bob, I'm hoping to work my way up from hay shoveler to Head Groomer," or my favorite, "I'm a receptionist at a colonic therapeutic clinic. I can't wait to get my license and open up my own place."

In this day and age, can we look back and say we followed these dreams to fruition - and were they everything we thought they'd be? I mean when you're 16 and say, "I want to be a Doctor" - beyond the 12+ years of post-secondary education and residency, I know I didn't have the capability of understanding what else I was not  saying. "To be" something, to have that label, as we've all learned, doesn't define who we are. So as a child and young adult, we're sharing out dreams of being a boxer, a ninja turtle or security guard imaging  being that role, but never thinking that would only be 25% of our time!

Enough of that. When I was in high school, I wanted to be an artist or architect. How's that working out for me? Not even close. To make matters even more interesting, I recently decided to take inventory of my professional career. What inspired me to do this? I was in a meeting this last Tuesday and a VP of my firm said, "you've sure been busy" after I had mentioned a skill she didn't know I had. So I thought to myself, "have I been that busy? Do I have career ADHD, get bored to easily and need something new around every corner?" Then I took it a step further...if I've had that many jobs, how many of these other things have I had such as homes, schools I've attended....and so here's begins the lists.....

Let's take a look at the last few years of jobs and see...

High School (Madeira, OH)
Dishwasher - Nursing Home
Bus Boy - Red Lobster

Post-High School (DamNeck, VA & Sebana Seca, Puerto Rico)
US Navy - Master at Arms & Operations Specialist

College/Post College (Seattle & Olympia, WA) - Keep in mind I paid my own way through school. Most of the time I had 2 or 3 of these jobs at the same time to cover all my costs and not to incur much debt.
Bank Teller - Rainier Bank
Bank Teller - US Bank
Bank Teller - Seafirst Bank
Traffic Coordinator - Comcast Cable
Front Desk Clerk/Night Auditor - Best Western Lake Union
Set Design Assistant - Northern Exposure
Barista - Cafe Paradiso
Barista - Cafe Allegro
Barista - Dancing Goats Espresso
Bartender - Eastside Tavern
Club Promoter - Moe's Mo'Rock'N Cafe

Professional Career (Seattle, Portland, Chicago)
PR Specialist - Synchrovision
Market Manager - KBA Marketing
Field Marketing Manager - Odwalla
Tour Manager - Upshot Entertainment
Tour Manager - Ogilvy Marketing
Field Marketing Manager - SignCast
Senior Event Manager - Group III Promotions/Draftworldwide
Co-Owner - Alliance Bakery & Cafe
Co-Owner - Wicker Park Inn
Account Supervisor - Legacy Marketing Partners
Senior Account Manager - envisionit media
Senior Director, Development & Special Events

Yep. I've been around the block. I think a little more than I thought. I'm not going to make excuses for most of them - many were college gigs or promotional/temporary marketing engagements.

Taking the next step, I looked at education (pre-college, I was pretty darn focused there) - I attended 7 schools in 13 years. When I realized I wasn't like most kids - having to adjust to different social groups as early as 2nd grade, again in Los Angeles, again in 7th grade when we moved to NY- I can keep going.
How would you like to stand in front of classrooms of kids who could really give a sh** and be introduced every few years? I can say it effected me in some very positive ways - I can walk into a room and introduce myself to the biggest asshole and have a conversation. I also can adapt to change exceptionally well. But there have been side-effects, I think the list above and the last below will show even more clarity;

Kindergarten - Mt Washington Elementary (Cincinnati, OH)
1st - Wilson Elementary (Cincinnati, OH)
2nd - 7th - Immaculate Heart of Mary (Cincinnati, OH)
4th - Westlake Elementary (temporary transfer to LA)
7th - 8th - St Martin's de Porres (Poughkeepsie, NY)
9th - Spackenkill High School (Poughkeepsie, NY)
10th - 12th - Moeller High School (Cincinnati, OH)

And lastly, here's the list of every place I've ever lived. And I remember every one (expect for the Number 1).....

1. Danny Court - Louisville, KY
2. LeConte Ave - Cincinnati, OH
3. Whitehouse Lane - Cincinnati, OH
4. Westlake, CA
5. Miron Dr - Poughkeepsie, NY
6. Miami Ave - Madeira, OH

6. Great Lakes, IL
7. DamNeck, VA
8. Sebana Seca, PR

Adulthood (Seattle, Portland, Chicago)
9. Lake City Way NE
10. Fremont Ave N
11. Lakeview Blvd E
12. Summit Ave E
13. Republican Ave E
14. Rogers St NW (Olympia)
15. Franklin St SE (Olympia)
16. E. Pike St.
17. 9th Ave NE
18. 42nd Ave NE
19. 10th Ave E
20. Everett Ave E
21. 11th Ave E
22. NW Quimby (Portland)
23. SE Mills (Portland)
24. 1009 N Ashland (Chicago)
25. 1645 N Ashland (Chicago)
26. W Crystal (Chicago)
27. W. Rice (Chicago)
28. N. Wicker Park Ave (Chicago)
29. W. Race (Chicago)

There you go - 29 homes in 44 years. Incredibly embarrassing to tell you the truth. I didn't know it was that high. I've been exceptionally nomadic my whole life in the context of work and where I live. Okay, that's not true. I've lived in the last location for the last 8 years! So that means 28 locations in 36 years....that sounds worse, scratch that.

As I wrap this up, a few friends have come to mind that have watched, with out judgement or critique. I thank them for deep well of patience. I'll really, really try to slow down a little bit - tomorrow.


  1. you worked on the set of Northern Exposure? MY MOST FAVORITE TV SHOW EVER?!?! how did i not know this?

  2. Really? I never told you? I'm sorry about that. That was an extraordinary job that taught me a lot of about thinking on my feet, being creative at a moment's notice among other things.