A little further down in this post I will share what was supposed to be the introduction to a book I've been meaning to write about me and my 85 jobs in 35 years. That was as far as I got in actually trying to write the book. I felt like I was writing in a vacuum. I didn't know how to proceed.
I've been blogging for several years now, and I've decided to write my story in that format. The saga can develop organically. Each of the 80 jobs will have at least one chapter. Some will be very short, because those jobs were very short-lived (obviously). Some jobs were more significant, and will deserve more space. And who knows, perhaps someday this will lead to a real book. Some blogs have been made into books, although, to be honest, those usually seem to be picture-heavy formats.
I hope that anyone who reads this will do me the favor of letting me know what you think of it. Please leave comments. Let me know what you like, or don't like, for that matter (just please don't be rude). Together, we can make a good book! I will try to publish a new post once a week.
Now, without further ado, here is the proposed introduction to my future book:
High Turnover: 85 Jobs in 35 years
By Rimpy Rimpington
There is this woman who rides the bus I drive for job number 85. I don't know her name, or really anything about her. All I have are impressions - and, judgmental bastard that I am – I use those impressions to form some assumptions about her.
She strikes me strongly as being someone who is probably in a recovery phase after long years of substance abuse. Some days she seems more recovered than others. She might be in her forties, but looks quite a bit older. I believe she is studying to be a hair dresser, because some days she carries the kind of case I've seen being carried by students of our two local beauty colleges.
I see people like her all the time on this job, and normally I wouldn't give her a second thought. She got my attention early on, however, because she seemed to have a terrible time remembering how to pay her fare. She's always the last one to board an already-crowded bus. She usually has a transfer from another route, but sometimes she pays with a multiple-ride pass, or sometimes just cash. The problem with her use of transfers and passes is how long it takes her to dig the right one out of her pockets, which usually contain a surplus of expired tickets. The upshot is that she wastes a lot of time with this behavior. Not just my time as the driver – which, since I get paid by hour, just means more money for me - but that of her fellow passengers, many of whom are relying on me to get them somewhere by a certain time.
One day I couldn't stand it any longer, and as politely as I could muster, I said, “Just a suggestion, but maybe don't hang on to the old ones.” She didn't like that, and said, “Oh, really?” as she haughtily swiped the correct ticket through the fare machine – upside down and backwards the first time, then just backwards, and finally the correct way. Then she stomped back to her seat. I used to get my hair cut at the same beauty college she apparently attends, because it's cheap. After meeting her, I decided I didn't want to take the chance of having her or someone like her waving scissors around my head.
As time has gone by, and she has spent more time actually in recovery, she seems to be getting more clear-headed, which is a blessing. She now pays her fare like any other normal person.
Was I out of line for being so impatient with this poor woman's steep learning curve for a task that many of us regard as quite simple? And did I say in the first sentence that this was my eighty-fifth job? You must think I'm incredibly ancient to have had so many jobs. In which case, what the hell am I doing driving a bus? Well, you might be surprised to learn that at the time of this writing I am 55 years old. I got my first job when I was 15, and I've had my current job since I was 50. In that span of 35 years, I've managed to be hired 85 different times. That averages out to a new job approximately every 4.9 months.
I can't find reliable evidence of a world's record for most jobs held. There is a guy on Tumblr who had 100 jobs in one year, but that's more of a stunt than a lifetime avocation. I also found an uncited reference to an actor who had 50 jobs in a 10 year span, but that doesn't seem all that unusual for a struggling actor. Besides, wouldn't most of those be basically the same job: acting? If there were a record for most varied jobs held in a lifetime, I'm willing to bet I'd be a serious contender for the title.