Monday, February 04, 2008

Jobs, a not-so-brief history

I’ve been uber busy lately and my blog time has been quite slashed. The powers that be at my office issued a threat of personal internet use and now I can no longer spend all afternoon take five minutes a day to post on this here blog. I mean, I can, but I could potentially be without a job then and well that would suck because we at the M house are accustomed to eating, quite well in fact. Therefore I write all of my posts elsewhere and then publish them all at one time during the one time per week I use the computer at home.

But back to work now, ok? Not as in talking about blah, blah, blah work stuff, but good work stuff, if that’s possible. Let me tell you about my job, all of my jobs. I mean, surely you’re just itching to know about all the steps I took to become the corporate marketing superstar that I am, no?

My first job was babysitting. I’m 12 years old than my only sibling. You can either take that as my parents planned a built in nanny or “oops! we did it again.” Well, I’m pretty sure at the ripe old age of 17 they were all “oops we did it the first time.” Moving on, I was a the greatest big sister ever (I have references) and a babysitting rockstar. Being the oldest “kid” in my neighborhood with gaggles of little ones about the age of my brother I kept busy. I could just ride my bike around the block, be there in an instant on a snow day, take care of you kid all summer because I arrive at your house only to go back to sleep until your little darlings wake up, and also if you come in too late you only have to turn the porch light on and walk me home. It was a good deal for all. I continued this rock-star career throughout middle school and high school.

I did, however, branch out during my babysitting off hours to teach cheerleading camps (rah, rah, sis boom bah!) and tutor students at my high school who were in a local program sponsored by a college to get them the hell graduated and gainfully enrolled in an institution of higher learning. I was paid $6 per hour per student. I tutored two girls at the same time for a whopping $12 an hour a few hours a week. Pretty sweet gig for a high school girl, don’t you think nevermind that both girls failed that class?

I left high school for the nary a big city about an hour away. I began my college career as a gymnastics instructor. It was another sweet gig. I was paid $9 per class, which lasted about 45-50 minutes. I taught ten to fifteen classes per week. After my first semester I was bumped up to $10 and hour because I was again, a rock star! With this gig I also taught seasonal Saturday morning gymnastics camps for $100 for the morning. Cha-ching! Through the same fine establishment I worked with a middle school cheerleading squad on tumbling, building, dance routines showing them how to shake what their momma’s gave’em. I think I received the hourly wage for this as well.

During the gymnastics gig I also worked at a nearby daycare that I’d found through teaching the gymnastics classes. I took care of six (count ‘em one, two, three four, five, six) one year olds. The kids were precious and I loved it! This is where I met H and his sister The Belle and became their private babysitter. I left the daycare behind because the management sucked and so did the pay at a meager $6 per hour (did you count the one, two, three, four, five, six above?) It wasn’t much more than a summer supplement for the big beach trip I took with my girlfriends that year.

During the midst of all of this I was referred from my little brother’s, best friend’s mother to a guy she worked with who lived in MyTown that I was an awesome rock-star of a babysitter. He had a 9 month old little boy and had just moved back to the area. It was love at first sight for all involved, and this began a beautiful relationship with my boyfriend and me.

The gymnastics gig ended after about two years when my school schedule no longer fit well with the gymnastics class schedule and it was more of a pain than anything. But to re-cap I did work two jobs (gymnastics and daycare) and two private sitter side jobs all at one time. Go ahead and shout it out: you’re a rock star! No, just a poor college kid with a love for shopping and sorority dues.

When the gymnastics thing ended and I quit the daycare I was just a private babysitter. It was pretty sweet and paid awesome. A job within the College of Communications in the Dean’s Office fell into my lap and I had to take it as it was a prime opportunity to rub elbows and brown nose. The job sucked, the pay sucked, but mostly I just studied in the office between classes and well I did get paid to do that. I did this for about a year in addition to many hours of babysitting.

The just a babysitter turned into a nearly full-time nanny gig with the above families and one more family, their friends, who also had two kids. They kept me super busy and I loved it. The pay was great, the kids were precious, the parents fabulous, and the perks were amazing such as all-expense paid vacations that came with a paycheck. Now that, is what I call a paid vacation. I even kept this job a year post-graduation because I loved it so much and I couldn’t find a “real job” in the fabulous economy looking for marketing superstars.

During the nanny gigs I began doing internships. One was required by my college and the others were to rub elbows and brown nose for the experience. Only one had a stipend pay, some were flat out unpaid (nearly all PR type internships in MyTown were unpaid) and some only came with a few perks to give it a little allure.

My internship career included working at the local food bank assisting the women who worked in PR and Development. I’d write press releases, find clippings, recruit volunteers, promote events, and do mail-outs for donations (oh the heaping piles of mail- outs!). I did this internship right after Addy.

Next I was an Account Executive (AE—fancy) for a student-run PR Firm. My projects included compiling a media list for a big, well-known airline that “loves to fly and it shows”, promotion and media for a blood-drive, and an internship fair (ironic?) for the College of Communications.

Following that I was the Public Relations Intern for the local art museum. I wrote press releases, organized special events, sent information to media, assisted in creating press kits and made advertisements and gave out piles of posters and begged friends to hanghung a lot of posters all over campus. The art museum was about 8 blocks from my apartment which was great because I totaled my car during this time and I could walk there, and then walk to class. Anyone wanna see my Hercules calves from walking all that in heels, up hill both ways? Coincidentally I walked into this internship right after A as well, that girl really paved the way for me.

My fourth internship was the PR Chair for the campus sponsored event where you stay up all night walking in support of a charity. Fill in the blanks there, will you? It was a major pain as the chair of the event was a major, idiotic, not-a-brain-in-her-head, bimbo, and those were, and continue to be, her good points (ask Addy). In this position I wrote press releases, contacted media, prepared a small media kit, designed a brochure, scheduled campus events, and tried not to beat the living day out of aforementioned bimbo. The latter was the most challenging.

My final internship was as the Intern Promotion Manager at a large conglomerate media group that owns radio stations. The local group owned four stations and I worked with two of them. I scheduled van hits, which is where we send a group of individuals to your fine establishment, have them hit all the vans, and then leave quickly. I kid, I kid! I van hit is when the car/truck/van with fancy wraps, big lights, and loud speakers would come to a certain location, play the radio, have contests, and give out free stuff such as t-shirts, frisbees, coozies, cd’s, etc. I found locations for van hits, scheduled the meager peons beneath me to arrive at said van hits, and ensured they were equipped with all necessary gear of prizes, etc. The best thing about this was that it was super flexible and I could take care of a lot of it by emailing at night in my pj’s or on the phone walking to class. The worst thing is that it was right next to Lenny’s Sub Shop and I gained a pound or ten.

I also had a sixth internship as a PR Intern at a nearby hospital which is infamous for being labeled as “in the ER and out the morgue”. I suppose my job would have been to assist in changing that typecast should I have taken it. I was scheduled to begin it the summer post graduation (it paid a meager amount) but all plans were shot when my dad died the middle of the last semester of my senior year.

As if all this PR goodness wasn’t enough I also was the Development Chair for a campus event (Dance Marathon) that supports a certain miracle network for children (read between the lines) where I created a media kit and brochure to solicit corporate donations and also created marketing materials to solicit gifts-in-kind such as food and prizes.

Addy and I also took over our sorority philanthropy to get the show on the road for a walk that raises money and awareness for premature babies (you know the one, right?). We created a media kit, made some phone calls, and flaunted ourselves at frat houses. Hey, whatever gets the job done.

Moving on to the real world I began my career as an Advertising Coordinator for a large travel center. By advertising I mean billboards. I hate billboards as they are eyesores and ruin the landscape. Though the company was fabulous with decent benefits, nice perks, and a soda fountain and popcorn machine set up in the break room, I hated the job and my manager was comparable to the bimbo listed above only with more power and more mood swings. It lasted about 9 months, all of which I had an IV of Diet Coke running through my veins due to the accessibility. I gave my notice, worked more or less 5 half days by showing up and leaving whenever I damn well pleased, got married, went on my honeymoon, and never returned. This is where my superstar status began.

Next I moved on to a large media group that owns everything from television networks, to newspapers, to elephants in the jungle. Seriously, they have a diverse portfolio. I worked at one of their large daily newspapers doing advertising sales. I mostly worked with car dealers who liked to call me baby, honey, and buy me margaritas. The benefits were pretty fabulous with ample vacation and personal time. I received a few raises, but never an opportunity to do anything else. My boss was a twelve year old girl trapped in the body of a thirty-five year old man. Most days, he could be found working on the golf course or at happy-hour. This gig lasted about a year and a half. I gave a two weeks notice that went something along the lines of “in two weeks, I won’t be here”.

This brings me to my current gig corporate marketing superstar. I really do like this job, as much as I’m going to like anything that takes 40 plus hours of my time every week. I make decent money for my area and some benefits are great (free insurance), but some suck (less vacation time than I’d like). There isn’t much I don’t do at this job and I should but sometimes don’t stay busy everyday, all day. I work in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry. I do Marketing and PR with and for investors, guests, agencies, media, and other corporations.

I’m responsible for advertising for properties and keeping them all current; finding new sources of advertising whether it be magazines, direct mail, or online sites; offering new ideas of ad designs and layouts; guiding the web designer on changes/updates to keep the corporate and property websites current; writing blurbs and copy for all medium such as brochures, websites, magazines, travel guides, etc.; creating the in-room guest directory for the resorts; scheduling photo shoots of the property and finding a photographer; sending proper letters of notice to investors and owners; creating an overall marketing plan and flow cart for each property; creating all marketing materials and media kits; putting together vacation packages for the different resorts; doing pre-construction comparisons for future projects; preparing sales kits for retail establishments in the lifestyle centers; getting branded toiletries for the resorts as well as other items, i.e. vending signs; distributing placement charts so that each room is set up identical and ready for guests; writing newsletters (of the 12 page variety); providing editorial content for nearly anyone who wants to give us some press; and searching opportunities to join organizations and associations of interest to give us good PR and free advertisement. Well, that’s some of what I do anyway. See? I told you I was a corporate marketing superstar. I feel the need to brag and I’m sure you understand if you read what I went through to get here.

You’re quite a trooper if you read all of that. Looking back, I had a pretty good job career. I never had to work retail or wait tables. Not that I think that’s bad, I just don’t see me being a good fit for such a position. Trust me, you don’t want me and all my (clumsiness) gracefulness carrying a large tray of food and drinks. I don’t see myself fit for retail because I’d spend my entire paycheck by using my discount and would live out of my car with an ever-expanding and fabulous wardrobe. I still think I’d like a stint at the make-up counter in an upscale department store.

Ok, your turn. Take as much room as you’d like and tell us about your history of jobs from the good, bad, and ugly and what your current gig is as well as your future plans. (Addy, I better hear from you because you have some good ones).

My future plans, next to being the make-up counter girl, are to have a decently profitable small business that I work at exclusively, free-lance, and be a mommy.

Ok, your turn. Go!


Kas said...

hahaha I know you said take as much room as you like...but I've had about 20 jobs in my short 24 years. I think this will make a good blog topic...stay tuned!

girl from the south said...

Wow. I forgot how much we actually worked together in college + rooming and sharing the same schedule.

UT really fell apart after we left.

BTW, I'm going to see the college bimbo towards the end of the month. The TN State Society has a meeting and she's on the board. I'd be psyched if it wasn't for her. At least I wasn't important enough for her to remember my name. Maybe I'll get to introduce myself for the 100th time.