You remember Maxwell Street, right? That special outdoor bazaar was located in the near west area just outside the Chicago Loop. I went to visit my buddy Stanley- you know, the one who got arrested years ago by Chicago cops? Yeah, that guy. I needed a bicycle part and that’s what he now sells. I asked how was business going and he said okay but that he had to work harder than ever and wondered if it was worth it.
So, I got about to asking him what was the best job he ever had. “that’s easy”, he replied, “Maxwell Street.” I asked him if he had more time to elaborate and he said, “why not?”
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The first thing a college graduate does after the ceremony is look for a job unless he has rich relatives who plan on putting him in the family business. For the rest of us, this means putting together a resume- excuse me, I mean, CV. For more than thirty-five years, I always thought that the thing you typed up over and over again until you got it absolutely perfect was called a â€œresumeâ€. Why? I have no idea. The word association never made sense. If it wasn’t pronounce like a foreign word, it then sounded as if something was being continued. Resuming what? Oh, I know- going from door to door and being told to get lost because the job was either already filled or they were testing the market place to see if there were any quality unemployed people out there worthy of future consideration. Or maybe they just didn’t like your face and decided you weren’t qualified. So, you kept on resuming the task of looking and looking. Ergo, the piece of paper that attested to your life’s body of work was an instrument of continuing- â€œresumingâ€- going around in circles, or a resume. Sounds good to me.
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Like death and taxes, everyone has a first job. I’ve had a few first jobs. The “first” first was a taste of what it was like to get bossed around by somebody other than my parents or school teachers. It happened in the summer of 1970 after I graduated high school.
I knew where I was going to college in the fall but had no idea what I was going to do for the next eight weeks or so now that I was a free man. (College wasn’t like grammar or high school because it wasn’t mandatory. Well, it was, if I was looking ahead to getting a good job when I was 21, presuming Uncle Sam wasn’t going to get to me first. Luckily, it all turned out okay as my selective service lottery number was 344 which meant that aliens, children and women would be picked ahead of me.)
Continue reading “My First Job at the Factory”