This seems to have been my theme tune of late. I don’t know why Faith No More have taken up residence in my head. I wasn’t even much of a fan of theirs. They provided moments of entertainment as they piped their way out of ancient jukeboxes housed in even more ancient pubs, but they weren’t my cup of tea. (Rage against the machine have been on my internal play list too. This is a reaction to me making far too many rules for Junk Free June and thus failing badly…Fuck you. I won’t do what you tell me. I will eat more junk in 4 weeks than I have in the last 4 months).
Back to FNM though. I don’t even have a dirty job. Its very clean. I am probably the dirtiest thing about my job so there is no reason for this to be on constant refrain. Like most of us, though, I have had some jobs that I liked less than others, so I thought I’d make a list of the dirty jobs and why I am grateful to have had them.
This was my first job. I swept up hair mainly. It paid just over a pound an hour and kept me in fags, stickers and toffee crisp bars. I was 11 when I started. I learnt that people would pay me to do things that I was mediocre at and that I am good at massaging old ladies’ heads for money.
I hate gardening with a passion so I don’t know how I got this job. I did learn how to pot things, which proved helpful later in life. And I did learn lots about boys from my much more experienced friend who had moved on from riding imaginary horses unlike myself.
I quite liked this one. There were some neat people and I got pretty nifty with a knife. It paid for my first ever overseas trip without adults. We went to Belgium. We drank Duvel and Irish Poitin. I spent the whole day in Bruges with my dress inside out.
I did this for one day. It was a low point. I was picked up in the middle of the night, taken to some great big shed where an infinite number of carrots passed by. I had no idea where I was. It seemed like I was some part of an illegal immigrant scam. Human traffic.I was new. i had the worst spot on the line. Every carrot I packed was accompanied by a single tear. But I gained a greater appreciation of all the shit jobs my Nan did to keep afloat. All without complaining. All with little job security and satisfaction.
Electronics components factory
I was hopeless at soldering. I was very slow. I felt like I was the least skilled person on the factory floor. I was so bad at soldering that I was put on quality control. I was equally terrible at that. There are no highlights. I was totally crushed. The only thing that makes me feel better about this in hindsight is remembering this super smart kid from school. He did pot wash in a kitchen that I worked in. He was a useless pot wash and now he has a PhD. I was a useless solderer and now I have an incontinent cat. There is always hope.
This was like carrot packing. But went on for much longer. My first job in NZ. I am not a sales person and I hate phones. I didn’t really consider how much this might be a hindrance in my career. I managed the tedium by teaching myself to touch type. I had typing races with the guy next to me. This was the highlight.
Internet Tech Support
This was a job that I was uniquely unqualified for as I didn”t own a computer or have internet. I was blessed with a prolific ability to talk so I would chat away to people while I Googled the answer to everything. Except this was before Google. I think it was Ask Jeeves. I am now probably one of the best Googlers in the country. I’ve also developed machine empathy so I can fix photocopiers and printers by just sat
So I haven’t really had any dirty, dirty jobs. But I have moved from it being a dirty job to caring a lot so maybe Faith No More and more to tell me than I appreciated at the time. Now to look for hidden messages in all the songs of my youth.
An aside…I saw the video yesterday of David Cameron humming yesterday and I was wondering what his theme tune was. My second thought was more alarming…Oh my god, I am so like David Cameron.
***I don’t haven any pictures of me doing jobs, dirty or otherwise. There are pictures of me at work but I have one of those jobs that doesn’t look like anything in a picture. Not like being a lines engineer or chef or something. So here’s a student nurse picture. Because that was occasionally a dirty job***