Sunday, February 20, 2005

A brief history of me...

Last night after a marathon of a dinner service I began to discuss my vacation with my fellow cook. Apparently in honor of my culinary trip to London, is entirely devoted to London. "Vacation?" she said, "Dana, you are going to be working 6 days a week from sunrise past sunset. Are you sure it's a vacation?"

Indeed, this is my kind of vacation. I had also applied for an internship right outside of Sausalito. It was an old army barracks that had been converted into a center for the arts. Yes, I would be there to work cooking 3 meals a day for the artists in residency and banquets for the people who drive from SF to see the artists lecture series. But it would have been like summercamp for me. I visited it in September to push myself on the coordinator and check it out. It was on a headland above the coastline of Marin county and one of the most beautiful places I had ever been. I have seen the coast of Spain, Italy, Greece, new jersey, Washington, Oregon, and Santa cruise. And this place ranks up there with the best of them. There was serenity there that I would have liked to experience.

So in explaining to Anjana why this was actually like a vacation for me (the month at the end with libs is the icing on the vacation cake) I started to tell her of my rather enterprising youth. Wouldn't a future employer love to see the following jobs on my work history.

When I was all of 5 I asked my mom to let me open a lemonade stand at the end of the driveway. She said no and went about her business. An hour or so later she found me at the end of the drive way with my little desk set up and my business open to the public. But instead of a lemonade stand, I had opened a poetry stand. For a nickel you could buy an original Dana Bickford composition. To this day on her fridge remains one of the poems I sold to her. She bought poems to send to Boompa and Mimi and they were beyond thrilled.

during the summer between 3rd and 4th grade I started my second venture in the world of small business. "Little Helpers" was our name. Our mission was to provide low cost child labor to our neighbors in the way of yard work, baby sitting, and dog walking. I had fliers that I posted throughout the neighorhood providing a reasonable price list and my phone number, and I didn't just sit back and wait. I knocked on doors and handed out more. I had hired 3 employees; Libby, and the Koger children, Will and Sarah. A 5 dollar lawn mow was our hot seller. If I did the work, I kept all the money. If one of my employees mowed the lawn, they got 3 dollars, I got 2. Well, after a month or two Libby and Will decided this wasn't what they deserved and quit to start their own child labor camp. Lucky for them they hadn't signed a non-competition waiver and were free to open "Business Busters". They offered the same services to the same customers at discounted rates. They were pitting our neighbors loyalty against their frugality. But before this could get ugle school started and we were back to being full time students.

After that I began to sell my time to others. I shared a paper route with Libby during the last days of the afternoon newspaper. But times changed as they always do and the public demanded their news in the morning. So cute 60 pound kids with 50 pounds of newspapers over their shoulder were replaced with a guy in a dented Hyundia who throws the paper at your door from the street.

I refereed soccer for a few years. You'd think it wasn't a difficult job. Just blow your whistle when the ball goes out of bounds or when a kid falls over. But the job they don't tell you about in training class is dealing with the parents. Holy crap. There was one at every game. Sometimes more. The crazy dad who had more personally staked on the game than the kids on the field. And do you think an irrational and emotionally charged grown man wants a little 15 year old girl telling him he had to leave his child's game? The dads were 10 times worse at girls games, don't ask me why.

Libby got me a job at McDonalds. We worked there for one summer. And as a one time summer job it was acceptable. We left with a little money in our pockets and something to put on future applications for work history. But there was no way we were staying on once school started, or ever going back. That's not really relevant, I just wanted to point out that Libby got the job first.

After that it was a little burger stand left over from the 6o's, Rays drive in. The crew was comprised mostly of our highschool friends. You can only imagine what that leads to.

I was a security guard at the community college one summer. I didn't have a badge or a uniform. And my only real duty was to write parking tickets. Oh, the power I wielded. I wasn't impartial in any way either. If I knew you, you could park all day without a ticket. It was the only quarter Rusty didn't rack up his usual 20 parking tickets.

Libs and I were lifeguards at the pool by our parents house. We taught swim lessons to the children, which I really liked. The worst part of my day however was the getting wet. I hate getting wet. Ironically I don't mind being wet.

Then there was the espresso stand run by christian fundamentalists. They didn't much like the references I made to the church of caffine.

See how much I like holding jobs? We are only up to age 20!!

Then I started working full time at a little breakfast diner to pay tuition at culinary school which I attended full time. That was a full plate, but wasn't as hard as it sounds. When you are doing it, you just do it and don't really think about it.

Now it's Lampreia, and up until last Monday, a part time job at a bakery to round out my skills. I've got cake decorating skills, baking skills, cooking skills. Guys only want girlfriends who've got skills.

I didn't have a job for a week about 3 years ago. I sat around for about 2 days before I turned my parents house into an Easter cookie factory. Every person I knew got a basket of these Martha Stewart style iced sugar cookies. There was even a series of little duckie cookies decorated to look like plaid. Jessica asks for those every year now.


Anonymous Mom said...

You were so cute, sweetie. I have 3 poems still. You sold them for 25 cents though. You sold one to your fathers friend Jerry Openshaw. I don't know how I ended up with it. Here they are with your original spelling and punctuation.

The Pumpkin

There was a little pumpkin, that won the county fair. It took a chance, and went to france.
That is how he won.

The Hot Dog

To you
I hope
that hot dog is
your favrit thing
to eat
for lunch.

For Dad

Dads work hard
so they should get
a little time off
before they sweat.

I love you and am in awe of all your acomplishments.

February 20, 2005 1:21 PM  
Blogger Lludmila said...

Hey Dana

February 20, 2005 1:42 PM  

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