Odd Jobs to Pay for College

Trying to make money to get by as a young person often brings the opportunity for odd jobs. I know it did for me, at least.

I had some pretty low paying, funky jobs over the years. I was a maid, worked in a pet shop, and was even a roller skating waitress. As I moved on to college, the chance to take on jobs no one else wanted seemed to grow!

I did know the usual waiters/waitresses, cooks, and cashiers, but I also had friends that were night janitors in unusual places, research study participants, and plasma “donors” (they were paid for the clear liquid portion of their blood, so I’m not quite sure why it was called a “donation”). At this point in life, when there is never any money coming in and tons going out, people seem to be willing to do just about anything to make a buck.

It was during this time in my life that I had the worst job I have ever held, not that I was selling important body fluids or allowing anyone to test unapproved drugs on me, but it still ranks the lowest on my list. I was a dishwasher for the college cafeteria! Not only was it embarrassing (other students often saw me in all my hair net glory!), but it was also pretty nasty dealing with everyone’s uneaten food!

All the used dishes got put into these custom wire baskets, and it was my job to go around the cafeteria collecting these wire baskets full of dirty dishes. Then, I had to take the dishes out of the stainless steel wire baskets, scrape the food off, and put them into different, industrial wire baskets. These wire baskets were huge, and they could hold a ton of dishes. I also had to put any special plates that the food service workers used into this specific conveyor line fixture to hold thin plates. This custom wire basket helped to protect these more delicate plates, but, man, did I pinch a few fingers using it!

Now this is all pretty disgusting work, but manageable, right? Well, the added bonus of my job was that when the dishwasher got clogged, I got to unclog it. There is this big filtering screen on commercial dishwashers, and while it is great at filtering out debris so that the dishes get nice and clean, obviously, sometimes things get stuck in it. You can’t even imagine what I pulled out of this wire screen–the word gross is an understatement!

All that said, I did get paid for all of this foul work. I got paid regularly, and this money helped pay for my books, rent, food, etc. I have to say, though, that I am very glad I spent those four years in college. I have a nice office with a desk, now, and, more importantly, I don’t have to touch uneaten food, or food in any form for that matter, as part of my job description!

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