It’s been my experience that nearly everyone goes through their childhood saying “I’m going to be” this or that. Maybe that’s part of my problem – I’ve never really identified with any particular vocation. When I was 18, it was one of the reasons I didn’t go to college. I already had a job. In fact, between my 14th and 24th birthdays, I had held over 20 jobs – sometimes two at once, sometimes none, and never one for more than 21 months. Now I’m coming up on my 2-year anniversary with at my current job, and I’m itching chicken-pox style to bolt. To what? Who cares? Something new. I mean, it’s not like it’ll be the last job I ever take.
So with all that experience under my belt, I’m going to tell you (in no particular order) a little bit about the five sweetest gigs I’ve ever had, and why you should want them.
1: Small-town Chinese food Delivery Boy
This was awesome. I got this job about 4 days after I turned 18, and let me tell you right now: If this was any way to make a living, I’d be out there doing it right now. Not only does it come with all sorts of pan-fried fringe benefits, but most of my more awesome stories about work come from this job. I was literally getting paid to drive around all evening, and listen to Blink-182. I was getting paid all sorts of ways, too: $6 hourly, $.10/mile (usually about $5 a day), 5% of delivery sales, and tips on top of all that. Can you imagine the kind of sympathy tips that an 18-year old kid with a broken hand in a cast, wearing a fanny pack makes?
I’ll give you a hint: You’re going to need one of these.
2: Day Schedule Watchstander
This one doesn’t really count, because it was a subset of a much larger, shitter set called government work. We won’t say much how much of it we can discuss online (nothing too impressive, but required a Secret Level clearance nonetheless), but let’s just say my job for a while was to wake up at 8AM, have a cigarette, get dressed, raise the flag, have another cigarette, and go back to sleep. The cigarettes may or may not have been a requirement of the job, but either way, thanks for the paychecks.
3: Parking Lot Attendant
This job was great. If you’ve ever been to Charleston, SC, USA during the spring and summer, you might have noticed how incredible it is. Ocean harbor breezes floating between palmetto fronds, while horse-drawn carraiges adorn cobblestone streets bathed in the sun’s most radiant glows; if Shakespeare had been from there he would have never written a tragedy. Them’s the facts. I got paid to sit in the bed of my pick-up and draw, only occasionally getting up off my duff to sell admission. No benefits though, unless you count all that stuff I said as one.
If you live inside this box, your life is substantially better.
Okay, let’s face it: It’s a dirty, sweaty job that keeps late hours, and is exorbitant in its toll on your body – but any job in any good bar comes with all of the following: Free booze/drugs/food/ladies/live /music for 20 hours over two days for $500? (That’s not the fee, that’s how much they pay you.) Sign me back up, I’ll replace the other knee this fall. Fuck it. If I ever tried to have that much fun at work anywhere, they’d shitcan me faster than a Jackie Chan neck chop. Which reminds me, I’m …
5: Jackie Chan
Happy year of the Ox! It was hard being a kid in Hong Kong, but after getting my big break as a stuntman in a Bruce Lee movie I’ve gone on to do awesome things in the worlds of martial arts and philanthropy. Aside from starring in over 100 movies, risking my life to do my own stunts for the last 30 years, and releasing over 20 Cantonese pop albums (that’s right, god damnit!), I’ve been known to campaign for conservation and disaster relief in China. Sometimes I wish I was more like Carl, though. That guy’s a badass.
Of course I’m not doing the Karate Kid movie.
What are you, stupid?