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. . .Jobs That I Couldn't Have Handled And Why

Updated on August 26, 2020



I know that this sounds old-fashioned, but here goes, “I started to work when I turned eighteen.” No, I didn’t have to walk 35 miles to work--knee deep in snow, barefoot, and without pants. I was employed on my first real job while I was still in high school--working a quaint little country store (really) named, Collins Corner Grocery, located about one mile from my home in Hamilton, Alabama.

I loved the store owners, Don and Ruble Collins, from Hamilton. Mr. Collins took me under his wing, as it were, and taught me the fundamentals of running a business. How to treat people and still treat them nice while they are cursing you out for something, keeping up with stock in your business, learning your employees, and always keeping a positive attitude about yourself and what you do for a living.

I love working for Don and Ruble Collins. I got to leave high school at noon everyday and work for the Collins’ from 12:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. as a participatory member of our high school’s Diversified Occupation program where students such as I could get units for graduation and learn a trade at the same time. I loved to greet my customers, pump gas, clean windshields, stock shelves with groceries, sweep, keep the shelves dusted, and other important things that is needed to help keep a store running smooth and clean. (I was a real Gomer Pyle). My homemade motto was, “Only one customer will patronize you with a dirty store.” I made that up myself.

From Collins Corner Grocery, I went into “real life,” by getting a job at a mobile home factory, a place that manufactured “trailer houses,” as they were called then. Not camping trailers, but mobile homes that families lived in. Oh, my part of the state of Alabama, Marion and Winston counties, were nicknamed, “mobile home country,” for the huge amount of mobile home factories that were located in our area. Every teenage guy at one time or another, worked in a mobile home plant or got a buddy a job in a mobile home plant. This should tell you two things: one, mobile home plants were the going thing and, two, the economy was far-better than it is now in 2011.

My best job, ever, was working at our local newspaper, the Journal Record. I started my 23-year career with this business on the second Monday in September at 10:15 a.m. I will never forget how excited I was to finally get “a break” from the seven until three-thirty factory jobs and get involved in an industry had fascinated me for years. It wasn’t all fun. I had to walk, yes, walk, around our town and call on merchants for advertising. Think this is fun? Try doing this week after week--hearing the same turn-down’s time and time again. Nevertheless, I hung with it and stayed twenty-three years doing all facets of the business--photography, feature story and column writing, darkroom work, setting type, designing ads on computer, and even delivering papers in all types of weather.

In 2003, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, an incurable disease that attacks the muscles, joints, and skeletal system with relentless pain around the clock. I have to take daily medications for the pain as well as have spinal pain shots every three months for the pain in my lower back. The neurothopy in my nerve endings do not help me much either. Needless to tell you that I am far from being “the life of any party.” I am just glad to have life.

Okay. Enough warm and fuzzy stuff. In my time of being afflicted with these “physical bullies,” I have had loads of time to think. And think. About people, things, and the jobs that I am thankful now, at this juncture in my life, that I didn’t have to do. And why. Why didn’t I just introduce my story title, “Jobs I Couldn’t Have Done and Why,” and let it go at that? Guess that I am so glad to have friends in the HubPages that I easily get carried away many times.

“Jobs I Couldn’t Have Done and Why,” starts off with . . .

1. SHELDON, on CBS’ Big Bang Theory - Jim Parsons plays a super-intelligent, self-absorbed genius with his other genius pals. Why I couldn’t have been like Sheldon, is that I only had a high school education. Graduated with a “C” average. In short, I am not “the sharpest knife in the drawer” besides, if being a genius is anything like the character, Sheldon, no thanks. I had rather be of sub-par intelligence and have my friends.

2. BODY GUARD - well, this job would have paid well depending on whether the person I was guarding was famous or powerful such as a celebrity, sports star, politician or member of organized crime. Thing is, I hate fights. And I hate bodies being hit by hard fists. My body getting hit by a hard fist. I wasn’t that desperate for cash and another thing. I hate looking like a corpse in a tux.

3. SUPER HERO - too much work. Never enough “me time,” when you are a super hero. The nameless, faceless masses depend on you for everything from fighting off villains to getting their cat down from a tree. Never be invited to join a nice family for a barbecue. Nooooo, it’s always, “help me,” “help me, please,” and no matter how tired you are, a super hero just has to get up and go even at 2:30 a.m. This job was not made for me. I don’t mind helping people, but folks, I cant fly.

4. COAL MINER - a highly-noble job. An important job. Important to our nation’s economy. I would have flopped at this job for I am terrified of close, dark places. No, I do not want to come back in another life as a rodent if there is anything to reincarnation.

5. COP - are you kidding me? Go to the Police Academy, get yelled at by drill instructors, learn to shoot a loud pistol and then graduate only to get yelled at my angry citizens, listen to their loud pistols shooting at me and having to wear a blue uniform. Not a chance. I guess I have too much of an ego to be a cop. For sometimes I like to hear a “thanks” for doing a good job. Cops seldom hear any inkling of “thanks,” but they get an earful almost daily of complaints.

6. DITCH DIGGER - I cannot stand the monotony of working in a straight line--all day long, digging the same dirt, throwing it over my shoulder into the same place. I get bored easily. This is nothing against ditch diggers, if there are still any around. Today’s ditch diggers use machines called a “Ditch Witch,” to do their digging. The machine is air conditioned, has a CD player and power steering. Still, I might get to jamming out with a Steppenwolf tune and dig into the city hall. Not for me either.

7. FARMER - takes too much of something I don’t have: patience. I would have been the type of farmer that plows his field, plants the seed and yell, “hurry up,” in the same day to make sure my seeds came up. And people would make fun of me for talking to the ground. Now I don’t mind getting laughs from people, but being LAUGHED AT is a different animal entirely.

8. FIGHTER - I hate bruises. Especially on my face. I love my eyes and the ability to see with them. I would not look good with swollen, bruised-up eyes and having to hear mockers sing, “geepers, creepers, where’d ya’ get them peepers?” I will leave the boxing to the professional pugilists…that means fighters. I have waited for years for just the right time to use that word, ‘pugilist,’ that I heard in 1984. Thanks, HubPages.

9. GIGOLO - well now here is a regular ‘dream job’ for the man who is in good shape, physically speaking. I mean what mean wouldn’t love the idea of wining and dining a different gorgeous lady every night of the week and be rewarded (by this gorgeous lady) with expensive suits; jewelry; cars and cash? I would have not been a good gigolo because I do not resemble Richard Gere, nor can I hold up to “please,” a bevy of beautiful ladies every week that comes. I need my nap time and television time for my college football games. Besides, I am not a good small talker with the women who would “keep me” on their social schedule. I do not know that many things to talk about.

10. PIANIST - my late dad was a self-taught violinist. And very good at it. I tried once to play the guitar but soon found out the hard-but-truthful way that God did NOT gift me with any musical abilities. Fact is, I have sought God for years to tell me just what it is that He gave me to do while I am here in this life, and guess what? God has never told me, but this I know for sure. I am NOT a pianist, guitarist, or violinist. I love music. And I would have loved to play an instrument. Any instrument. But that talent went to Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison and more. I am still seeking God regardless. Just to be sure that He hasn’t changed His mind.

11. PREACHER - that is obvious. A person has to know lots about The Bible in order to preach or teach The Bible to people. I know some of the Bible, but not enough to be a preacher. I know some good guys who are preachers and they all agree that preaching can rub people the wrong way sometimes and you are leaving yourself wide-open for persecution and ridicule. I guess I like friends too much. Besides, for me to preach at this late stage of life, would mean for me to embarrass God with my lack of knowledge in His Word to be effective. The world has only one Billy Graham.

12. PRIVATE EYE - I hate sneaking around after dark spying on people’s husbands or wives who might be cheating on them. I hate being shot at with a gun. The pay is alright, but the risk would have been too great to get shot, stuffed in a garbage can (Hefty, of course), and dumped in Lake Superior. I don’t like the feeling of being covered with seaweed.

13. PSYCHIC - I did not and still don’t have whatever a psychic has to look into someone’s past or future and predict what they will wear the next day, whom they will marry and how many kids they will parent. Oh, I might have faked my way through the job of a psychic and say, “Oh, I see that you will get out of bed tomorrow, dress, go to your job, work like a dog, and complain to your coworkers about not having a ‘gift’ like a psychic who just tells you what you already know and charges you a fortune in the process.” Even psychics are libelous to be beaten up, shot and run out of town. I would have looked pretty awkward in a veil.

14. RON PAUL - I am not intelligent enough to be like Ron Paul, candidate for President of The United States. Paul went to college, worked hard, and see where this is going? It would not have been simple enough for me to just wake up one morning and proclaim to the world that I am going t be a master-politician, leader of men, able to form and steer public opinion. No, and again, I hate to keep saying this, but even a politician has to make everyone happy all of the time. I would have been a terrible politician for I just know that I would have made a decision to vote for a plan that I thought was opening a new plant in my district, only to find out I voted to close it. And I hate being cursed out, beaten, threatened, and that was from my wife for being so blind.

15. STEPHEN HAWKING - smartest man in the world. Hawking’s most-simple thoughts can easily boggle people with IQ’s as low as mine. Like being a preacher, I truly think that God gave Hawking and those like them, their gifts of superior-thinking. I do. And with some high-level education, Hawking is easily a true genius in every sense of the word. Although I have hungered for wisdom such as Hawking’s, it wasn’t in God’s plans. And to be honest, I really make a lousy job of delivering lectures.

In all honesty and heart-felt sincerity, I envy those in life who are highly-intelligent, creative, witty, musically-gifted, and filled with common sense. I guess, with all the time of sitting on the sidelines ‘watching the endless parade of life” go marching by, I have arrived at one startling conclusion:

What is a parade without people who stand by to watch it go by?


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