Jerry Saltz, the esteemed Art Critic, recently posted his first five jobs on Instagram. Here are mine:
Strawberry picker (Summer job). 13-15 years old. Picking strawberries was just plain boring but gave me the chance to flirt with the girls also picking. Yes, I got fired a couple times, once for putting firecrackers inside the hood of the farmer's transport bus.
Sweep sidewalks and clean dime store windows (After School). 14-17 years old.
Sweeping sidewalks was the most humiliating because other kids always came by and ridiculed my situation. However, I later learned to use sweeping as a tool to have quiet time and attack my own nervous energy.
Cannery Worker, graveyard shift. (Summer College Job). 18 years old. Working in the Cannery was the most grueling scenario, physically and mentally. It was assembly line work with no let-up, but fueled determination. I was fired once for a major spill, but rehired at another Cannery.
Re-Paint room numbers on local high school doors (College Summer Job) 19 years old. Repainting hundreds of room numbers gave me a chance to practice brush skills, perfection, and speed. I was hired because I was the town "artist".
Sort and count screws for inventory (Summer College job) 19-20 years old. Sorting screws and inventory taught patience and big picture goals. Really liked this job and the people I worked with…even the bosses.
Obviously, none of these jobs are on my CV or Bio, but perhaps should be. In some ways they have all contributed to my professional outlook. In retrospect, they were all humbling experiences and gave me some insights into work ethics.