Someone asked me recently what I’d be if I wasn’t what I am. My first thought was “inhuman.” But, he narrowed his query to occupations.

It’s hard to imagine what I might have been since it’s a little confusing to me as to what I am now. Oh, there are a lot of things that I’ve thought about over the years that I would like to be. Mostly taller, richer and better looking. 

They say that if you put your mind to it, you can be anything you want to be. But no amount of thinking ever made me taller. 

I did think once that I’d like a job inspecting mirrors. I could see myself doing that.

But rather than go into all the could-a-beens and what might-a-beens, perhaps people don’t realize all the different things I have been in the past 40 years. I’ve always kept one hand in the ink bottle, but I’ve had a number of odd jobs, side gigs and careers. 

One former job that I think about over and over was when I was the Director of the Office of Duplication, Repetition and Redundancy. I’d like to have a do-over with that job. 

I remember when I gave my Superintendent of Supervising a file to work on, and he said he already did it once. So I fired him. I fired him three times that week. We had a saying in that office: anything worth doing is worth doing again.

One of the easiest jobs I ever had was when I was a diesel fitter in a pantyhose factory. As the pantyhose would come off the assembly line, I’d hold them up and say, “Yep, deese’ll fit her.”

I quit that job to work in a calendar factory. But I got fired for taking a day off.

I got fired from my job as a watchmaker for putting in too much overtime.

I got fired from my job at a bank, too. A customer asked me to check his balance, so I pushed him over.

Then I answered an ad in the paper, but you’ve got to be careful. It said they needed people for ground-breaking work. I overlooked the part that said, “must bring your own shovel.”

The most remarkable job I ever had was making whiteboards. The company also made blackboards, but they let me go when I tried to desegregate the two divisions. 

With crazy intentions, I went to work in a locomotive factory. Everyone there was a trainee. My career was on track until it was derailed for bringing in a pack of gum. No chew-chewing allowed. I think I was railroaded.

I worked in a place that made canned goods. But I got canned because I wasn’t good enough. My boss said I missed work too much. Truthfully, I didn’t miss it that much. 

I left one job because of something my boss said. He said, “You’re fired.”

I tried barbering but I couldn’t cut it. I didn’t have the patience to be a doctor. I couldn’t concentrate at the orange juice factory, and the muffler shop was exhausting. 

One of the best jobs I ever had was in a paperless office. Everything was fine until I needed to use the restroom.

© Copyright 2020 by David Porter who can be reached at Now, if I could get paid for sleeping, that would be my dream job.