John Bear
John Bear

I can say without hesitation that journalist is my favorite job ever. Even if I complain about it. A lot.

As real jobs go, it's gold. (Of course, if reality were no obstacle, I'd be a Texas outlaw country singer or the greatest film director of all time. But alas, I am bound by the confines of reality, most of the time, so journalist will have to do.)

Sure, the pay isn't great, and the hours suck, and people are always mad at me, and most days I feel like I'm defusing a bomb. But there is free coffee and a certain freedom that comes with doing something different every day, even if it's a sleepy city council meeting.

It's also the only job I've had where my sarcasm, problems with authority and incessant smart-ass comments are looked upon as virtues. I've stuck with it because I'd likely be fired and possibly brought up on charges at any other job.

But it was a long road figuring it out. Most of it is not going on the resume. I've had about 25 jobs and been fired 13 times, usually for not showing up but occasionally for outright insubordination. I've quit several jobs because I simply couldn't abide micromanaging fascists bosses. Hey, I'm principled. In my defense, I've been steadily employed since I was 17. I've washed dishes, cooked sopapillas, tutored English, stacked adobe bricks, made bagels, set up banquet tables and detailed cars. There were others, but the statute of limitations likely hasn't passed, so moving right along. ...


My second-favorite job was delivering pizza for a year in a scary part of Albuquerque. You learn a lot about people delivering pizza. For example, street gang members always tip, not great, but steady. Early on in my pizza career, a guy came to the door with a two-foot tattoo of the Virgin of Guadalupe on his back with "Fuck the World" in big cursive script across the top. I was not expecting anything and would have been happy just walking out alive. He gave me a dollar. I felt bad. Best tattoo ever, by the way.

Washing dishes was my third-favorite job. No one expects anything of you and you don't disappoint.

I was a telemarketer for two hours. That was the worst job ever. I don't recall what I was selling. They handed me a script and a list of numbers. It was awful. I interrupted dinners, woke up people still asleep before their 12-hour night shift and elicited a giggle from a woman who thought I was a terrible script reader. I sold two of whatever I was selling. That allowed me to pick a prize balloon of a corkboard. I grabbed a balloon, but set it down and walked out after hearing the manager badger someone on the phone who wasn't buying what he was selling. Heroin peddlers have more class.

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