Odd jobs are a thing in my family. At least on my father’s side. I’m sure it has something to do with being a family of immigrants. My grandfather immigrated from Germany when he was 14 or 15, having jumped ship after joining the merchant marines. He would become a bricklayer, although he preferred the term mason, and made sure each of his sons knew the family business, as he put it. My grandmother was also from Germany, although I don’t know her story.
My father went into the military and served in Viet Nam. He came home with two purple hearts. After the military he took a job as a carney. He followed that up with driving a semi cross country, and then a dumpster hauling rocks and dirt and whatever else that was needed to and from construction sites.
Carney is an odd job if there ever was one. It is also a romanticized occupation. Probably because it’s the closest that someone can be to becoming a working hobo traveling from place to place. It’s an interesting way to see the world and meet new people. I never asked, but I’m sure my dad had some interesting stories to tell from those days.
Much like my father I have had my share of odd jobs. I’ve worked in fast food; I’ve done freelance writing which involved everything from concert and venue reviews to homeschool curriculum. I worked for BlogTalkRadio when it was just a start up. I worked for the Psychic Readers Network, otherwise known as the “Miss Cleo Psychic Hotline.”
Miss Cleo became the star of the network with her “Call me now” adverts done in a fake Jamaican accent. I often wish for her unique kind of charisma that made her so popular. It would be a welcome change from nerd charisma, at least temporarily.
If you want to know about Miss Cleo, you can do a quick Google search and learn her real name was Youree Dell Harris, she was a lesbian, and she died in 2016 from colorectal cancer. She was also named in numerous lawsuits against Access Resource Services, who owned the psychic network. One of the law suits was brought about by the FCC, the others were filed by at least 10 individual states. Harris and Access Resource Serves were charged with, for among other things, false advertising and deceptive billing. Harris was not indicted, as she was only an employee.
How did I become a phone psychic?
At 19 I thought it would be a fun idea to learn to read tarot cards. It would make for a neat party trick, only I was the sort that didn’t go…