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Goner Message Board / ???? / Goner Jobs - must they always suck?
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 5:02 pm
 
The "straight jobs" thread got me thinking...my boss is out of the office today and I can post to my heart's content...

I've been at this new job for over a month. After the initial euphoria of getting out of my previous flunky job wore off, I decided that this one, while better in many areas, is still a flunky job and I can't see myself doing it for more than a year or two. At least I'm making more so I can save up some dough.

Anyway, I've always had a job while I've been making this loser rock n' roll noise since I never had any delusions about making any money from it. It cuts into your ability to tour, but the benefits are that it wards off starvation and I get to have my own place with no roommate. So far I've been a delivery truck driver, worked in a warehouse, roofed houses office temp, record store geek, pizza joint, etc. etc.

-I know Bloodshot Bill tours all the time, I asked him about it last time he was in town. He tours nine months outta the year (!) but then he also lives with his parents. Not an option I'm willing to explore.

-Mick Collins was still living with his folks too, last I heard. And he's a "success" as far as the rock n' roll goes.

Spencer P. Jones was in a band that had a major label deal, toured all over, and had the kind of musical career that most people would envy. When I saw him last year he had just gotten back from a European tour - and was back to his day job working the counter at an art supply store.

-April Novack was telling me when last in town how she wants to go back to grad school or sumthin'. In the meantime she's touring a lot, and living with her parents.

-Buddy of mine who is an experimental art noise-type is getting ready to go on tour in a month. In the meantime, he's clearing brush and trimming trees. It's summer in Texas. Damn. Makes this gig seem cushy in comparison. I know his job history, he's a smart guy and he's had a string of meaningless retail gigs and whatnot.

So, shit, does anybody have any "success" in the job area? I don't mean monetarily, just finding one that doesn't suck? One you actually enjoy? One that allows you time to pursue music (if you aren't in a band, doesn't interfere with your going to shows and getting drunk)? I tend to think there's gonna be no retirement or social security for my generation, so I feel like I better find a gig I like since I'll be doing it my whole damn life. After working in a record store I came to the conclusion that I might be better off finding a job that had NOTHING to do with music, so that I'd be more likely to want to think about music when I wasn't working. Didn't wanna listen to no records after being at the record store all day.

Anyway, gimme some input here, a ray o' sunshine, SUMTHIN', people! Theresa K., if you've got some wisdom to impart (having been in the rock n' roll bag for quite awhile and still rolling) please, I'm listening...
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 5:11 pm
 
I feel a little bit better about living with my folks now.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 5:12 pm | Edited by: Jack Stands
 
I am constantly scheming to "find a way out". After 8 years at this job, I still haven't found it. And with a family and house note/car note(s)/school loans/etc., it seems even harder.
Only conclusion I've come to is do a bunch of shit "on the side". Playing, writing, recording other bands (usually for free), whatever. Some day it'll pay off. And if not, well, I can rest easy knowing I kept doing what I wanted to do.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 5:20 pm
 
i'm going straight to grad school. but in the meantime i do odd jobs and work at school. no benefits. shitty pay. dead end.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 5:55 pm
 
I've been thinking about grad school, too. Don't know for what, tho', which is part of the problem. I've also got no debt, and the thought of taking on 20 to 40 grand in student loans is unappealing, to say the least. Plus, it's one thing to be in a band while working some job, but I imagine if I was in grad school I'd have to put any touring/recording/playing on hold for a couple years...
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 6:34 pm
 
i dont live with my parents, but i might as well kinda..our dad pays half of our rent, cuz the jobs in Mi. are still scarce unless you wanna be a temp worker for ever with no insurance. So im currently working in the Mental Assistance field.. (if there is such a field..?) it pays like shit, and has no insurance available. High school diplomas dont mean shit these days.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 6:55 pm
 
I've been thinking about grad school, too. Don't know for what, tho', which is part of the problem. I've also got no debt, and the thought of taking on 20 to 40 grand in student loans is unappealing, to say the least. Plus, it's one thing to be in a band while working some job, but I imagine if I was in grad school I'd have to put any touring/recording/playing on hold for a couple years...

There ya go Schooley....a rockabilly reality show!
HUBBA! HUBBA! HUBBA!

I deal with a lot of morons at my job...the part of the populace that makes you wonder why the palnet has susrvided this long...

At the same time...I make a decent living. I get to tour. I use my desk at work as my own office. So it ain't so bad.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 7:00 pm
 
Start your own business. Be in control of your own destiny. I run a small business and eventually I will start my own. The only way to avoid working for the man is to be the man.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 7:04 pm
 
Most of the people I know who start their own businesses work WAAAAY harder/more hours/less pay than people who work for somebody else..."being your own boss" isn't all it's cracked up to be...
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 7:08 pm
 
But they are in control of their own destiny. I'd rather work longer hours if I knew all the rewards generated were mine.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 7:09 pm
 
I run a small business and eventually I will start my own.

Please let me known when you fail, your dreams are crushed and you end up homeless. I will have a good laugh.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 7:11 pm
 
Most of the people I know who start their own businesses work WAAAAY harder/more hours/less pay than people who work for somebody else..."being your own boss" isn't all it's cracked up to be...

In the words of the Fonz, who owned his own business, "Correctamundo!"
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 7:11 pm
 
Owning your own biz is too scary a proposition for me - I need consistant income. My parents went through hell with their own business, working constantly in and outside the business, and I'm never working that fucking hard. If you have some creative endeavor that takes off, I could see that for sure. I'll just work for "The Man" and bide my time until I can commit the Great Heist.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 7:22 pm
 
I run a small business and eventually I will start my own.

Please let me known when you fail, your dreams are crushed and you end up homeless. I will have a good laugh.


See, that's the thing. I've worked since I was 13 years old. Work does not scare me. If I were to fail, I would know that I did my best and move on. As long as I draw breath, I will not be homeless. I have more dignity than that.

Most of the people I know who start their own businesses work WAAAAY harder/more hours/less pay than people who work for somebody else..."being your own boss" isn't all it's cracked up to be...

In the words of the Fonz, who owned his own business, "Correctamundo!"


I know that being your own boss isn't easy. If it were easy, the banned would do it. Some people are content to go along for the ride, I'd rather drive the bus.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 7:25 pm
 
I've ran own businesses since the age of seventeen. While I've never had a huge amount of monetary success, they've paid the rent. I have my own business at the moment too, and although it doesn't pay the rent, selling plasma does.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 7:25 pm
 
Carney....
Do your own thing...working for others is for chumps, except maybe bartending....the only exception to this is if you have dependants and/or need insurance....
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 7:31 pm
 
My wife and I bought a house about 7 years ago. I was working in Hollywood doing post-production work for years. Anyway the house tripled in value in about 4 years. We bought at the perfect time. We sold the house, took the profit we made and moved to a less expensive area. In our case this is the Mojave desert. Now this house that we currently has gone up by about 25% to 30% and we're going to sell a move to a cracker-box even farther into the middle of nowhere. The plan is to own the place outright and have no morgage payment. We'll still need an income for property taxes, food and supplies but my wife works with mental patients and that kind of work is everywhere. I plan on retiring by my mid 40's... By the way, no help from the family either!
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 7:39 pm | Edited by: judge
 
Get a professional degree/certification and take on clients or contract out for only part of the year.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 7:49 pm
 
The plan is to own the place outright and have no morgage payment.

Right on. Freedom excists if you capitalize on the opportunities that are presented to you. Our house has doubled in value since we bought it. I'm probably going to move to a much smaller and cheaper town in the next few years. With the profits from the house, we can start our business. I worked nearly 20 years at the same rest/bar. Even though I ran the place, I could tour a couple of months out of the year. Once I stopped touring, I could get a much better job that will eventually help me reach my next goal
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 7:54 pm
 
take on clients

i do this. many clients are worse than "the man"
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 7:57 pm
 
I'll kick all your asses.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 8:04 pm
 
Okay, Steve, way to wheel and deal on the real estate. But what's your job that you worked on while making enough to buy the house? So far we've got Edgar and Rick as the only ones happy with their "career path" such as it were...I'm less interested in retiring early than on doing something interesting...I don't mind working, I bust my ass on something I believe in...

Got my haircut last week, my barber (really cool old dude, gotta be in his 70's, used to be a western swing guitar player back in the day) was talking up a storm. He's had some health problems and probably still needs the money, but anyway I don't think he's going to retire 'til he drops. At first you might feel bad for him that he was still working at that age, but he obviously LIKES cuttin' hair, shootin' the shit with other geezers all day, and it gets him outta the house. He'd probably be less happy if "retired" and hangin' out at the old folks home...That said, I have no desire to be a barber. But, works for him...
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 8:26 pm
 
But what's your job that you worked on while making enough to buy the house?
Male Escourt/Gigalo... my wife's cool with it as long save some for her.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 8:27 pm
 
Most people just need to have certain needs met, and as long as those are taken care of, they can handle the day to day drudgery of servitude. Goners are no different from the rest of humanity in this regard.

Real Estate has been very good to me, and I've been self-employed from that since 93' with a few bumps in the road, and completely independant since 97'. There are lots of ways to make money in it, but it may not be your bag.

An old geezer once described happiness as "knowing what you want, and how to get it". You already know what you don't want to do and how you don't want to end up...
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 8:27 pm
 
Just kidding I was answering your other e-mail... Should I just cut and paste it to here?
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 8:31 pm
 
I work as a courier for a bunch of lawyers. It dosen't pay that much, but enough to get by. I get full benefits/insurance too. The work is insanely easy and not very much of it. I'm on the clock for 8 hrs. and only actually work about 2 of those. The key is they let me take off of work as long as I like as long as I come back. I was just gone for over a month touring Europe with my band and cashed in most of my vacation/sick time so I still got paid while I was over there. Sometimes I question my career moves. Everyone does. When my friends have finished their masters degree in Biomedical physics and pulling in well over six g's, I wonder what could have been. But when I tell them my crazy stories from the road, I can see the envy in their eyes.

I guess you have to find out what you want to do (what color is you parachute?) and find any means necessary to do it. Money isn't everything...
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 8:39 pm
 
I like my job okay. I didn't exactly dream about writing software as a small child, but it pays pretty well, has flexible hours, no dress code, and is actually pretty challenging. I just do the shit I want to do at night and on the weekend. It would be nice to have a job where I could just leave for a month or two and have it be waiting when I returned, but that would never happen where I work. We are a software vendor, and our customers are promised certain dates about when new shit will come their way, so my work calendar is currently booked into early next year. That's kind of a shitty feeling, but it's also job security.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 8:42 pm
 
i don't know what to tell you, because i've never been on tour. i used to travel around a lot and practically lived out of my car for a couple years, but i took jobs waiting tables at various points to sustain.

when i started school, i had a lot less freedom, especially because i had to have a job to sustain staying put for a few years while i was in school. i quit that job, thinking i was getting a better one teaching, but that's a long story and i'm stuck again jobless, having to look around for something again. i can't decide whether or not i want something 'good' or just something to keep my head above the water while i am in grad school. i tried for a good job teaching, but it's not coming through and i just wonder what the hell they're looking for in a teacher these days. they bitch about the quality of education and then they don't hire teachers who really wanna make a difference. i'm not taking the job because i can't do anything else or i can't find a job in my field. i wanna teach because i actually want to do it.

thing is, like you, schooley...i wanna bust my ass on something i believe in. and i don't wanna work in a place where i have to do something again that i hate for a company i think is shitty to their employees. i've done that for far too long now. i'm just at that point of where i may have to just bite the bullet for a little longer and take a shitty job just so i can have some income and not be forced to live with my dad.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 8:45 pm | Edited by: Schooley
 
Yeah, heyradio, at my old job last year I did the same thing (cashed out hoarded vacation time) for one tour and then took a leave of absence for another tour, so I was gone two full months and still had a job when I got back! That was cool, until I thought about how it had taken me two years of hoarding to save up that much time. And even though that two months was great, I still spent the majority of my time (the rest of the damn year) at said job...

I forgot about James Arthur. He makes a good living sellin' them fancy lampshades, has enough left over to put out records by me and Steve, flys to China to adopt a baby girl, and still manages to be a completely insane, crazy motherfucker.

My hero.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 8:57 pm
 
I worked in a car factory (parking the cars outside) for three months until I got fired for a carcrash destroying two cars, worked in a "piss factory" for two months, worked as a social worker with mental patients (and was on my bloody own when I had night-shifts) for ten years but that was too long and after the upteenth suicide/overdose/abuse stories I decided to quit and started working for local government. It pays ok, but most of the time I have this what-am-I-doing-here feeling, with all the people around me who're already dead. I'm not of a talented musician so that's no option. Maybe one day I'll start a wine-business, since I have a degree in wine-drinking. I have two small kids and I tend to think they are much more important than an exiting career or whatever. But in winter when days are short, and it's still dark when you leave for work and when you get home it's dark again, one starts to wonder what this is all about... I try to go to as many gigs as possible as a way of compensating the dullness of it all.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 9:15 pm
 
i always worked as a "professional" - in law firms, iand in legal dept's in corporations. at one point, i realized i could work in television or film companies in their legal depts and then laterally move to do the film/tv thing that i preferred to do, but that didn't pay at the learning/entry levels. i always did photography... but it doesn't exactly pay. i was doing rights & clearances within a series at USA when i was in my early 20's, and then the Exec Producer and creator of the show came to one of my photo exhibit openings totally by accident and the next day at work asked me if i wanted to produce segments on the series, and that's when my two skill sets got to morph professionally.
because series television is seasonal, i still got to go on the road with bands too.

the best job advice i ever got was from my dad --- find something that you can do anywhere in the world under any kind of living circumstances, and you will always be able to work, and NEVER do anything mercenary (ie: simply for the money)... always do something that forwards the trajectory of your career, or will add a needed skill to the skill set you must have to achieve your ultimate job goal.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 9:20 pm
 
schooley - the true-life parable above is for you. hope you can extrapolate the parallels in a way that works for you
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 9:31 pm
 
I work for the State of Texas at a giant Research Center/Med. School/Hospital Complex in Dallas. I do signs and graphics for them which isn't creative work at all, but it is art-related so I can pretend I'm using my art degree. The money is pretty good, but the benefits are amazing. Fully paid healthcare, and more time off than I have been able to take. I feel like a zombie sometimes but I can still go to a bunch of shows, and if my band or cartooning/art take off I can hit the road for some good chunks at a time if need be. I'm single and I don't plan to do this forever but who knows.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 9:55 pm
 
Academia has been berry berry good to me. Low stress - plenty of time to post to Goner since we don't have the web controls you might see in the corporate world. I like that I'm not selling shit and that every once in a while I might teach somebody something useful. I'm not getting rich, but the benefits are good and there's lots of pretty young people to look at. If you've got a local university, scan the postings regularly - even staff positions can pay decently if you've been there a few years. It's usually easier to get time off than in the private sector, as well, so you can do important things like go to see bands.

Time off for tours might be a bit more problematic, but the rhythms of academia makes summers your best possibility.

The student loans do suck, though...might not finish paying off those fuckers till I'm just about retired. But I did get to write an article about the '66 garage band scene in my town, and it'll count towards tenure - can't imagine where else I'd get to do that.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 10:01 pm
 
find something that you can do anywhere in the world under any kind of living circumstances, and you will always be able to work, and NEVER do anything mercenary

i am about to go through and take 5 or 6 different praxis test to give myself more leverage in various states and be able to teach essentially anywhere. i think that'd help me out. that and getting outta memphis for grad school. i don't need a PhD from a university where the history department isn't that great, anyway.

i like academia. that's more of what i'm going for eventually. i envy you, finnark. heh.
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 11:42 pm | Edited by: Seamus
 
My only advice is if you wedge you skinny ass (or not so skinny) into a successful, small business, do the following:

1) Create all the systems and practices and inform no co-workers or superiors about them. Make them so complicated (but effective) that they don't even want to know how they work.
2) Pretend to work very hard. This is very important.
3) The result of the above two is that you seem indispensible, now is the time to strike!
4) Demand more time off, more flexible hours and less expectations on appearance (baggy, bloodshot eyes, profound mustaches and mussed hair).
5) Go out and do what you damn well please on your time off and come in to work proudly wearing the effects.

Hope it works out for you!
Posted: Jul 31, 2006 11:52 pm
 
Forget about musicians in our little dead-end, here's what it's like to be "successful."

Dan Melchior was last seen working at the Strand, so I heard.

When I lived in Chicago, the Rainbo Bar was amply stocked with bartenders and doorguys from Wilco. This was when they were at their most popular. About as big as an "indie" (even though they were signed to a major) band can get.

Ted Leo does alright, but he saved for a LOOOOOONG time. The bass player for the Pharmacists is a good friend of mine and he works at Midnight Records mailorder.
Posted: Aug 1, 2006 12:15 am
 
And if you're going to plop down a big chunk of change on higher education, make sure it's something with a better than good chance of paying off. If you're going to get a fruity degree, like my bachelor's, make sure it's free/in-state tuition like mine.
Posted: Aug 1, 2006 12:34 am
 
im starting training for a new job tomorrow (working with Bob Seger) doing home care for disabled adults. im going to school for social work, so it should be good for long run. ive worked at my dads factory for the last 6 years, switching from that is going to be strange, but im looking forward to it.
Posted: Aug 1, 2006 6:14 am
 
start their own businesses
Lock Smith
Plumber
Electricial
Window Washer (Real low startup costs)
Used car and cycle sales

or re-train
medical field is big and skills can transfer to any part of the country..always got sick people. Surgical Tech (if you like blood and gore)
Resp Tech, massage therapy..all these should be in line with job retraining by the state you live in or low cost community college tech degrees.
Posted: Aug 1, 2006 6:15 am
 
start their own businesses
Lock Smith
Plumber
Electricial
Window Washer (Real low startup costs)
Used car and cycle sales

or re-train
medical field is big and skills can transfer to any part of the country..always got sick people. Surgical Tech (if you like blood and gore)
Resp Tech, massage therapy..all these should be in line with job retraining by the state you live in or low cost community college tech degrees.
Posted: Aug 1, 2006 6:16 am
 
make sure it's free/in
what state is that?
Posted: Aug 1, 2006 6:27 am
 
one genius i've run into lately was a guy who came into the store on a weekend, completely STOKED on the rap 12"s we had and plopped down a huge stack without fear. turns out he was a commander in the navy, stationed in hawaii, and was going to retire in 3 years after his 20 years in and was going to open a record store in hawaii. he was basically set for life. that's a tough long-term goal but fuck, lots of us have put 20 years into not much at all and have nothing to show for it.

note: unless you have been a commander in the military, do not open a record store.
Posted: Aug 1, 2006 6:49 am
 
ha. no kidding. i wish i knew what state tuition was free in. i'd be trying to act like i've lived there all my life. i just wish i had in state residency in a state that didn't have a college that sucked. sigh.

medical field is huge right now. you can get people to PAY YOU to go to grad school for that shit. history, not so much. i grew up liking the wrong thing.
Posted: Aug 1, 2006 6:51 am
 
turns out he was a commander in the navy, stationed in hawaii, and was going to retire in 3 years after his 20 years in and was going to open a record store in hawaii.

Was it the guy from Village People?
Posted: Aug 1, 2006 6:54 am
 
unfortunately, no!

but that "In The Navy" is a killer jam!
Posted: Aug 1, 2006 6:56 am
 

note: unless you have been a commander in the military, do not open a record store.


well, you could always enlist now.... they're always looking for a few good men.
Posted: Aug 1, 2006 6:57 am
 
If yer grades are even just decent, Florida will pay for at least half if not all of college.
Posted: Aug 1, 2006 10:20 am
 
I forgot to mention, male stripping and beefcake ala Chipanddale is always a good spot to raise quick cash for that next mariwanna deal.
course you got to smile alot, so good teeth are a prereq.
Posted: Aug 1, 2006 11:42 am | Edited by: kevin e
 
Actually now that I think about it, my mom uses this mobile auto detailing service where the guy takes off to go surfing in Costa Rica a couple times a year. Seems like a pretty good avenue with low start up costs and basic skills.
Posted: Aug 1, 2006 2:05 pm
 
While most of my jobs are mundane, I wouldn't say that they always suck. I work as a temp for local govt. It's flexible, but I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. The pay is pretty good, but finding work is sometimes stressful- I was unemployed 3 months earlier this year because in spite of a degree and 7 years of post-study work experience, I couldn't land a job. I've applied for 47 jobs during the last 4 months, and I'm hoping that I get a permanent one soon.

I study counselling part-time in the hope that one day I'll have a qualification in something that I actually want to do, and that this will allow me to do a job that is interesting and challenging!
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