Résumé

Paperboy.
Mower of lawns,
painter of fences;
ice-cream-scooper-
slash-soda jerk,
lumberjack.
Old- folk odd-jobber,
potato peeler
dishwasher
donut seller

Early vocations of a
professional amateur,
experience invaluable;
financed my adolescent
frivolity while banking
interest-compounding
life lessons.

I still make regular
withdrawals.

Radio announcer, sales
consultant, commercial
producer; census taker,
construction worker,
radio station manager.

Boss? For a time.

Different lessons from
more life lived; setbacks
professional, personal –
some debilitating.
Still the bills got paid.

Mostly.

Bellman, waiter, artist.
Driver of vans, limousines,
cars; passengers and data
hauled, coddled, delivered.
Security guard, file clerk,
receptionist, print maker.
Writer, announcer, tutor
…condom inspector?

Yes, I was.

Warehouses, factories, cafes.
Offices, loading docks, streets.
Vehicles, assembly lines, home.
Construction sites, studios,
laboratories and back rooms.
Restaurants, kitchens, hotels.

Service with a smile. Always.

Suits, uniforms, dungarees;
shirts, ties, lab coats, work boots
in prairie dog cubicle villages, dimly
lit, noisy, grimy, OSHA eschewed
houses of manufacture, shipping.
Blue collar, white collar, always
a ring around the collar.

Worked hard. Always.

Case manager, trainer of job
seeking and on-the-job skills; how
to find employment, how to keep it:
promoted, finally to professional.

Middle age, finding my true calling
the front of a classroom: high school
students looking at the adult world
skeptically, lacking the confidence,
missing the skills, high on bravado,
looking to me for all the answers.

Credibility an issue, as they see me
as privileged, incapable of relating
to them: their world, lives, dangers.

If it were only as simple as that.

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8 thoughts on “Résumé

  1. connie March 12, 2011 / 10:43 am

    condom inspector?? Was that a paid position?

    Like

  2. slpmartin March 12, 2011 / 12:57 pm

    Really love this poem a lot…like looking at a snapshot of someone’s life…brilliant structure.

    Like

  3. Ron March 12, 2011 / 2:07 pm

    Well done Mark. I could actually picture you in each job…. well except condom inspector. The only picture I got of that was more I Love Lucy. I loved the snappy rhythm with your signature one line mental breaks.

    Like

    • poetluckerate March 13, 2011 / 10:41 am

      I can see how YOU would see that! No candy assembly line here…it was, in fact, one of the more tedious jobs I ever had (the novelty wore off my lunch of the first day) but does make for a great story. Its been over 20 years, and my mother, of all people, still can’t relate the story with a straight face.

      Odd marketing fact: the peak season for condom sales (or at least, was) between Thanksgiving and Valentines Day. Go figure.

      Both puns inuendos above intended.

      Like

  4. Paul Sears March 12, 2011 / 6:40 pm

    There is some type of world record here …

    Like

  5. LIllian Iverson March 14, 2011 / 8:50 am

    Well, yes — of all the “curious” jobs you have had, that one certainly seems to take the cake (King Cake?)…

    Like

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