Work is a four-letter word!

By MaryAnn

First, let me post a disclaimer: this blog post is not about my current job!

It’s about some of the other jobs I had along the way to this one. That list  includes the  summer spent working as a farm laborer, and one working at the local drive-in (restaurant, not movie theater, for those of you who can remember that far back).

My friend’s parents owned a tomato field. At 7 a.m. and bleary-eyed, we rode standing in an open-bed farm truck from the downtown Shell station  to the farm field 5 miles out in the country.  The work was back-breaking and sweaty, bending over the seedling tomato plants and tying them up. As the plants grew taller, we learned to pull off the sucker shoots. To this day, I can tie and sucker tomatoes in my sleep. We camehome covered in  green plant stain and chemical pesticide. Is that what causes brain tumors? All that fun for about $1.35 an hour. As a side benefit, I got severely sunburned, since this was the days before sunscreen. I still have scars to prove it.

My next memorable work experience was a summer at the Point Drive-In. The Point was famous for its Slurpees, or some such sugar-and-ice creation colored with red or purple food dye, and we were told we could have all we wanted, but not to use the Slurpee cups, since that’s where the real cost was. The food was basic drive-in fare: burgers and fries, chili dogs, and Slurpees. There must have been some other drinks, but I honestly don’t remember. The amount of Slurpees I consumed that summer must have sugar-coated my memory. Or maybe it was the red dye.

Keep in mind that both these jobs were before I had a driver’s license, so my parents had to provide transportation. When the shifts at The Point got too late, or they wanted me to work on Sunday, my father put his foot down. End of job. Although before I left, I did  work one day up on the mountain at another business owned by the same man. This tourist attraction featured an Old West town accessible only by chair lift, complete with shoot-em-up gunfights. It was an experience I hope to never repeat. And, before you ask: no, I did NOT participate in the gunfight.

But enough about me. If you’d like a job that doesn’t feel like a four-letter word,  your Fontana Regional Library is the place to start. There are web resources accessible from our home page  at, and books on topics such as running your own business and how to write a resume. Try Resumes for dummies or The resume and cover letter book to help you search for a new job. If you want to work for yourself, take a look at The everything start your own business book or So you want to start a business? or maybe Entreleadership.

However you choose to spend your time, your library is the best place to start a new job  search or career exploration!

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