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Memories of Part-Time Jobs

From janitor to translator, Paul has had many jobs in his lifetime. Real estate agent, laborer, and security guard have been interesting.

Janitorial Work

A janitor's cart with cleaning tools and supplies

A janitor's cart with cleaning tools and supplies

Part-Time Jobs

Throughout my life, I have had various part-time jobs. By part-time jobs, I mean work in addition to full-time 40 hours per week employment. These jobs have ranged from a postal clerk while I was attending college to realtor work in 1994.

You might say I was a glutton for punishment by working at least 12 hours Monday through Friday and sometimes hours on Saturday and Sunday. The fact of the matter is that I needed money while attending college. I also required extra money for my family when I started with a low pay grade with the federal government. Later I continued taking part-time jobs when I wanted extra possessions for my family. Money is a strange thing. You can never get enough of it, because according to a Taiwanese saying, "Money has four legs, but humans only two."

In this article, I recall all of the part-time jobs which I have had in my lifetime. My work as a security guard and real estate agent is detailed in the links which I have to two articles. I especially remember all of the years that I worked as a part-time janitor.

Working as a Postal Clerk

My first part-time job as a postal clerk occurred in 1965. During the summer of that year, I was attending classes at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. At that time, I was living in the Lakeshore Halls dormitory and found employment in the small post office outlet on campus servicing three dormitories with a total of about 300 residents. After attending classes in the morning, I worked Monday through Saturday from 1:00-5:00 selling stamps and sorting incoming mail.

I worked as a postal clerk inside the Tripp Gatehouse during the summer of 1965.

I worked as a postal clerk inside the Tripp Gatehouse during the summer of 1965.

Delivering Pizzas

While attending graduate school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, I briefly worked delivering pizzas in January 1967. From about 7:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. four nights a week, my job was to deliver pizzas on and off-campus. Unfortunately, this work lasted only three or four days due to an accident that I had on Superbowl Sunday. It was my last delivery of the day, and on that foggy night, I was rear-ended by a drunken motorist. My boss almost cried when he saw me at the scene of the accident. Mr, Loy wasn't concerned about my physical condition, but rather about the damage to his vehicle. Luckily I wasn't hurt in the accident but was fired the next day when I reported for work.

Working as a Security Guard

My part-time work as a security guard occurred in the fall of 1979. I had recently returned from living in Taiwan and was employed during the day as an ESL tutor in the Toledo Public School system. Since that work didn't pay very much, I worked 10 hours on both Friday and Saturday nights from about 8:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. One of my assignments was patrolling an ice cream plant and the lot where trucks were parked. Another assignment was keeping watch on an estate in the northwestern suburbs of Toledo. The work wasn't very difficult or dangerous, but it was very boring and chilly because I spent a lot of time outside.

Employment as an ESL Teacher

Although I taught ESL full time for a year in Toledo and for many years in Taiwan and Thailand, I did have the occasion to teach it twice part-time. The first time was in 1981 after I had just started working for the federal government in Maryland. As an ESL instructor with the Anne Arundel County Adult Basic Education Program, I taught English conversation to a group of foreign-born at Fort Meade, Maryland, two nights a week. The second occasion happened while I was teaching EFL full time at a Bangkok, Thailand, area school. During the period 2009-2010, I taught EFL to a class of 20 adults who were employed in a Bangkok company.

Author as ESL Teacher in Bangkok


Part-Time Janitorial Work

During the 1980s, I spent a lot of time doing janitorial part-time work while I was employed with the federal government in the Baltimore, Maryland area. My first period of work was from April 1982 until August 1984, and then from September 1985 until August 1990.

My job was working with a 30-35 person crew cleaning a seven-story office building near the Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Work hours were from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. This made for a very long work week since my full-time hours were from 6:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Very often I would work on Saturdays and Sundays from 7:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

On Monday through Friday, my job primarily entailed cleaning a zone of offices on one of the seven floors. In fulfilling this task, I was expected to first remove all of the trash from the rooms and also clean ashtrays. Next, I had to dust, polish furniture, and vacuum all of the carpets.

When not engaged in cleaning offices, I would occasionally be on the latrine crew cleaning restrooms, sweeping and mopping corridors, or cleaning the building cafeteria.

Weekend work was the most difficult because I often was on a crew stripping, cleaning, and waxing office floors and corridors. One of the most undesirable jobs was using a chemical to clean the yellow tar residue from the ceilings of offices. Up until the late 1980s, all employees could smoke inside offices.

I did janitorial work for many years because the pay was good and the job location was very near my residence.

Real Estate Work in 1994

My last part-time job was working as a realtor for nine months in 1994. I originally got my realtor's license in December of 1993 and decided to do real estate work hoping that it would turn into full-time employment after I retired.

As a novice realtor in an office of Century 21 in the Baltimore area, I was expected to work Monday through Friday from 5-9 p.m. and sometimes on Saturdays. My duties were answering office phone calls, meeting new clients who wanted to buy or list their homes for sale and making cold calls soliciting clients to list their homes for sale with Century 21.

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This part-time job only lasted for nine months because I quickly learned that I did not have the personality to be a realtor. The best I could do was to earn a small commission for referring a home buyer to another Century 21 office.


in recalling the past, some of my part-time work was necessary to make ends meet. Other part-time work wasn't essential, and it caused my family life to suffer.

  • Working as a Security Guard
    I have held a number of jobs in my life from the lowest blue collar to white collar work. How I became a security guard and doing this work in Toledo, Ohio, in 1979 are highlighted in this hub.
  • Working for Century 21 as a Real Estate Agent
    A real estate agent has very interesting, challenging, and often frustrating work. It isn't a job which everyone can do. This hub details my experience working for Century 21 as a real estate agent.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 Paul Richard Kuehn


Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on October 22, 2016:

Thank you very much for commenting on this hub. The affect of a part time job on family life must definitely be concerned.

Dianna Mendez on October 22, 2016:

Your post helps me think through obtaining a part time job. I am considering one at the moment. As you said, we have to know if it is actually going to help or not with family life.

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on October 12, 2016:

No, no ancestor research. There are otherz in the family who enjoy this.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on October 12, 2016:

Hi Meg, Thank you very much for your comments. It is so true that work can be used as a way of getting away from family time. This was my downfall and it certainly didn't help my first marriage. Have you ever done ancestor research? I just can not find out very much about my paternal great-grandfather.

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on October 12, 2016:

I am glad that I did not have to work part time when a student, though I worked in the long vacation. Yes, sometimes work can be used as a way of getting out of family time. Very interesting stories.

Paul Richard Kuehn (author) from Udorn City, Thailand on October 10, 2016:

@charlynjune , Thank you very much for your comments and I'm happy you liked this article. Yes, the pizza delivery job was a sad experience and I really learned a lot about my boss from the experience.

Charlyn June from Philippines on October 10, 2016:

Wow! I really love reading articles like this. It makes me feel too much motivated knowing that I am not alone in this world. I feel sad about the pizza delivery job though. Anyway, gone are those days and it is nice knowing that we all learn a lot from such experiences. :) You are a hard worker sir.. :) cheers!

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