My Jobs Before Being and Author

My friend Holly K. suggested a blog subject to me last week-“It would be neat to hear about your past jobs!  Did you work in High School/College?  What did you do before you became an author and started publishing?  What does your husband do?”

I got to thinking about Holly’s blog prompt and decided that, not only would it be fun to blog it, but it would be kind of a run/random personal history thing to have jotted down somewhere, too!  So…here I go!  (I hope I don’t bore you too much!)

My first “paid” job (though it wasn’t official and stuff) was…are you ready…ironing!  I  think I was about 13 when this lady my Mom knew hired me to do her ironing a couple times a week.  Now, maybe you’re thinking, “Big deal!  I iron all the time!”  But the lady I ironed for was serious about her ironing!  She liked to have EVERYTHING ironed!  I ironed her sheets and pillow cases, her husband’s handkerchiefs (which I used to have to really NOT think about what they’d previously been used for)!  I ironed her husband’s shirts, her draperies, her husband’s pants…I’m talking anything that could be ironed she wanted ironed and I ironed it!  I think I made a whopping $3.00 an hour…which was way more than I made for babysitting at the time!  I can’t remember how long I had that “job”…but it was a lot of ironing!  Good thing ironing is right up there with folding clothes as my favorite household chores.  I think it’s kind of relaxing to iron or fold clothes.

Now, my first REAL job…you know with a W-2 and a real paycheck, was working for a florist during holidays!  I think I made a whopping $3.25 and hour or something at that job.  Blank’s Partyline Florist!  Yep!  I was a rose-dethorner at the shop and/or I sold flower arrangements and individual stems at book in the Coronado Mall (I think they call it a Kiosk now or something, right?) in Albuquerque.  I actually loved that job and would’ve liked to have worked at a florist anytime I needed to work.  But I made a lot more money when I started working at…

Digital Equipment Corporation in Albuquerque as a Receptionist/Secretary my junior year of high school.  Way back in the old days (early 1980s) “Office Education” was big!  Back when secretaries did the work of a paralegal and stuff, but didn’t get paid as much, right?  Anyway, I was a big Office Education student, and part of the program was working in an office.  We had to interview for the jobs and stuff and everything, and I landed the one at Digital Equipment.  I made like $5.50 an hour, which was well over minimum wage at the time.  Yep!  Believe it or not, I could type over 100 words a minute, draft any kind of legal or business document, transcribe dictation, answer phones, yadda yadda yadda!  I worked at Digital through my senior year.  Then I quit…can’t remember why…and spent the summer before my first year at college as a receptionist at…

Matteucci and Matteucci Law Firm in downtown Albuquerque.  My mom landed that job for me, because she had been their secretary forever!  It was fun to work in the same office as my mom, AND I worked close to where I guy I liked worked downtown at his uncle’s garage, so we met for lunch everyday!  Fun!

Well, in August of 1983, I headed up to good ol’ Rexburg, Idaho for college!  I auditioned for a dance band (it was actually a class you could take then), made it in as the lead female vocalist, and that eventually led to our band playing paid ‘gigs’ and a little extra cash!

In the summer between college semesters, I worked at Anthony’s.  It was a retail clothing store…like a Mervyn’s or JCPenny, but not in the mall.  I actually, liked that job the least of any I had ever had in my life!  It was too easy to spend all my money on clothes AND I just hated the salary/commission thing!

When Kevin and I got married in December of 1984, I started working as a receptionist/secretary in a Dental office.  The Dentist the owned it was a difficult guy…flirty and a pretty rotten dentist.  (I found out later that he did his early work in Vietnam…on Vietnamese POWs.  I think that explains a lot of why he wasn’t a very tender dentist.)  The other dentist in that office was AWESOME!  One of the best I’ve ever known, and after I left that office and the good dentist broke out into his own practice, I went to him for years and years!  My kids did, too!

Because I wasn’t digging the head dentist at the dental office, I did quit that job and went to work at the Modrall Law Offices in downtown Albuquerque.  I was a file clerk/secretary and this was kind of a fun job for two reasons.  Number one, my mom had changed law firms (and was working for a big firm that was often the opposing side in cases Modrall worked on) and she and I met for lunch every day!  I loved those times with my mom!  We’d meet downtown in one of the plazas or at a little restaurant and spend an hour just talking.  It was wonderful!  I also liked the people I worked with!  I remember this one girl who had had a terrible experience in her apartment complex when a little elderly man in the apartment above her died and no one knew it for a couple of weeks and he had dogs and…okay, I’ll stop there.  Anyway, I really enjoyed that job!

Kevin and I moved in the fall of 1985 and I went to work babysitting these two little boys while their mom worked.  I did that for just a few months until we moved again and I went back to Anthony’s for just a while until I found out I was pregnant with my little Sandy Ann!  That’s when I started my favorite job…being a full-time wife and soon-to-be mother!  LOVED it!

Wife and Mommy was/is/forever will be my favorite, favorite, favorite job!  I love it!  There’s nothing like it!  I’m not someone who needs validation from any other venue than my husband and children!  I know it’s the most important (and lowest paid-ha ha) job in all the whole wide world and I love it!

Now…in like 1996-1997…I did work at home a little, policing and contributing to part of Orson Scott Card’s website…the area where people (mostly youth) could post their poetry and stuff.  I always kind of forget about that job because it was from home and didn’t require a lot of hours.  But Scott paid me every month for about a year, so I guess it was a real job.  Right?

I also did do about a year as a Wal-Mart Photo Lab Tech in like 2000-2001 when we needed some extra cash…and it was my favorite job other than my wife and mother job!  I did enjoy working in the Photo Lab…and I had hours that allowed me to be home when the kids were…but I still didn’t like being gone at all.  Fortunately, I was blessed enough that I didn’t have to stay there more than a year, and I’m thankful I was able to go back to full time wife and mother!

And then, in August of 2001, The Heavenly Surrender was published–but that’s another, very very very long story!

Whew!  That was long!  Sorry.  Holly did ask what my husband does, too.  Well, Kevin (aside from being a sexy beast who inspires romance novels) was a Food Broker before taking over my PR (which, incidentally, about saved my life!)  He brokered for Private Label brands like Western Family, or Store Brands, depending on which grocery store chain he worked for at the time.  He was a meat cutter, meat department manager, assistant store manager, etc. in our early married years.  But quickly moved into the brokerage business.  Needless to say, he was AWESOME at it, AND a profound marketing guru!  When the grocery industry began to change (you know, when the Mart of Walls started monopolizing everything) Kevin decided to branch out into Land Development.  But in 2008 he recognized that I needed a PR/Business guru of my own and made the faithful leap to getting all that stuff in line!  Thank HEAVEN!!!!

I hope that’s enough info, Holly (probably WAAAYYYYY tooooo much)!  Are you finished yawning?  Or are you asleep already?  🙂

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8 Responses to My Jobs Before Being and Author

  1. Becki K. says:

    That was so fun to read and very interesting! I haven’t had very many jobs in my lifetime, as I started my wife/mommy job at a young age, but I have to agree that it is my most favorite job! And being a mommy is all I ever wanted to be when I was growing up. I didn’t want to go to college or anything. I wanted to be a mommy! Best job EVER!! Loved the post!

  2. Stacey says:

    Marcia! You are quite the Jack-ie of all trades! Wow! How fun to read that! I am boring…grocery store thru high school and college, salons after that and now being CEO of the Hall family! I love it! Great post, it is always fun getting to know you more and more!!

  3. Nicole N. says:

    Saw that this blog was per the request of my friend Holly K. & decided I had to read it STAT!! I loved hearing about your various jobs! They definately didn`t make me yawn! Boy, it sounds like you enjoyed most of them! 😉 & knowing Holly, she would have loved this update were it just a few sentences or even if it had been twice as long as it was! 🙂 Thanks for the update!

  4. Amy says:

    Thanks I really enjoyed reading your post and learning more about you. What fun and interesting jobs you have had.

  5. Holly Kurtzeborn says:

    I loved it! I wasn’t bored one bit! You are so well-rounded! How fun for you to be able to work so close with your mom! I can now see where you got the inspiration for Breck and Sayler as receptionist/secretaries. You lived it in real life! When I was in high school, I used to fold a lady’s laundry (who had 4 kids, so there were lots of clothes)! She didn’t mind washing/rotating it. But she loathed folding it! So she hired me to come over and do it after school once a week. Her couch and loveseat would be HEAPING with everything the family had worn for the week, and I would fold for 2-3 hours! What is it about laundry/ironing that makes a woman desperate enough to hire out for it? 🙂 Haha! You have a beautiful singing voice! It doesn’t surprise me that you would be the lead female vocalist! I watched your video (I think on facebook?) where you sang in someone’s home with a bunch of women around you. Your voice is amazing! How neat that you got to work for Orson Scott Card! I’ve heard that he’s a good author, but I haven’t read any of his books yet. Is there kissing in his books? 😉

    In your new (shirtless & yummy) version of Kissing Cousins, in the author’s note, one of the snippets was about your son wanting to see the Statue of Liberty one summer. You had mentioned that luckily enough Kevin had to go back east as part of his job, so your son’s wish was fulfilled! So I just got to thinking, “What does Mr. Inspiration do?!” I thinks it’s great that you get to work together now! I’m SO glad that you two do what you do! Your books are amazing and I just love ya girl!! It was fun getting to learn more about your past and what makes you who you are! Loved the post!

  6. Candy M. says:

    I enjoyed reading this post! I don’t think anything you write is boring, you have a gift! I too had a job ironing for a short time. I was a young mother trying to figure out how to work and stay home with her sweet baby boy. So I ran a little want ad for ironing, 50 cents a piece. I had a couple of men that responded and I would iron their shirts. It didn’t take me long to discover I wasn’t going to make much money! I iron way too slow! Lol, that was in the mid 80’s. I have been fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom for almost all of our, soon to be 26 (in July) marriage.

  7. Lisa J. says:

    Thanks for the info. I found it interesting – as I do with everything you ever write!

  8. Kachina says:

    My parents went to Ricks around the same time as you. My dad from 81-83, and my mom from 84-86. Funny enough they didn’t even meet until they both went to ISU. Anyhoo…I told my mom about the fact you guys went to college around the same time and she brought out a couple of yearbooks, but we couldn’t find you. Then again I didn’t know what last name to look you up under.
    I LOVE coincidences! They’re fun!

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