Picture of the Stud in its heyday
I got laid off because I was underage

It wasn’t until I wrote the fourth book (A Quarter) that I at last had one of those “know thyself” moments. I have been laid off or fired from nearly two dozen jobs. I’m smart, very good at solving problems…but I don’t fit in with corporate culture. I don’t even fit in with anti-establishment culture. Here is an incomplete inventory of the jobs where I had to quit or was let go for incompetence, under-agedness, or spite:

  • Vallejo Times Herald – Paper boy
  • William Morris Reproductions – Wallpaper sample pack creator
  • Union Hotel – Busboy
  • Varsity Theater – Ticket vendor
  • Second Coming Records – Store clerk
  • Patricia Field – Shop girl
  • Milk Bar – Janitor and Barback
  • Diggery Inn – Dishwasher
  • Stud Bar Barback
  • Sparky’s – Prep cook
  • Grubstake – Dishwasher
  • International Center -Towel boy
  • Marcello’s Pizza – cashier
  • Broadmoor Hotel – Slave/Waiter
  • Peachy’s Puffs – Cigarette boy
  • New Line Cinema – 3rd Production Accountant
  • Tupperware Lady
  • Sixteen to Life – Assistant to Executive Producer
  • Married to the Kellys – Assistant to Line Producer
  • New Line Cinema – Product placement assistant
  • Ascent Media – Project manager
  • Miller Group – Advertising account manager
  • Deluxe Media – Billing process manager

A few jobs in my life were a decent match. They ended for reasons like a major geographical move, or widespread layoffs:

  • Marriott’s Great America – Self-reflexive juice salesman
  • Tower Records – Store clerk
  • TimeShare Consultants – Phone sex bookkeeper filer and dog walker
  • Italian Welfare Agency – Social worker
  • Italian Cultural Institute – Event promoter, News segment producer and Radio DJ
  • Lavender Lounge – Segment producer
  • New Line Cinema -Post production accountant
  • Verestar – Global account manager
  • The Acres – Musician
  • La Lucha – Producer/Director/Writer/Editor
  • Deluxe Media – Manager – Overseas Back Office
  • Psychotic Break Series – Author

The primary pattern: I need to express myself and feel good about the work I’m doing. I need to be in a group of similarly creative and quirky outcasts. I have waxing and waning periods of creativity and energy, so I need to have a job that lets me make my own hours or is only intermittent work. Travel and languages keep me interested for a while, too. Tower Records was a really great group of people. I loved working there. Second Coming Records was hell in a glass box. I write about them in the prequel. Several people who worked there have been diagnosed with PTSD. So, if I’m going to work for the man, the boss better be cool.

The boss on this one was super cool…me!