during my college years, i spent two summers working at a chowder house on the oregon coast. while i could spend a great deal of time retelling countless stories about the experience, one thing that always stood out to me because of the whole experience was rolled silverware.
prior to my time spent there, i had never truly appreciated the small wonder of finding a napkin wrapped around a knife, fork and spoon at my table when i was dining out. i guess you could say that i chalked up this phenomena to “the little man” (you know, the same man who works behind every ATM, dispensing cash) doing this small task that often went overlooked.
since those two summers of spending a great deal of time rolling silverware, i’ve looked at my jobs (both past and present) for those small things that the average person wouldn’t consider. here are a few of mine:
- miniature golf ball/club washer: one summer i spent working at an amusement park which had a miniature golf course. often i would find myself working in this area of the park and would be asked to wash every single club and ball.
- library organizer: i spent the better part of my college days working at the library on campus. one of the tasks that i was assigned to every year was to ensure that all of the microfiche we had in our collection was in the correct order based upon dewey’s system. i can’t even count the number of microfiche that this task involved. tens of thousands, at least.
- i once had the opportunity to participate with a major remodel of a national big-box retail store (i only worked at one location, but anyway…). i spent a summer building new fixtures and stocking new product on the new displays. my team reorganized the entire store in a matter of just a few months.
- i’ve worked for an online retailer that advertised items for sale on their websites. one of my past jobs for this website was to create links to products in emails that we sent out to a small list of subscribers advertising some of the items we carried. i would be the one to ensure that the link was directed to the right page.
those are just a few examples that i can think of off the top of my head. how about you? what jobs/tasks have you done (either currently or in the past) that most people would not even know needed to be done?
i’m anxious to hear your thoughts.