If pressed, I’d say that my core personality consists of 7% seriousness and 93% sarcasm, with a heavy weight of exaggeration added into the mix. In fact, my children often hear “don’t believe anything that your Dad says” from their mother, on a rather frequent basis. And maybe she’s right, I do joke a lot, it’s my primary form of communication.

Perhaps I should be a comedian when I grow up.

I went to a restaurant that serves ‘breakfast at any time’. So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance ~
Steven Wright

It’s a great morning for donuts and a paired dark roast blend of coffee. In route to my roasted bean, I pass by the corner hot dog shop. My brain sends a random message to my feet: please engage the reverse functionality, back it up. I peer in the window, the fast food joint is closed, everything is polished and clean, including the grill.

Do you recognize the portion of the scene that catches my eye? Yes, the five hot dogs on the grill. What the what? Of course, the scene before me prompts a possible story.

As an object lesson in the importance of proper academic application and career planning, I’ve offered my children innumerable illustrations of how I am a Man of a Thousand Occupations. Of course, they attempted to call my bluff. I’m sure the conversation ended in the equivalent of a Triple Dog Dare, to list all of my former jobs. Challenge accepted, you’re going to regret this.

For the sole purpose of illustrating why good grades are of paramount importance—in both high school and college—I began to astound them, itemized by job, with my inability to pin down an occupation:

  1. Chick-fil-A busboy, dishwasher, cashier
  2. Landscaper, grass cutter
  3. Dishwasher
  4. Amusement park game attendant
  5. Taco preparer
  6. Toys”R”Us cashier
  7. Tattoo artist
  8. Burger flipper
  9. Sandwich creator
  10. Wendy’s cook, cashier, dishwasher
  11. Walmart cashier (Star Cashier of the Month, I’ll have it be known)
  12. One-hour photo worker
  13. Professional photo lab technician
  14. Wedding photographer
  15. Professional photo lab technician (again)
  16. Stock photo packager
  17. Sales attendant in retail photo shop
  18. Store manager and photographer at Olan Mills Portrait Studios
  19. Web designer
  20. Web developer
  21. Manager
  22. Self-employed freelance web developer
  23. Owner of a failed medical business
  24. Web Applications Developer
  25. Web Manager

Jaws dropped to the floor, the conversation always ends with something similar to “yeah, that’s ridiculous.” And it is crazy, nuts even. My primary objective, as a father, is to push my kids in a direction that I didn’t go. I want them to find an interest, pursue that goal, and find a career in an occupation that they love.

Right now I’m having amnesia and deja vu at the same time…I think I’ve forgotten this before ~ Steven Wright

So maybe I did exaggerate? There are only 25 jobs listed above, and not a thousand. But the more pressing question that I have, yet to be fully and properly answered, is what are those five hot dogs doing on the grill at 7:30am?