Never turn a good job down

The Reporter's Notebook


Last updated 12/8/2021 at 8:02am

I never could understand why a person in good health would choose not to work.

Several times, as early as high school, I had more than one job at a time.There was a period in my junior and senior years in high school in Palouse when I had three jobs at the same time.

It started by being fast at peeling potatoes at the Oasis Restaurant.

A week later, the evening fry cook didn’t show up and I was made the fry cook.

I already had a job six days a week running Darigold milk products to the door.

Shorty Ransom was my boss, and we delivered to South Hill residents one day and then North hill residents the next. People got three deliveries a week.

This started at 5 a.m. sharp. Shorty was a good boss, and he believed in starting on time. I also did some work inside the creamery.

The Northern Pacific Railroad “gandy dancers” forman had asked around to find a young person to work on the rail crew on Saturdays, and he came up with my name.

I’ve never turned a job down when offered with good intent. So I said yes and suddenly had three jobs.

My weekday schedule started with the dairy run at 5 a.m.

Then I was in school until about 3:30. That gave me time to get to the restaurant where my shift started at 4.

I fry cooked until closing. This included the peeling of potatoes for the fries and the washing of dishes.

We usually closed at about 9 p.m., unless really busy.

There was always at least an hour of cleanup, and every other night I mopped the full restaurant. I had two bosses, both women, and they always treated me kindly.

On Saturdays it went like this: five for the milk run, seven for the railroad and four for the restaurant. 

I always had money, even though wages then were small, but a buck went a long way.

It wasn’t long before I had seniority on the railroad since a lot of the workers had a problem with wine and wouldn’t show up, particularly after payday. This meant that I got to work directly with the foreman.This routine went on until I graduated.

The practice of multiple jobs followed me to college.

I fry-cooked at an Arctic Circle during the noon hour, worked detailing cars at a Dodge-Plymouth agency in the early afternoon and worked from four until midnight as a night watchman for the college.

After four years of college, I left owing just $90.

In my junior year, I switched my car work to write for the daily paper.

Now, I must admit that the schedule got tight sometimes, but the college looked the other way when I had the opportunity to do stories for the paper. 

The schedule probably cost me a little in my grade average but I still finished with a “B” average.

It wasn’t the last time I had multiple jobs, but it has never been quite as hectic.

I guess that is one of the reasons why I can’t figure people who refuse to work.

Another reason is probably the depression years taught that if you had a good job to keep it until a better one came along.


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