“We labored for thirteen-and-a-half hours my first day, and 75 percent of that time was devoted to cleaning. We mopped the floors, scoured the pipes that carried the milk, and scrubbed the vats. Then we washed the cheese, the shelves the cheese aged on (top and bottom), and every piece of equipment used in the process. After cleaning for hours with disinfectant, my fingers started to wrinkle and my skin grew sensitive. Just before we left, we packaged hundreds of blocks of cheese in boxes for shipment. After that long day, I couldn't wait to get back to my room to rest.”
This passage is taken from a book we read recently, called 50 Jobs in 50 States. Subtitled One Man's Journey of Discovery Across America, it's written by Daniel Seddiqui, and chronicles the challenges and adventures of the author as he set out on an extraordinary quest to work fifty jobs in fifty states in fifty weeks. One of his goals during this amazing year was to work at jobs that reflect the culture and economy of each state; hence, the cheese-making in Wisconsin.
In Arkansas, Daniel did a week's stint as an archaeologist:
“When the time finally came to get into the field, the archaeologists I was working with took me to explore six sites, a modest number considering that there are 43,000 archaeological sites in the state. Carrying metal detectors, shovels, and even a laser point system, we inspected a Civil War site. The temperature was twenty degrees. I reflected on how little I had cared about history. It had always been intangible, something I'd read about or heard about, almost incomprehensible. Yet walking around the Civil War site for a couple of hours, I became more engaged. Being in the field, actively absorbing the environment I'd only known through a classroom, brought to life the textbook stories I had never been able to envision.”
From packing meat in Kansas, to working as a Border Patrol agent in Arizona, or as a surfing instructor in Hawaii, Daniel's book is filled with stories of the people he met, the challenges he faced and overcame, and the lessons he learned about work and about life in general, during his journey around the country.
Be sure to read all about it.
Copyright © 2012, S. Halversen.
All Rights Reserved.