Friday, July 22, 2016

Employment History

TigerBlog once wrote about trying to figure out exactly when he had spent more time on the Princeton campus than the Penn campus.

This is what he came up with:

Of course, that stretch includes basically every hour of every day. Maybe subtract out a month or two for time not actually on the campus, so that leaves 33 months. With 30.4 days per month, that comes to 1,003 days or 24,076.8 hours.
If TB was at Princeton for eight hours a day, five days a week, or 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, plus an additional, say, six hours on a game day 40 times a year, well, then that adds up to 2,240 hours a year. Divide that into 24,076.8 and that comes to 10 years and nine months, so it's been awhile.
As an aside, that could be the dullest two paragraph stretch in TigerBlog history.

For some reason, that made TB laugh when he stumbled on it yesterday afternoon.

That was back on Dec. 14, 2011.

TigerBlog tries not to repeat himself. Perhaps he should add a statute of limitations. Seriously, who would remember something he wrote five years ago?

 The whole thing about when he reached the point of being on Princeton's campus more than Penn's started when TB was thinking about summer jobs he'd had in college.

Actually, before his freshman year, he had a brief run as a delivery person for an envelope company based in Rahway, N.J., basically across the street from the prison there. TigerBlog would drive to the company office, get the samples he had to deliver in New York City, get a list of other companies where had to pick up other things to bring back to the company and then get on the train.

And then the subway. It was up to him to figure out where to go first and to plan his day. He just had to be back to the company in Rahway by a certain time. That was a fun job for an 18-year-old.

A year later, he worked for a company that did, well, he's not quite sure what it did. Something about business ventures in Central America and South America. TB's job was to do basic office tasks, and it was there that he first used a word processor. He remembers being amazed that he could actually type in the address labels to send a book to 100 different people in South America and then have them print out all perfectly neat and all.

The company was located in Manhattan, at the corner of 68th and Park Avenue. This was not cheap real estate. There was a hot dog cart on the corner of this plush neighborhood, and TigerBlog would get a hot dog with sauerkraut and a Yoo-Hoo every afternoon. Today? He wouldn't eat a hot dog off a cart in Manhattan if you gave him $1,000.

His next summer was spent as a vendor at Veterans' Stadium in Philadelphia. The Phillies went all the way to the World Series that summer, losing to the Baltimore Orioles. TigerBlog was there for the postseason. And for about 60 regular season games.

The 1983 Orioles, by the way, had the American League MVP (Cal Ripken) and the runner-up (Eddie Murray). That can't be something that has happened a lot. Don't tell any of the other vendors from that summer, but TigerBlog was actually rooting for the Orioles in the World Series.

TigerBlog loved Veterans' Stadium, which puts him in the minority. It was a cookie-cutter stadium of the 1970s, but it was a great place to see a game. And to drag two trays of beer or soda or a steaming hot vat of hot dogs up to the 600 and 700 levels on days and nights like the ones that are currently around here.

The vendor job was certainly unique. First of all, you'd work however many days in a row the Phillies were home and then not at all when they were on the road. Then, you'd have to get there around 4 or so for a 7:30 game (TB thinks the games started at 7:30 then) so you could sign in and pick what you were going to sell and from what location in the stadium (there were four for vendors, two upstairs and two downstairs) that night.

You also had to bring cash with you and buy whatever it was you were going to sell. You kept the difference. If you sold soda, it cost $24 for a tray and they cost $1.75 each. If you sold all 24 in the tray, you'd make $42, or $18 per tray. If you hustled, you could sell maybe eight trays in a night. And get really, really sticky from the soda being all over you. 

By the next summer, he was already in the newspaper business, trying to figure out why exactly he was covering Little League baseball. That was more than 30 years ago.

And those were his four summers before each year of college. He thought about this as TigerBlog Jr. has been spending his summer on Princeton's campus.

TBJ has been a counselor at the Dillon Gym day camp, the one he attended as a camper for eight years (in the junior and senior programs) and where he was once a CIT. There are a few current counselors who were campers and then part of the CIT program.

He also spent this past week at the Princeton boys' lacrosse camp and prospect day, as a coach. TB wondered how many people have attended that camp and then gone on to coach at it.

TBJ's favorite time of each year when he was a kid (you mean he's not a kid anymore? When did that happen?) was the time he'd spend in the dorms at Princeton lacrosse camp. It was his first time on his own, in a college dorm, and to say he loved it would be a major understatement.

The first time he went to the camp was when he was 8. The first time he stayed over in the dorms was when he was 10. Now he's nearly 20.

Now you see it. Now you don't.

Anyway, who knows what next summer will hold for TBJ. His father guesses lacrosse will be involved.

And for you? Well, it's a summer weekend. Enjoy it. Do something fun. The first Princeton athletic event is five weeks from today.

The rest of your summer, like TBJ's childhood, will be gone in a flash.

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