Day Jobs (revisited)

Day Jobs (revisited)

I know this subject has come up before, but it seems like it’s been a while and I’ve never put my two cents in. Before, there were a lot of students or dissatisfied laborers, along with the (few) content and even happy people who choose their perfect careers. What’s changed? Anyone’s schooling paid off? Who’s moved up the ladder of success and who has moved down? Anyone made their first million yet? Let’s hear about it. I work on cars all day, which is all I’ve ever done. I don’t hate it, but I do not love it, so I am going to school, majoring in radiology. I have three great (but VERY young and demanding) kids, so my music seems to be the area that suffers the most. I wouldn’t trade where I’m at for anything in the world, but I wish I had just 2 or 3 more hours in the day just for playing. Then again, if some extra hours got thrown in there somewhere, I’m sure it would just as easily get spent doing the un-music things that I already do.

By the way, if any of you have been fortunate enough to make a million or more, please, post your address and phone number too! I’m sure that you need more and better friends than you already have. Right? 🙂

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I am a veterinary autopsy technician by day and a rifle club rangemaster by weekend and a fiddler by night. The biggest assist towards musicality has been becoming an empty nester. Your time will come, Marty.
Terry

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…and see if you can spot the tongue in cheek bits (quite a lot of bits actually, but basically all true.)

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I’m an electrical engineer by day. My wife and I are both musicians, in fact we have started work in earnest on my wife’s long overdue new album. She plays piano and is a singer/songwriter. She also plays a little guitar and drums.

I play guitar and also sing and write (though not as much as my wife). I played the modern (bohem) concert flute all through elementary school and high-school and even a little bit at the university (but only as an extracurricular activity). I have more recently (in the past five years or so) gotten into South American Andean woodwinds (i.e. quena, quenacho, & zamponas) and Irish flute. I attend a monthy session at a local bookstore when I am able to.

I experiment with, design, build, and sell flutes made from a variety of common materials such as pvc pipe, copper tubing, and bamboo. I am also interested in the physics of flutes and the history and development of the flute. I recently inherited a blackwood german made simple-system flute from my grandfather (who was the reason I chose to play the flute in the first place). He passed away this December after a logn, full life, and I was priviledged to play "Be Thou My Vision" on his flute at his funeral.

Other than that, we have five children (all girls) between the ages of 5 months and 7 years. The eldest two have started learning the penny whistle and my four year old is very interested in the piano (she has a good ear to pick out tunes).

Finally, I have a keen interest in the basic natural sciences and in the history of science (especially the dawn of modern physics and the subsequent tying together of physics, chemistry, and astronomy). I am basically into a little bit of everything, and hope to pass that on to my children.

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I’m an art student. I have a flute student. I sell a few whistles, reeds, PVC flutes, paintings, handspun and knitted items, odd stuffed "animals," and the like that I make. I have job and no money. 🙂

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WOW! I thought I was busy with my meager amount of three kids. My oldest is 5 years and doesn’t show any signs of interest in folk music (yet, but he will, I’m sure). He likes Iron Maiden (I do too actually) and refers to that as "cool music". He groans whenever I start playing and says "DAD! Why don’t you ever play cool music?"

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PVC flutes sound cool, by the way. Neat-o!

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As a fiddler, I cannot make a neat and clever instrument out of PVC, but I intend to make a rebec before too long; I will learn some medieval dance tunes for it.

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Yeah, I discovered some great resources on the web a couple of years ago, and have taken it from there:

http://www.cwo.com/~ph_kosel/designs.html

and of course, my site:

www.theburnfieldcastle.com/flutes

I played my clear flute prototype at sessions until I could afford to buy my Casey Burns Standard model.

I more recently started messing around with bamboo, since I discovered a patch of it growing in my yard! It is a little more experimental still (each flute turns out a little bit different). The only tools I have are a small drill press, a small clamp-on vise, a variable speed hand-drill, and a set of tiny files. Anyway, if you are good with your hands, (which you must be if you work on cars), you could probably have a lot of fun building your own flutes. The great thing about pvc is, it’s cheap and easy to work with. If you mess up, you haven’t invested huge amounts of time and money.

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Oh, I forgot to mention, I also have a pipe cutting tool and a hacksaw (the former makes a lot neater cut).

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Huh, I am an engineer too, electrical by training but now I do software.

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Actually, I’m in the same boat as yourself. I have a BSEE but I develop and maintain automatic test software (and associated hardware) for avionics maintenance.

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After happy years as a musician, thespian and writer, I had to become a Civil Servant. Fortunately I spend all of my time as a Trade Union rep. Love it, even though I can’t be that successful as we get paid buttons. I blame the other 22,999 members for that. Well it couldn’t be my fault.
I have also worked as a trainer, teacher, barman, bouncer (sic) handyman and various other activities. I was even a politician for a while, but far to honest to be successful.

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Still and accordion teacher. Love my job and am very lucky to make a (very modest) living from it. Spend more of my "leisure" time playing with horses than playing music these days.

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I ran a live music venue with my dad for six years and now I’m an admin worker in child protection for my local council. Not everyone’s idea of success as I’m skint the whole time, but my job’s great.

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Domestic Goddess 🙂

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I’ve been contracted by Homeland Security to make sure everyone removes their clothing in the event of a dirty bomb going off.

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I bet you say that to all the girls! But this cardigan is staying ON!

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Boring old computer programmer working in the Housing Association market. Wait, wait: it’s says here I’m a Technical Consultant!
I used to think I made PVC whistles. Alas, I was careless. The pipes I use are in fact Polyethylene. At last I begin to understand why the b*stards won’t grind or sand. By they play well enough. Well enough for me, anyway.

I wish my kids showed any interest in ITM. But no… ..they’re both teenagers now. Maybe in another twenty years.

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Any pub owners out there? Tell us if it’s all that we think it is.

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I run an international trading company here in DC when I’m not playing tunes. Wait, i often run my company AND play tunes at the same time. Let’s just say i’m good looking AND talented.

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I was a professional geek in the PC industry for 20 years (HP, Sharp, Intel, etc.)- spent the last 7 of it as a software test engineer. I hated most of it.

For the last 3 years I’ve tutored high school students with learning and behavioral disabilities in math, science and english. I’m also an advisor to the guitar club at the high school where I work, make presentations to the guitar classes, and give free lessons to a few economically challenged kids at school.

I have some private guitar students and recently launched the music career I always wanted to have. The day job isn’t full time and doesn’t pay well, but the benifits package is top notch. Altogether it’s enough to let me do the music.

Music income is currently about 1/3 of my gross income. I’m working hard to reverse those proportions by next year.

Not a millionaire yet.

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I’m an ESL teacher for adult immigrants. Sometimes my job is just to sit around and talk to people from all over the world.

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Currently, I’m at the prestigious acting school - Rose Bruford College in London doing the Actor Musicianship course. I play with a couple of mates from college in an irish trad band and do french/italian/classical stuff on the accordion around restaurants.

Most importantly, I’m trying to start the socialist revolution and stop brothers and sisters needlessly dying throughout the world.



….second to that I play at a session and get drunk like most students. are my morals out of place?

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Maintenence Technician by day and night(.Shift work )plays havoc with my session attendence.But plenty of time to lurk on the yellow board.

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I’m a programmer for a software company that sells software to other business to manage employee benefit programs…HSAs, 125, Cobra…exciting stuff.

One thing I’ve discovered: it is very difficult to type fast while tapping your foot to a tune. Someday I will master the ability to type 80 wpm in perfect time with a reel.

I made my first million long ago (pennies, that is).

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My day job, I am a Library Assistant at a private research library some of you may have heard of. It’s the Huntington Library:

www.huntington.org

Night job is practicing my fiddle to get good enough to play with the band I sing back-up with New Providence

www.portofnewprovidence.com

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Gave up my day job last year and am working freelance with organisations, doing odd bits of music, video ‘n’ stuff. Much more fun than working for some huge organisation even though more precarious. I just decided that after 23 years, I’d sold enough of my soul to the corporate machine!

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I’m a high school student, and have played fiddle on and off for maybe 9 years. The last time I played a lot was 2 years ago. I now regret that I stopped playing for so long, but I’m back into playing again. I can also play a little piano (self taught), and I’m now starting to learn tin whistle. Once I get the hang of the whistle, I’d like try the Irish flute too. I’ve been a fan of "the music" for as long as I have been playing my fiddle.

Sara

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I’m not doing much at present. I suppose I could ask the County Council if I could be the Council Rhinoceros Catcher, and be paid for doing zilch.

But my bluff might be called. Several years ago, a rhinoceros escaped from a local lion park. One story is that somebody found it in his allotment.

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In answer to MartySmith’s query about pub ownership…
My dad owned the lease but I actually lived in the place. I did four years of 20 hour days until I had a baby at which point it just got worse. You’ve got to be up early for deliveries, cleaning etc. and up late for closing, tidying up, money, the paperwork, supper and winding down. Then it all starts again the next day. There’s also the dealing with mindless vandalism which can be very demoralising at times. You’ve also got to seem happy and cheerful the whole time and you have no social life - no friends, just staff and customers. I wouldn’t like to do it again

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Mortgage processor by day fiddler by night.

Had a high pressure management job in banking for 25 years then got laid off due to merger. Found this little mortgage processing job, no pressure, no weekends, no nights, NO SELLING.
Love my job and bosses. They allow me to take my fiddle lessons during business hours and don’t dock me for the time. Therefore, they are paying for my lessons. : )

I’ll never be a millionnaire in money but I am wealthy beyond belief when fiddling.

Mary

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Newspaper sub-editor by day, banjo player by night (and also by day, if the gig is important enough)

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I have several hats, the main one being a "paper marbler" for book restoration, also a supplier of marbling tools and paints, which I make from pigments from scratch, learned by trial and error, mostly error! I do historical matches of the endpapers or cover papers on early books. Also do production runs of hand marbled papers for small publishers. Surprisingly there is a living in it and I have done it for 29 years. Have written five books on the topic of Marbling and write regularly for a bookbinders’ trade journal, the marbling column for the Guild of Bookworkers.

Job #2 and very busy these days, is jewelry making. I am a classically trained jeweler, spent quite a few years studying ancient jewelry and metalsmithing techniques with a great teacher, and do everything from early Roman to Byzantine, to Medieval, Celtic and even modern jewelry. It’s a lot of fun. I also went to school in NYC and got certification in jewelry repairs and diamond setting from an accredited school… good to have if ever, heaven forbid, I have to go the 9-5:00 route. For now I work happily at home alone…. which is why I am free to take breaks to post these way too long posts!!

I will be teaching Celtic Jewerly at E.Durham this summer, focusing on early style casting of knotwork in silver for rings, pins pendants, whatever one wishes, so if any of you are interested you will make some really great old style Celtic pieces…. and for those of you who drag non-musical spouses along, it is a nice thing for them to do while you take the music workshops. I promise anyone can do it with the system I teach! I guarantee you a gorgeous piece, some people even made up to three for the week. (Plug plug….also for East Durham Irish Arts Week in general…. loads of fun).

Lastly, but what I love more than the better paying jobs, is the music. And I am learning guitar making, and am working on a fourth one, which is the first one home alone without my teacher…. and I am terrified! I have no intention of starting another business in guitar making, but people keep trying to buy the three I already made, so who knows. I can’t keep them all, and love doing it.

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Letter Carrier (Postman) going on 19 years. Have been a union rep (shop steward) but am taking break from it after about 7 years.

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Hm… looks like I’m the only waitress here…. I’m blessed enough to love the people I work with, and the lovely "older" customers I get to smile at everyday. I took a couple years off, and now I’m also going to university part time for Music Education (looks like I’ll be waitressing my whole life since no one with a music major gets a job 🙂 ). Luckily there are a few who think I am good enough to teach a few lessons… 🙂 It’s saving my soul. I probably would be farther along with music if I didn’t love to spend time with my family and friends. I look at it this way; music will always be there, but family will not. Maybe someday I’ll find the balance. Does it exist?

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Director of Software Development for a company that does touch-screen kiosk technology. Former nightclub owner and DJ (I’ve always said my next bar will be an Irish Pub… but not until I have so much money that I don’t care whether my pub makes any). I also did rock radio for a number of years.

Pete

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yes and , no you dont want it
you do not own it — it owns you.

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Wow! We have a lot of variety here in the work force. I wish I was a rhinoceros catcher :(

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I once had a job as a professional puppeteer. You think I’m joking don’t you!

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I am a copywriter and work in an advertising agency.

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Part-time lab work & occasional quality manager work associated with lab. School run, domestic duties and all that stuff as well. Music when there are any gigs going…..need more!

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I’m at Uni in the first year of a creative writing degree. I’ve written stuff since i was a kid but have yet to actually do anything with it. I’m a mature student who spent five years working with children in After school and holiday child care. (great job but i ended up in managment and couldn’t hack it) Am just getting back into fiddle after a 16 year break (and last time i played classical) and have played spanish/classical guitar for 16 years ( self taught) i’ve never done much with my music apart from entertain myself, but i’m begining to think that i might like too. Your never to old after all - my dad became a jazz muscian and sax teacher at the age of forty something. But with writting and music as my two loves, i’m doomed to never make any money at all…..yay!!! 🙂

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Started out in insurance (first job after school), went into travel, then hospitality whilst I backpacked and adventured….then flavours and fragrances, then motherhood, then higher education, then volunteer & event management, and currently arts administration. (Maybe I haven’t been quite so boring as I thought I had been)! I’m now 41. What do you reckon….another 10 career changes before I’m 95? 😎

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At present I spend my office hours as a consultant working exclusively with UK Northwest companies that are looking for subcontractors in Poland, and promoting Poland as a market for foreign investment. I guess I’ll be dropping this one soon enough.

First and foremost, I’m a conference interpreter, and I will never drop this one, it’s far too exciting and too interesting

I also earn money by playing music, but I wouldn’t call it a job. It’s a sort of self-financing hobby (with a little extra to cover basic expenses).

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My main job is Pole Dance assessment, but some evenings I have to work as a beer tester.

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teacher … boring or what…it’s Friday 4pm whoopee!

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I’m a computer programmer and analyst and currently managing a commercial website for a major US turnpike operation.

I’ve been in this field since I graduated (BS in Computer Science from Pennsylvania State U., 1990) and with the same company!

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Run my own company doing public policy research and consulting. Can’t recommend self employment too highly. I started out in science (used to work on Drosophila, Danny, before moving onto Xenopus) in academia and industry.

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I definitely second the self-employment comment - much more fun than working for a corporation.

I’d always assumed most people who play music in sessions were teachers, so this thread has been really interesting in knocking a few of my own assumptions on the head

Mark

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Ottery, you are assessing the Poles dancing? I didn’t think this small trip to the folk festival Zakopane would result in a new career for you!

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Self employment has pros and cons. You pay more in taxes in USA, they dall it self employment tax, but it is really social security. If you are employed usually your emplyer pays half. We get to pay the whole thing, doubling it. Also health insurance, nasty bill for a lousy plan.

Other than that it’s fine, except that often you are not taken seriously, as in you’re home, you really don’t work. So family are always asking you to drop things and do something for them because "they are working". The truth honestly is that I am the WORST boss I ever had!! No slacking, working when sick and on and on. But I still prefer it.

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I’m self employed. In Canada I am actually the official bird for the territory of Nunavut, Canada which is exhausting work.

In North America they call me ‘Snow Chicken’ but I prefer my European nickname - ‘Rock Ptarmigan’ although my favourite has to be my Japanese nickname which is ‘Raichou’, which means "thunder bird"!

Although my official name is ‘Lagopus muta’, you can call me Ptarmi.

How do I spend my day, I hear you ask - well I - "Eats, Shoots & Leaves"!

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I used to have the same day job as twildman…….but tangled with the new head of department.
Now Background Artist ( extra ), handyman for people who can’t assemble home-assembly furniture, barn-dance caller and musician, amateur instrument-builder, taxi-service for the ( grown ) kids, etc., etc…….
Life’s a lot better than when I had the day job - I used to have to flog dead horses……………..to the knacker.

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If I told you guys what my day job was I’d have to kill you.

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https://thesession.org/members/9191

Still stuck in software engineering - embedded systems. Currently working on a blood analyzer. I think it’s aimed at the vampire market.

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I am a fishing journalist, yes folks I write about fishing, I also spend a great deal of time with other anglers jamming and sessioning.

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ER Physician

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What sort of fishing, Joze? I used to write for an illustrious journal called ‘Coarse Fishing’.

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Hi fiddlinsue — me too.

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I used to fish all the time as a youth; my related reading matter included "Anglers’ Mail" and "Trout And Salmon". I knew all about rivers I’d never seen, details I’ve largely forgotten.

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i staple the strings onto teabags on a contract basis for twinings, tazo and lipton.

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Puppeterr, I believe you! I forgot…. can you believe this one….I worked in a high end POODLE SALON right out of school!! I have some very strange stories… it was on the upper East side of NYC, these poodles had wardrobes, leather coats in every color, ate steak for dinner.

I swear…couldn’t make this up… one woman, a middle aged black woman with blue hair had this big poodle. She was a "madam" so we boarded the dog every Fri-Mon. because he scared off customers. The owner was paid handsomely to not cage the dog but to take him home and back everyday. He was a really nice dog (except to the johns). So I asked her one time, I was all of 17 years old, why she spoiled the dog so much. She looked at me like I was a nut and said "Pal was my PIMP in his last life".

I was mortified, I was this shy little teenager, and this was in the late 60’s before people spoke so openly of such things, I was beet red!!

She tipped me really well, sometimes giving me $50 because I let her dog sit up in the shop with me and I was so nice to him. Considering my full time pay in those days was $65 a week, that was amazing.

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It is not surprising how many have careers which require a feel for maths - a common characteristic in brilliant musos! As for me I am a home executive with my 3yr and nearly 2yr old boys - despite their sometimes constantness I insist on playing at least 20 min a day - nothing much I know but it stops one ‘unlearning’ all the same. In additon to that I am attempting to learn web design too to help my husband and my 2nd hand furniture shop.

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After being allowed to watch too much TV in my youth, I got caught up in the "glamour" of it. So, now I’m making a living as an Operations Manager for two TV stations in North Texas. This is definitely NOT the glamorous end of the business.

But as the joke goes…”when two guys following at the end of a circus parade sweeping up elephant droppings were asked why they don’t quit that nasty job they replied, ‘What and leave show business?”

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Pete: Did your time as a necropsy guy include the foot and mouth disaster? We have been lucky in the States (knock on wood). I could have an unlimited supply of gut to experiment with old-timey fiddle strings, but I don’t feel like getting fired for breach of biosafety.
Terry