OT: Jobs worked while in college

Submitted by RGard on February 28th, 2017 at 11:20 AM

Anybody have any good stories about jobs you may have worked while you were in college?  Hopefully Ann Arbor stories, but any location will do.

Mine: I worked at Flipper McGee's and the Cross Eyed Moose (pinball arcades) my junior and senior years at Michigan ('82-'83).  

Flipper McGee's (later called Pinball Pete's after a change of ownership years after I left) was on South U and was very mellow.  Folks came in, bought tokens and played the machines.

The Cross Eyed Moose (on East Liberty) was rough.  Folks would come in, camp in the back near a machine and sell dope.  I had to keep running them out of the building.  One Saturday it was business as usual and I had to kick one of the drug dealers out.  About an hour later two Ann Arbor police came in and asked me if I had seen so and so and I responded that I had kicked him out an hour before.  I asked why, they responded that he was a suspect in a home burglary in which a hand gun was stolen.  That wasn't good news, but I luckily never saw the perp again.

Yep, mine is not that great of a story, but hopefully others out there have some good ones.


Post script...

Before this ages off into oblivion, I'd like to thank you all for responding.  We have turd farmers, drug dealers, construction workers, pizza delivery folks, refs, coaches, waiters, bus boys, programmers, light bulb engineers (changers), and others.

I'm surprised nobody owned up to being a rent boy.


Everyone Murders

February 28th, 2017 at 11:23 AM ^

I was a turd farmer in Dixboro.  Pay was low, the work was hard, but it was honest work and well worth it to watch the turds grow by the sweat of my brow.

That, or I worked in about 8 restaurants in the front end of the house.  One or the other.

Everyone Murders

February 28th, 2017 at 11:44 AM ^

I never said I had a turd farm.  Old Squinty McDroog owned the turd farm, and had local orphans till the turd fields for him.  Heartless old bastard, but a wizard with the local Dixboro women.  We were paid in scrip, and whatever we could sneak home from the farm.  Ever wonder why turd farmers wear brown pants?  Now you know.

And in the fall, when the turds were nearly full size, we used to have kids and their parents come in for a controlled turd hunt.  Sure, those kids grew up bragging about how they hunted for turds, but the turds were fenced-in and posed no risk whatsoever to the "hunters".  At a moral level it was just sad.  It was Bless the Beasts and the Children type stuff. 

However, we got free cider after the hunt, so that was cool.


February 28th, 2017 at 12:58 PM ^

maybe it was the horror of the childhood work at the turd farm that drove him to murder.  maybe it was the cider.   maybe, it was a buckeye.  we may never know.   

fwiw: we don't farm turds up here.  we see alot of them.   we shovel alot.  but we don't actually farm them.   really. 

Frieze Memorial

February 28th, 2017 at 11:26 AM ^

I worked for a headhunter. My job was to wheedle the names of people out of companies so the headhunter could list them as a possibility.  When I interviewed they asked me, "Would you lie if we ask you to?"  It seemed like a trick question, but I said, "Sure." It was fun, I spent hours on the phone making up stories about how we were inviting Logisitics Managers to the International Conference on Logistics in Vienna ... we just need the name of your Logistics Manager.  

All pre-internet and hardly anyone had Caller ID.  That wouldn't work so well now.


February 28th, 2017 at 11:26 AM ^

Sold pest control door to door in the summertime for 5 straight summers. It was so hard and mentally/physically draining but I made enough to pay for school and live off of for the rest of the year without working during semesters.

Only thing that stinks is you didn't get to do anything fun during the summer, but the trade off was having money and free time when school was in session


February 28th, 2017 at 12:25 PM ^

The mail-order DVD service they implemented at the end to compete with Netflix was actually pretty good, IMO, but it was too little, too late. They were definitely way too inflexible to respond to a changing market.


February 28th, 2017 at 11:28 AM ^

I have no good stories, but I have a friend who one summer worked on a steel mill on Zug Island near River Rouge. His job was to move "slag" (a steel production by-product) from one place to another with a shovel. Our joke with him for years was: 

"Wait, you spent your entire summer shoveling slag on Zug Island? Jesus Christ, that's the most depressing thing I've ever heard..." :-D 

Blue and Joe

February 28th, 2017 at 11:30 AM ^

I worked at the parking ramp at LCC. Sat in a tiny booth for 4 hours a day between classes and did homework/browsed the web.

My one anecdote is the day I gave Fred Heumann a ticket for like $2. We only took cash and he didn't have any. Only way I could let him out was writing a ticket. He didn't love that.

Wolverine Devotee

February 28th, 2017 at 11:30 AM ^

A local well-known grocer my second year of college during the Fall. About 4 months in I found out that they support OSU's athletic department financially and I quit immediately.

Now happily working at a package delivery company since January last year.


February 28th, 2017 at 6:13 PM ^

If OSU were the only option, or the best option, in some area of higher education then I'd agree with you.  If there are other or better options, then I don't.  I'm guessing in all cases there are other options, and in most cases there are better options.


March 1st, 2017 at 11:33 AM ^

And there are those who see OSU for what it is, a mediocre school in a crappy city, have their standards, and won't consider going to school there.

I remember telling my son the physicist when he was considering grad schools that MSU graduates more PhDs in physics than any school in the country.  His response was, "Dad, I'm not going to Michigan State."


February 28th, 2017 at 11:51 AM ^

I reffed IM football, broomball and one game of IM basketball. 

Football was tough but a lot of fun, and I will always be astonished by how seriously some of the low league teams took the game. I  broke up a lot of fights. 

Broomball was great too. Lots of teams would come drunk because the games were always late at night. We couldn't let them play if they were drunk and they would get angry. It was fun watching the one guy who was able to get on the ice drunk try to warm up and fall all over himself.

I fired myself after one basketball game because I was so bad at it I didn't want to subject anyone else to my terrible reffing.