Take This Job and Love It

Take this Hot Dog and Make It

Updated 5 years ago

It’s a business that’s been around for 150 years. W.A. Bean in Bangor sells all kinds of meat products, from sausage to steak.In this edition of Take This Job and Love It, Sharon Pelletier decided to try making one of their most famous, the red hot dog.There used to be quite a few hot dog makers in Maine, but now W.A. Bean is the last in the state.Sharon went to their factory in Bangor to find out what keeps them going, and what exactly they put in hot dogs?”When people have sterotypes about what goes into hot dogs, those are not true. Well not for our hot dogs, we make a more expensive hot dog, a higher end hot dog.”And when buying a hot dog, it’s wise to choose the Cadillac version. That is probably one of the reasons W.A. Bean has been around for a century and a half. They offer quality products.”I started in 1947″Albert Bean has seen a lot of changes in this family business over that time, but at least one constant, their red hots. Today, I’ll get to make some. “Oh this is a good look isn’t it.”Unfortunately that means I have to wear a hair net, but then it’s off to the kitchen.”This is lean pork trim, 80% lean pork”First step in the process mix the ingredients, which are, ground pork, ground beef, and some spices.”How long does it take, just a few minutes”It turns into what they call a batter. It amazingly looks like one too.Then we meet Gladys, who’s worked here for more than 11 years.”What you’re gonna do is you have a little piece hanging out.”She operates the machine that makes the hot dogs. She shows me how it’s done, then lets me try.”This is natural casing, which is basically sheep intestines.”Best not to think of that too much.”This is kind of a messy job huh. It sure is”First attempt goes badly, meat batter everywhere.”I’m sorry. The casings broke, it’s not my fault.”This time I did it. Well maybe not, so I move on to the next job.”What they call stripping and tying is what it’s called.”I need to check the dogs, make sure they’re up to standard, and tie off any loose ends.”It’s hard to tie a knot in this, it’s all slimy.””I think I ruined this one, I keep breaking them.I sure was slowing down production.”Hey not bad, now you need a knife.”I think he was just being kind, because later the truth came out.”So my hot dogs are going to be free. Maybe, ha ha.”Time to let the experts do the work. Have you noticed these red hots, aren’t looking very red. That comes a little later. After the dogs have cooked for a while, they’re put into another oven.”Then what we do is we add the color”They get a shower and a few minutes later they have their famous coloring.It’s a product that the employees really do take pride in.”Our hot dogs are very good. It’s all whole meat.”They must be, 400,000 pounds of them were sold last year.Now it’s time to find out if company President, David Bean, thought my effort today was up to par with his product.I think you did a great job. Another 6 months and you’d be trained.”They sell their hot dogs under two labels, W.A. Bean and Rice’s Hot dogs. You can find them in grocery stores and at their retail shop at their Bangor factory.

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Take This Wreath and Make It

Updated 5 years ago

This time of year, you’ll see lots of Christmas decorations around, but it just doesn’t seem to be complete without the wreath.In this edition of Take this job and love it, Sharon Pelletier branched out went to find out exactly what it takes to make the evergreen decorations.”Having done this since you were 15, you probably can do this in your sleep, right? Yeah, Pretty much.”Dolly Blyther is an expert wreath maker here at Whitney Wreath. She’s been given the task of teaching me how to do her job. “Break it right in here. All you’re doing is making little fans.”Dolly makes it sound simple. Trust me, it’s not.”Wait a minute, pick it up, you got to keep the wire going the same way. Oh shoots. This way OK.”So much to think about, and I’m really not a crafty person.”Let me see, I’ll help you here. Yeah, I desperately need help.”It was taking me a little too long, so Dolly finished up very quickly.”So would you hire me? Yes. We could hone your…hone my skills. Yes, a little better. OK.”Then it was time to try my hand at decorating. Company founder and owner David Whitney showed me how this works.”This machine makes things much more efficient, cost effective. It also makes sure the decorations are put on exactly in the place they’re supposed to be.”It’s a machine that Whitney came up with himself. “Pull your handle down, now push this up. OK. Now pull your arrowheads out.”So there’s not much chance of me messing anything up here, and it’s kind of fun.Whitney tells me he came up with the idea for the business when he was just eight years old. He saw his cousin tree tipping, and making some money at it. Whitney thought he could make a little cash too to buy some candy.”So the incentive for all of this is candy, that’s right, not so much anymore”Because now Whitney oversees nine locations in his wreath company, and they’re working on a new facility to consolidate some of their operations.Although this time of year, he’s often working 16 hour days, he says it still puts him in the Christmas Spirit.”The best part of this is the smell”It does smell great, but then it’s off to ship out some wreaths.”This is for the order ID.”Seth White is training me here. He says I’ve got to scan invoices, put them in the boxes then stick the labels on. Sounds pretty simple. The key is I’ve got to be accurate and fast.They’re sending out about 5000 packages a day.”Right now they’re doing 133 an hour. And so we’re slowing things down right now. True”So time to get to work.”One , two, three four””I’m trying to go quickly”But it’s so easy to get distracted, because it’s interesting to see where the packages are headed. I sent some to California, Colorado, Florida, and I admit I did peek at some of the messages that people wrote.”It says love and Merry Christmas”It really is great to think you’re helping to spread Holiday cheer all across the country. Makes you feel like you’re one of Santa’s elves…one who does make mistakes.”Actually that’s one way you can mess it up. If you scan the second one twice.”Luckily Seth was there to make things right.”So how do you think I’m doing? I think you should stick to television. Thank you, Seth, Thank you.”To check out Whitney Wreath online, log onto www.whitneywreath.comTo offer a suggestion for our next “Take This Job and Love It”, send an e-mail to wabi@wabi.tv

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Driving a Zamboni

Updated 5 years ago

Thousands of people pack the Alfond Arena at the University of Maine to cheer on the Black Bears.But those games wouldn’t be possible without the folks who take care of the ice.In this edition of Take this Job and Love It. Sharon Pelletier found out exactly what it takes to keep that surface smooth.”It’ll open your eyes a little bit to our day to day operation for maintaining the ice.”That was the warning from Will Biberstein, Associate Athletic Director at the University of Maine. But at this point, I was just thinking of driving the Zamboni, not many people get to do that. Not even Will.But Scott White has done it thousands of times. He’s worked here for 16 years and is now the Operations Manager at the Alfond. He too warns me this is hard work but…”There’s a lot of fun times too. We get to watch hockey and basketball, very cool.”Now it’s time to get to work.First off use the edger to smooth the ice along the edges, all around the 17-thousand square foot surfaceThat was just the beginning, because after that’s done.You have to chip the ice off the boards.”You can see where there’s more build up in other places.”Typically Scott and one other person will go through all these steps.Scott gets to work each morning around seven. He typically works six days a week, and might have to stay until after a hockey game.Most weeks they refinish the ice a few times, except when the hockey teams have home games.”If we have ice hockey games on Friday and Saturday night we do it every day before the game”So I only got a quarter way around chipping ice, but Scott gave me a break and told me it was Zamboni time.”It shaves the ice and collects the snow, and then you apply hot water to the surface and that rebuilds the layer you just shaved off.”Scott backed up the beast onto the ice, and told me he’d handle the mechanical part of it. All I’d have to do is steer and step on the gas.It didn’t sound too hard until Scott informed me, I could ruin the ice.”I’m just a tad bit nervous right now, just a tad bit because I could mess things up.”Then the moment of truth, I get in the driver’s seat.My suspicions were confirmed, it is cool to drive a zamboni, especially one with a giant black bear on the front.Scott let me take a couple of passes on the ice, then it was time to drive it down the narrow hallway to park it. It was at that moment that Scott decided to tell me that the vehicle cost 104 thousand dollars…113, thousand will shipping. No pressure.I’m proud to say, that I made it through the narrow passage way, but with a new appreciation for the hard work that goes into preparing the ice.Then it’s time for my review.”I think you did a great job. My lines aren’t very straight though. That’s o.k. You’ll get used to it. It’s your first day. It takes lots of practice. And I didn’t crash the zamboni, that’s a good day, that was a bonus.”If you have an idea for our next, “Take This Job and Love It” segment, e-mail us at WABI@WABI.TV

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Take this Job and Love it!

Updated 5 years ago

Reporter Adrienne Bennett was sporting an apron and cap as she tried out a new job for the day. She goes to school to learn the intricacies of cafeteria work in tonight’s “Take this Job and Love it!””Alright, perfect.” Donning an apron and hat, whaalaa, I’m ready to become a lunch lady.” It’s 10:30 and students at Mount View are hungry.Enna Moody is one of nine who work in the cafeteria feeding more than one thousand mouths each day. My first task — the sandwich station. “We call this sub Mount View.” “How many students come through here in a day?” “In the sandwich line? About 125 sandwiches per day.” Enna gives me a few tips on how to make the wrap.”Doesn’t make it right, just makes it my way.” And it’s harder than it looks when you’ve got to move fast.Next up – Hot foods.Today’s menu – Pasta salad, Popcorn chicken, asparagus with cheese and sweet potato fries. “Make sure you hit the plate. Haha” “This changes everyday, she makes something different everyday.” “This isn’t like the cafeteria I had when I was in school.” “no when you were in school every just got one dish.” Yeah, they’ve got some choices now.””That is asparagus with cheese on it. No asparagus with cheese this time.”Many of these junior high kids passed up the asparagus and went straight to the pizza, so my next stop was to slice it…Clearly, I’m not the one that does the cooking in my family…Gloria goes through 30 to 60 pizzas a day…(the walk out w/pizza shot)”Show me how you cut this bad boy.” “See that’s how it’s done.”So with all these plates going out…there’s one thing left to do…”The dishes.” “First of all you need gloves. Take dishes from that window and take them to the other side.” Faith has a system.”You have to be quick!” “I’m going, I’m going!”Occasional gum on the plate,”Stickers…”and stickers will slow you down…After rinsing, it’s off to stacking, but you’ve got to have a good eye.”Oh, we got a little spot.” Again, Faith, much faster than me.”I’m not that quick” “You get used to it.””Overall, with everything I did how’d I do? You did perfect, everything was really good.” “yay! Would you hire me?” Yes, Would you hire me?” Well how about you come do my job for a day?” Hahahah no!” But don’t let these ladies fool you, this is a demanding line of work – making me think I’ll stick to reporting for the kids sake. Adrienne Bennett, WABI TV5 News, Thorndike.If you have an idea for our next “Take this Job and Love it” report email us at wabi@wabi.tv

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Take This Job and Love It: Gifford’s Ice Cream

Updated 5 years ago

We’ve all wondered what it would be like to switch jobs and try something new.Amy Erickson’s been trying her hand at all sorts of professions.This time, she’s scooping Gifford’s famous ice cream.She has more in this “Take This Job and Love It.”Rhonda Charette’s a scooping superstar.She’s been here at Gifford’s Ice Cream in Bangor for 20 years.She says she can teach me the ropes…but it’ll be trickier than I think.”Is there more of a challenge in here than people think? definitely. takes a little bit of practice.””You can get ice cream up to your elbows, so be careful! Ok!”Once I’ve donned my apron, I start with the basics…scooping ice cream.First surprise?Each scoop has to be the exact same size…four ounces.We start with vanilla.”And you use this as a cutting edge. you scrape the ice cream towards you until you think you’ve got enough for your cone.”Sure enough, Rhonda’s scoop is right on the money.”How did you do that? Exactly 4 ounces. How’d you do it? 20 years’ work, probably.”Next, I try my hand…it’s not as easy as it looks.”Oh, I’m over. Not too bad!”From there, Rhonda shows me the secret of adding sprinkles…”Lay it on, roll it around, you’re pressing…there you go.”…And how to make a frappe that has just the right consistency…Then it’s time for more of a challenge…”Ok, you’re going to make a sundae with mint chip ice cream. It needs 2 scoops of mint chip.””Ok, that’s the tricky part….tuck in any fudge that’s falling out.””I like whipped cream. Now put a cherry on top…a teaspoon of nuts.”I think it looks good enough to eat.Next, it’s time to prepare the homemade waffle cones…I start with the batter.”How do you get it out of there? use your muscle! this job takes more muscle than i thought. Is your right arm much stronger than your left? It sure is!”Then it’s time to fire up the waffle maker and shape the cones…look how fast Rhonda does it…Now it’s my turn…”It’s a little hot! that’s why we move so fast.”And I forgot the most important part…sealing the bottom of the cone…uh-oh.”So whoever has a drippy cone tonight can blame me. we’re gonna tell them to give you a call!”When I’m done, Rhonda gives me my review.”You did great. I’d bring you back for a little more training but then you could work with us anytime during the summer.””As fast as we work here, the pace, you just need to practice a little more…and toughen up my hands for those hot waffles?! definitely.”We’re always looking for suggestions for our next job swap story.If you have a suggestion, email us: wabi@wabi.tv

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Take This Job and Love It: Dairy Farmer

Updated 5 years ago

Every now and then, we all wonder what it would be like to switch jobs and try something else.Amy Erickson’s been giving it a try lately.This month, at the suggestion of viewers, she put on her boots and went down on the farm.She has more in “Take This Job and Love It.”Justin Veazie is my boss for the day at Veazland Farms in Corinna.Justin’s a fourth-generation dairy farmer…and he’s convinced he can teach me to milk with the best of them.”It’s not bad. I think you can do it. Alright. But it’s kind of a dirty job? Yeah, they poop in there and pee in there and it splatters on the floor. Do you ever get kicked? Yeah, you can. Some of them do.”Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but I head in to the milking parlor to get started.”8 cows on each side will come in. You’ll pre-dip a cow, wipe her teats, put the milker on there.”As luck would have it, just as I’m getting my lesson…”Oh! (runs away) She just peed on me! Told you you were going to get peed or pooped on!”After two more cows christened me, it was back to milking.First, the iodine spray, then a wipedown…then I have to squeeze a little milk by hand to make sure it looks okay.(Squirts milk from teat) “Ah, I did it! Nice! I’ve always wanted to do that, actually.”Then it’s time to attach the milker.”Yhis one already peed, right? Yeah, just watch out for poop. Just press it like this. Get all 4. There you go.”bite 6:18 “just like a pro. Hey, how about that?! You did it.”I milk half a dozen cows in all…then send them on their way back to the barn.”Hey, good work ladies. Thanks for the milk.”I’m feeling pretty good about farm life until Justin tells me about his other job on the farm.He artificially inseminates the cows…by hand.”So you call it breeding? Yeah, artificially inseminating. Can I pay you to get out of doing that today? That’d be nice, yeah!”Justin takes pity on me and lets me bottle-feed a day-old calf instead.”Come here baby, come here! Ready?! Oops, sorry, I got your eye! Alright, calf.””Jeez…a baby is way easier! Yeah.”My final assignment for the day? Learn how to drive this tractor.Yikes.”Hop in. These tires are as big as me!(climbs in)””Just let out on the clutch. You won’t stall it or anything. You have a lot of faith in me! Oh, yeah. I think you can do it.”And I did…but not without a few bumps…”Oh, I’m going to turn it around? (bump) Oh, my God! Ok, you can stop. Clutch.”The ultimate test was backing it into its spot…somehow, I did it, and the tractor is no worse for the wear.”I can’t believe I did that. I can’t believe I just drove a tractor and backed it in. This is pretty cool. You did a good job.””How do you think I did? I think you did good. Milking went well, calf feeding went real well. What do I need to work on? In general? In general. I don’t know, I think you did good. Yeah? Yeah. So I could’ve been a farm girl in another life? We could get you trained, yup.”Amy’s always looking for suggestions for her next job swap.If you have an idea, email her at AErickson@wabi.tv

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Take This Job and Love It: Dog Groomer

Updated 6 years ago

Every now and then, we all wonder what it would be like to switch jobs and try something else for a day.Our Amy Erickson’s been giving it a try lately.This month, she visited Carden Kennels in Bangor and spent the day as a dog groomer.Tonight, we see how she did, in her “Take This Job and Love It” report.”this is Rummy…he’s a…PBGV for short.””today he’s actually going to be cut down short for his summer haircut.”Easy enough, right?Penny gets out the clippers and puts me to work.Rummy needs a major shave before he even gets in the tub.”just take it short strokes and make a hole.””do I hold onto his head while I’m doing it? Just kind of hold his skin tight…it makes it easier. I’m so afraid of cutting him! Right there’s a good spot where you’re really not going to cut him. Are you sure?It’s quite a job getting this pup clipped…while trying to keep him happy.”have you ever been bitten? Yeah. You have? Oh, yeah. These are live animals and not all of them like what you’re doing.””this is kind of tiring. Yeah, my hands are tired at the end of the day. Carpal tunnel with groomers is a big issue.””this I’m nervous about. I’m nervous about the back end.”Lucky for me, Penny takes over here. I admit it…I’m a wimp.”kind of stinky under there, too. Yeah, I’m glad you’re doing that part. Oh, I see a lot of this.””course he’s still in tact, so I have to be careful of these. I’m not messing with those, Penny!”Once Rummy’s clipped, it’s on to the nail trimming…which is much harder than it looks.”see that white tip right there? All you want to do is cut off that white tip.””Did I take enough? You did! Just do it quick because if you go slow they feel it more. You’re doing good!””oh! This is not…ooh…not everybody can do toenails. It’s a hard thing. Kids are much easier.”And just when I think I have it mastered…I see blood.Yup…I cut him.”oh yeah, you did. That’s fine. I have a styptic powder I use.” “that was tough, just getting him to stay still! It is.”Then it’s on to another glamorous part of the job.”grab some cotton and some ear cleaner.””you can kind of get your finger right down inside…and really wipe it out (grimace).””really get in there. This is not the most pleasant part, but it’s better than the back end!”Little did I know, there’d be more of the back end to come…Time to put Rummy in the tub.The power washer makes the shampooing easy…that is, until Penny’s next instructions.”you have to make sure you have to lift the tail and make sure you wash under there. Ok. You have to really make sure you get your hand in there. Really get your hand in there? You have to get a little personal sometimes. This is a LOT personal!”We both make it through the bath…then it’s time to beautify him with the brush and a heavy duty hairdryer…Finally, Penny does a little fancy grooming around the face and voila…Rummy looks like a million bucks.And he’s no worse for the wear…I hope. “so how do you think I did? You did good! I’d have you back. What areas do I have to work on? Probably the nail trimming…the clipper…there are a few things you have to work on.”Like not drawing blood next time, maybe. “that wasn’t bad for a first time. He survived. He’s living. He’s not bleeding anymore. A little more practice and I think you’d be great.”Amy Erickson, WABI TV5 News, Bangor.>Amy’s always looking for ideas for her next job swap.If you have a suggestion, email her at AErickson@wabi.tv

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Amy at Frank’s Bake Shop

Updated 6 years ago

Every now and then, we all wonder what it would be like to switch jobs and try something else for a day. Our Amy Erickson’s been giving it a try lately. This month, she traded in her microphone for an apron at Frank’s Bake Shop in Bangor:Ok, I’ll admit I went into this one pretty confident.I fancy myself a decent baker at home…but I was about to get a serious reality check.Bernadette Gaspar threw me an apron and put me right to work.”I think we oughta try you on cake decorating.”Easy enough, right?A little frosting, a few decorations…not quite.The first secret I learned?Pile on the frosting…when you think you have too much…add more.”If you do not you’re gonna get crumbs in the frosting.”Maddie’s one of the professional decorators at Frank’s…she gave me some tips for perfect frosting.”Look at you with the wrist action! It’s a lot in the wrist…seriously!”And just when I think it’s looking pretty good…”Alright, what do you think of these sides? Bernadette? Well, I can see some bare spots. Maybe Maddie can help you. We don’t want to be embarrassed.”That’s where the paddle comes in.And see how she spins the platter as she goes?Not nearly as easy as it looks.”this spin takes a long time to get down. I don’t know how you do this!”Finally…”I’m pretty proud of that. That looks pretty good. That was hard, though! Took a lot longer than I thought.”That was nothing.Next came decorations.Maddie tells me I’m doing a scallop trim with a star tip…and gives me a quick lesson.”Seriously?!!””oh, God! How did you do that? Oh, this looks horrible.”From there it was on to making flowers…again, Maddie makes it look effortless.”There’s no way.”Ok, so mine is a tad wilted…but still recognizable…and edible.But I’m too tired to eat.”How’s your arm, is it tired? Yeah, actually. Yeah, my wrist is.”Next, there are cookies to be made…so we head for the dough.My assignment? Glazed butterfly cookies.”There goes your raise! Stick that right back in there.”Bernadette says it’s easy for home bakers to get overwhelmed in a place like this.”If I had to pay you for that cookies, i’d have to triple the cost because of the time it takes you to get it out.”But I finally got them made and into the oven…along with some cakes…and with all those shelves cranking out goodies all day long…we’re talking some serious heat.Takes some getting used to.”Ow!”At the end of the day, I got my review from Bernadette.”I think you did a wonderful job, I really did. And you only got a little bit of a sunburn in the oven. But you didn’t get a burn! That’s good.”So do I have a future as a baker?”I think reporter is good. You make a good reporter.”Amy is always looking for suggestions for her next job swap.If you have an idea, you can email her at aerickson@wabi.tv.

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April 2009: Amy Tries Her Hand at Floral Arranging

Updated 6 years ago

We all get bored with our jobs from time to time.Many of us get the urge to switch careers…even if only for a day.Our Amy Erickson has been trying her hand at different professions.She’s gutted deer in the woods with game wardens…even played barber with a straight razor.In tonight’s “Take This Job and Love It” report, she tries her hand at being a florist.When it comes to flowers, Mark Pellon is the master. He’s Chapel Hill Floral’s lead designer…and a Maine Master Florist.So when I decided to give the flower business a try, I asked him to take me under his wing.We started small…a single rose in a bud vase.”how hard can one rose be, right? Very difficult. Or not. We’re going to find out, though, aren’t we?”Piece of cake…until the floral knife comes out.Mark makes it look easy. “always cut at an angle so it draws up the water better, ok?””let’s cut right there. I think you’re supposed to keep your eyes open when you’re cutting. Way to go, I’m proud of you! Alright.”Once I finished the bud vase, I was ready for more of a challenge. “Amy, we have an order right here for a dozen roses for a nice little lady who’s turning 80 in Brewer. I did one, I can do twelve.”Or so I thought.Turns out it’s not as simple as shoving a few flowers into a vase. “what we’re going to do is called the lacing of the greens. It’s an age old technique…I know you can do it.” “we’re going to create a grid that all the roses are going to go through. And the whole thing is going to stay right in place. Is this scientific? It kind of is.”It’s more complicated than it looks. “Amy, we’ve gotta pick the speed up, valentine’s is coming. Cut me some slack! It’s only april! Oh, it just keeps bending.” “we’re going to be thankful that this woman is 80 and maybe her eyesight is a little bad. No, it’s gonna be great by the time we finish.” “ow, stinkin’ thorns. How are your hands not totally cut up? You get used to it.”And I did get used to it. I even found it relaxing. “this I like. I like this job.”Now, you’d think the finishing touch — the bow — would be the easy part.You’d be wrong.”no, no, no, that’s not good. You’d think I could do a shoestring bow. I swear I’ve tied my shoes before.” “you did it! 4 tries…but it’s perfect.”I turned my arrangement over to the delivery driver…and got my big assignment of the day…from Chapel Hill co-owner, Barb Frye. “now it’s time for you to show your own creativity. Anything? You can even name your own arrangement.” “lucky for you I’m good with a margarita. It’s true.”It was off to the cooler to choose my materials. “this is fun. It is fun!”And after some careful deliberation and strategic placement…voila! “i think that’s really cute.”But what does the boss think? “alright! A1!”the colors are perfect for what you’re trying to express.”I went to the Master for my end-of-the day grade.”how did I do? I think you did really good. We need to work on your knife skills.” “you’ve got a great eye for color. You picked the perfect color palette. You have an eye for color, an eye for texture, an eye for depth…so there is a future for you.”And not to brag…but I’m told a certain colorful creation may even be named after me from now on. “the Amyrita! From here forth it’s now now the Amyrita. Love it.”>Amy’s always looking for suggestions for her next job swap.If you have an idea, email her at AErickson@wabi.tv

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Take This Job and Love It!

Updated 6 years ago

We all get bored with our jobs from time to time.Many of us sometimes wonder what it would be like to switch careers.Our Amy Erickson gave it a try recently.She spent the day at Carl’s Barber Shop in Old Town, clippers in hand, playing barber for a day.”so what’s the drill? What are we, what am I going to do, I should say? You’re going to start cutting hair.”My teacher, barber Donnie Sparkman, doesn’t ease me into things.Nope. My first customer is 7-year-old Jackson. “So what do you want me to do to it? What are you looking for? Really short. Ok. Do I get a tutorial with these things? No, they just handed them to me in school.I don’t want to hurt him! No, Jackson, don’t be scared, honey! I won’t hurt you, I promise.”Once I got the hang of the clippers, I was feeling pretty good about the cut…until I got to the ears.Donnie steps in to help.”This way you won’t nip him. Pull the ear down.”It takes a while, but finally, I’m done. “I think that’s a pretty good haircut.”Just when I start feeling pretty good about my skills, who sits down in my chair but Master Sergeant Ryan O’Connor. “You give me a marine?” “Oh, he’s smiling, so that’s good! I promise I’ll be gentle. Oh, it’s ok.”Donnie gives me a primer on using *these* clippers, which, I’m told, can do some damage.Uh-oh. “This is very, very sharp. You don’t want to push it real hard up against the head.” “You’re used to pain, right, cause you’re a marine? Yes. Ok, good.”I’m doing ok until the scissors come out. That part gets a little tricky. “Pick it up, then see the line difference? (cuts hair)”And the minute I think I’m done…”Oh, no. This poor man does not deserve this. (Donnie) You’ve been in combat, this is nothing!” “Just go straight down with medium pressure. Don’t you have one of those pink plastic ones? I can use those! (Donnie) Don’t make a sawing motion. Take it and go straight down with it.””Nice! That was perfect!”Once my hands stopped shaking, I actually did ok.Even the marine himself says so. “What do you think? Good. Would you let her do it again? Sure.”And just to intimidate me further…my last customer of the day is the rather imposing Scott Mitchell.”He’s getting a flat top.” “and his head’s crooked, so it makes it even worse.”This one was tougher.One wrong swipe with the clippers and this guy will be looking ridiculous. “You wanna make it flat, make it flat…”And I couldn’t call myself a barber until I tried to get my customer to open up to me.”Do you have any problems you need to talk about to me now that you’re in the chair? No. You sure?”No luck. But he walked away happy with his flat-top.”So, I had 3 customers. How did I do? Excellent. A little tentative, a little shaky, but you got the hang of it.””So do you think I should keep my day job or could I go to barber school? Keep your day job.”Amy survived her day with the scissors, but now it’s time for another career change.Do you have a career change idea for Amy? Let us know here.

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