Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Elf: or, Santa was the best boss I ever had...

April A-Z Topic:  Elf

Whenever I ask someone what their first job was I usually get answers like working in a fast food place, babysitting, or checkout chick in a supermarket.  Then, when I tell them my first job, I get to watch as their faces screw up in complete and total jealousy.

It's awesome!

You see, for my very first proper paying job I was Santa's photographer.

When I was 17 and fresh out of high school I wandered into the camera shop in the local shopping centre hoping to score some holiday work.

It must have been my lucky day, because as it turned out their Santa was arriving the next day and no one had thought to hire a elf to take the pictures.  I assured her I was perfectly capable of pointing and shooting, and could even handle a zoom lens when pressed and got the job immediately. 

So, for about six weeks leading up to Christmas, I worked as Santa's Elf Photographer.  I got to wear an elf hat, take pictures of adorable kids, and work with the best damned mall Santa I've ever met.  I'm still not entirely sure that he wasn't Santa.  I'll always remember that as my first, and favourite job. 

But if any of you think I'm rubbing it in, you can rest easy in the knowledge that my next job as a nursing assistant in a nursing home brought me right back down to earth.  There's nothing quite like giving an elderly man with wandering hands a sponge bath to put things into perspective.  

73 comments:

  1. That would be awesome to work for Santa :) Much better than an old man with wandering hands for sure.

    KC @ The Occasional Adventures of a Hermit & Oh Frog It

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    1. I'm with Dana - I'd love to give an old man a sponge bath. ;)

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  3. Sounds great, it must have been so fun. I'd work with little kids over old men with wandering hands any day! Lol

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    1. Me too. Unfortunately, being Santa's elf photographer had a limited life. There's surprisingly little call for it after Christmas.

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  4. If you're going to tell people that you worked for Santa, then we're gonna need some photographic evidence.

    I've been single for far too long, so an old man with wandering hands, will do me just fine. :)

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    1. Poor old guys, I'm sure some of them didn't know what they were doing. But some of them definitely did, old pervs.

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  5. Good thing you got that Elf Job. If not, your first job would have been the Nursing Assistant job and that would have been a bummer. I tend to think that The Universe works in beautiful and mysterious ways. This is an excellent case-in-point.

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    1. Very true. Although I think of it as I was being lulled into a false sense of security about what the working world was going to be like.

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  6. Look on the bright side, how many of us can say that we were one of Santa's elves and be telling the truth?

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    1. Very true. It's a badge you wear for the rest of your life :D

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  7. That sounds like such a cool gig. Did you have any issues with screaming, freaking out kids being afraid of Santa?

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    1. Not so many. Our Santa was such a sweet guy and he was really good with the kids.

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  8. My first job was taking inventory for a company that went and did them so store employees wouldn't have to. Paid great but we worked so much when my alarm clock went off it started to sound like the ten key machine when we tried to scan something it didn't recognize and I'd wake up screaming sku check (code to come fix this ish so I can keep moving).

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  9. Wow from Elf to Elderly. Talk about opponent ends of the job spectrum.

    Enjoyed you story

    Came by from Tales of the Reborn Crafter

    http://talesofthereborncrafter.blogspot.com/

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  10. How fortunate you were to get a good Santa. By the looks of some Santas I've seen, your first two jobs could have been eerily similar.
    Forevermore, when I think of you, it will be an image of you and Will Farrell wreaking havoc all over the world.

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    1. Ooh, I can only dream of being as good an elf as Buddy!

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  11. You've got a long memory. Sheesh! I told you I was sorry. *I hate it when my hands do that* ;)

    S

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    1. And lets not even mention what happened during evening bed checks :O

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  12. that's a cool first job. Pity about the real world and all that. Thanks so much for the follo.

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    1. Yep, the real world does tend to creep up on you. Damned real world!

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  13. Have you ever read David Sedaris's story about working as a department store Xmas Elf? Oh the terrible antics they got up to!

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  14. What a cool first job. Mine was washing dishes at a small town cafe. I really didn't mind it. I washed dishes while chatting with the cooks and waitstaff.

    Still...being an Elf would have been better.

    Karma owes you BIG TIME for the nursing assistant job.

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    1. Yeah, it certainly does. I did the nursing home job for two years, so I definitely paid my dues there. But then I got a library job and it was all gravy from that point on.

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  15. My first job was at an ice cream stand...imagine if we could combine that with being an elf!

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    1. I don't know, I think being an ice cream vendor would be pretty good job. Everyone's happy when you hand them an icecream!

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  16. My dad is a professional Santa, I still love to go on his rounds with him when he needs help.

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  17. As a child I was always terrified of Santa. HE COULD SEE ME WHEN I WAS SLEEPING! This was not okay. So I don't think teenage Holly would have been on board with that. At all. You are lucky you made it out alive.

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    1. When you put it that way, it does sound hella creepy!

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  18. How cool is that job!
    Jealous much :)

    auntyamo
    http://ficticiousamo.wordpress.com/

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    1. I definitely took the opportunity to rub it in to all of my friends who were waiting on tables or working behind cash registers at the time :D

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  19. What a cool job. Mine was at a pet store working with the different animals. We weren't supposed to, but I named them.

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    1. Ooh, that would have been a great job too! I always wanted to work in a pet store!

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  20. See, I think photographing kids on santa's lap would be pretty stressful. A lot of kids are scared of Santa and I imagine there would be tons of screaming and crying. Hope it wasn't like that though.

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    1. LOL! Perhaps it was because I was 17, but I didn't find it stressful at all. In fact, the most stressful part of the job was hoping that none of the photos would turn out blurred or undeveloped. It was pre-digital, so it was all done on film. I did get to learn all about developing film though, which was cool.

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  21. Sounds like such a fun job. IF you like kids :)

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  22. Awesome job! And I can totally emphasize with the nursing assistant job...been there, done that. Horrible experiences abound.

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    1. Yeah, I think you have to be a very special sort of person to work in a nursing home and enjoy it.

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  23. I'm sure you looked very cute in the hat, Kellie! (I am also impressed that you describe the children as adorable. I think children generally are adorable but I don't think all 17 year old Santa's assistant's would necessarily think so. You sound like a nice person :)

    My first job was as a nurse assistant. I'm working my way up to Santa's elf :)

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    1. You keep at it, I'm sure you'll get to be a Santa's elf one day!

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  24. Well, as it turns out: I am a cliche first-jobber...I worked the drive thru at Burger King. But I rocked that uniform like nobody's business!

    Also, I wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for the Epically Awesome Blogger award. If you are into that kind of thing, pls stop by the Basement and read the post entitled something like "i am Awesome: Part Duex," follow the guidelines therein, and boom! There you have it. If it's not your cup of tea, that is also cool. Just know that I am glad to have found your blog, and I am really enjoying it. Write on!

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  25. THAT is awesome. Oh, and I too also had a job where there were wandering hands, but no sponge baths. I worked in a bakery. The boss got 5 to 7 with time served. ;)

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    1. Wow ... who knew it could be so dangerous working in a bakery!

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  26. Fantastic job opportunity. Just seeing all the smiles would be worth any salary! :)

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    1. It was, definitely. I'll always remember those weeks fondly.

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  27. Being Santa's helper would be so much fun. I worked at a donut shop for my first job. I could eat all the donuts I wanted. Needless to say, I quickly became sick of donuts. LOL

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    1. Ooh, I don't think I could trust myself to work in a donut shop!

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  28. Santa's helper is the coolest job I have heard of - and you started with a nice old guy before moving on the creepy ones. Thanks for visiting me as it helped me to find you. I am going to subscriber now.
    Rhonda @Laugh-Quotes.com
    AtoZ #42

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  29. What fun you must have had! I'm a bit shocked by all the wandering hands... I think I'd have clocked the one!

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    1. It was hard to blame them when they were all suffering from senile dementia. Still, after a pinch or two it was tempting.

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  30. Elves are neat and I love the costumes. Old men are pathetic but I think the hands are like a knee jerk, kinda of a hang-over from youth. haha

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    1. Probably. Most of them were senile so I couldn't exactly blame them ... at least not out loud.

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  31. Oh, yes, I'm jealous. I worked in fast food, and it was terrible. Even now, I would love to be an elf taking pictures! And it would be really awesome if it paid enough, that you could take the rest of the year off :)

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    1. Ooh, wouldn't that be great? But you'd have to charge about five hundred dollars a picture to make it work. Somehow I don't see that happening.

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  32. How funny! Even so, you didn't seem to have the typical teenage jobs. :)

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    1. That's true enough. I've never worked in hospitality or in retail.

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  33. What a FUN job!! I still want to be a Disney character at Disney Land..... like maybe Cruella Devil! LOL
    Thank you for stopping by my blog.
    Connie
    A to Z buddy
    Peanut Butter and Whine

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    1. I always thought working at Disney Land would be so much fun!

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  34. I love it, what a great job. Mine was a blacksmiths helper. Used to go and do odd jobs for the local blacksmith, I loved it.

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  35. Life does not get better than the ability to put "elf" on your resume.

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  36. That is an awesome first job. Mine was as a piece worker in a factory, making sure that all the texta lids faced the right way for the label and sticking super glue labels onto the bottle and hoping none of them leaked. I made a whole lot of very little money.

    My next job was awesome: It was a bookstore. Then a flight attendant. Now a library assistant :)

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  37. My first job was actually as Santa's elf. It was a family business. I didn't get to take pictures though. I was usually relegated to passing out treats and handling the squirmy kids who were afraid of Santa.

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