For me it was simple, like a light coming on. There was actually a job that wouldn’t make me hate getting up in the morning. I discovered it about a year after high school. I remember the moment.
My first job in 1960 was at Marty G’s Donut Shop where I cleaned toilets and filled jelly donuts -- not necessarily in that order. I also washed windows with ammonia and crumpled up newspaper. This is not something you want to do full time. Marty was a nice guy, but I developed a permanent aversion to donuts.
So I left Marty for the Huffman & Boyle warehouse where the work was monotonous and the days endless. I wheeled pieces of crated furniture on a hand truck from the warehouse to the delivery platform or from a railroad car into the warehouse where shafts of light from tiny windows illuminated the floating dust. Back and forth, back and forth. Every once in a while there would be nothing left to hand truck, and I was handed a broom to excite the dust on the floor back into the air.
Is it break time yet? Can I sneak a cigarette in the boiler room? I’ll be an old man before it’s time for lunch. My ‘47 Ford will turn to rust in the parking lot before quitting time. Five o’clock Friday felt like repatriation from a prison camp. Every single day was its own eternity.