Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

All The Jobs I’ve Loved (and Detested) Before…

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that sweatshirts in my closet and memories from “not that long ago” are actually more than 20 years old. Grandma was right when she said the days were long and the years, oh-so short.

“Mommy,” he says, “how old will you be when I’m 40?”  

“80,” I say, hoping I’ll celebrate 80 and more. Wondering about Heaven and Earth and dying and living. Wondering about the years and the moments, and why he’s asking how old I’ll be. Does he already realize that I’m older than his friends’ moms?  

In thinking about the years, the moments, and getting to be 80 one day, I think about service, and jobs, and legacies. I think about my passions, and about the jobs I’ve had in the past.

When I was three, I was a Toilet Paper Queen with a pillow shield and a penis sword, although I’m sure that’s not what I meant at the time. Who knows though, I mean Penis Envy is a thing, right? 

penis sword

Later, at eight, I told my dad that I wanted to be a lawyer. Clarence Darrow – defending the innocent who were put in jail accidentally (this was before DNA tests were used in case you were wondering how old I really am).

Dad I

(I always wanted to be a writer)


“Please let them cancel,” I thought. As my mom hung up the phone, all I wanted was for her to tell me that Jodi and Julie’s mom had changed her mind. That I wouldn’t have to babysit that night. I hoped that somebody’s mom, my own, maybe, would realize that I was utterly incompetent.

I’d recently earned my Red Cross badge which meant that I was an official babysitter at 11. The two girls who lived up the hill were cooler than I was. Jodi, the older of the two, was in my brother’s grade and a mere 18 months younger than I was. I was much more concerned about surviving the evening and being liked by the girls than I was being in charge, and so when I heard “Please let us stay up! We promise to not tell our mom!” I listened, and let them stay up. The whopping $1/hour I made wasn’t worth a fight.

Of course, the girls told their mother, and the next time I went, her stressed-out, over-hair-sprayed head and too-red lips said with a stiff smile “The girls told me that you let them stay up past their bedtime last time. Please don’t do that again.” I totally did it again, pretty much every time I watched them. She paid me $1/hour after all.


Each day, I’d ride my bike to and from the country club to carry around rich lazy dudes’ golf clubs. I remember some of the bags weighed a ton, were full of extra shoes, a million spare balls, etc. When we weren’t “on a loop” (technical caddy term you see), we played cards in the caddy shack. I was the only girl, which was awesome and scary.

I never did find a good way to ask the golfers if they’d like me to wash their balls.

Later in high school, I worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Talk about nasty. Once, I dropped an entire tray of chicken on the greasy slimy floor, and my boss had me serve it up anyway *shudder.*

Once you got past the disgusting brown polyester uniforms and always smelling like chicken, it was a seriously fun job. Pretty much everybody who worked there was around the same age, we all went to the same high school and often times, at night, work was like a party.

We’d answer the phone saying “Kenfucky Tried Chicken” really fast. At the registers, we’d say “How! Hi are you?” It’s amazing how many people didn’t catch it.

KFC Can I help you

I dated two of the guys who worked there and am friends with both of them on Facebook today. Plus, I know how to make biscuits from scratch and I know that sometimes, there are tiny feathers on chicken wings.

I drove limos. Billy Idol wanted to sex me. Maybe I should have, but, as sexy as his lips and his accent are, it’s likely that I’d have wanted more from him than he’d have been willing to give, and been disappointed. Plus, ew.


Limo driving in the 80

Here’s me and my limo boss working a bridal show in a mall


I got a career in marketing.

I worked at Colorado Free University, and it was wonderful and terrible. The boss ended up getting stabbed by a girl in his apartment, and I wasn’t surprised. Maybe that’s enough about that.

I later took a job at The Roofing Institute, and went from answering the phones to being their marketing director. From there, I worked at several places, including Telecom in the 90’s when candy and soda was free, and beer came each Friday afternoon as if by accident.

The most significant place I worked was probably Genesys Conferencing, back in their glory days (before being bought). Because of that job, I was able to travel to Greece, England, Sweden and France. That job changed my world, in all of the best ways.

It’s the job that brought me from Denver to DC, which is where I met my husband and had my son.

I was a career woman, and always thought I’d put my son in daycare at three months, which is what my friends did.

Instead, I put my career on hold once Tucker was born. I stayed at home with him for three+ years, and now work part-time.

Somewhere between making $1/hour and today, I realized that money doesn’t matter as much as I thought that it did. I’d rather hang out with this little dude who is suddenly seven.

I miss my two year old and oh mamas, let


This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post, that I only had a few minutes to write. It’s the week of “Finish the Sentence You Missed,” which when I thought of it, was of course brilliant until I realized I don’t miss sentences because I can’t. BUT!!! I’ve missed writing for Dana and Bev’s amazing “Who I Am” series, and so I give this one to the whole “Jobs and Careers” month of theirs.

Writers and bloggers, feel free to link with the sentences you’ve missed.

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  • Dana - So glad you did the job one – you’ve had much more interesting jobs than I have! TP queen may be the best one though. Oh, except for Mom. I don’t know how you were at your other jobs, but you are pretty damn good at that one.August 11, 2016 – 10:40 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Me too. I think I’d mentioned that I really REALLY wanted to do this one… LOL to TP queen. And here’s to being moms. xoAugust 12, 2016 – 11:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Josie Two Shoes - Wow, you’ve held an amazing array of jobs and have always managed to land on your feet! I love that you’ve figured out what is most important to you, I think you’ve got it just right!August 11, 2016 – 11:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - Man, I thought I had weird job stories. You win!
    And I am NEVER going to KFC again. Not that I ever did..
    And now I NEED to read about Billy Idol. He’s my boyfriend.August 11, 2016 – 11:21 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL I did have weird jobs. And KFC? I don’t even know how much they’re around any longer. And um Billy wanted to pay me and a friend to rebel yell him, so yeah, he’s maybe my boyfriend too? Or something else.August 12, 2016 – 11:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Debi - I admit that I too enjoyed the latest FB viral confession hour, aka “#first7jobs.” When I thought about it, I could really see how everything I did led fairly smoothly into what I do now. Both lists — current and former work — are equally scattered! This was a fun post to read. Your limo outfit is STYLIN.August 11, 2016 – 11:39 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Debi! I was tiny cool in the 80’s. I saw the #first7jobs too but never ended up doing them…August 12, 2016 – 11:07 pmReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - What I planned to be that Motherhood has placed on a back burner and what I have become.

    I planned to be one of the greatest female Scientist the world has ever known like Madame Curie without the irradiation.

    It is amazing when you have a child how much everything changes for you. You really do want peace and God will on Earth. The sunrises and sets with your child even who they do this they are not suppose to. You make them fancy glorious means, spend every dime you have on them and are completely crushed if they cry.

    After college and BA(Before Alex) I did want to be a writer and had some success but it is a tough game. Digital publishing did not exist. You had agents, publishing houses and the worst of all editors. I honestly miss editors now because I realize just how much they improved my work.

    This honed skill continued to serve me when I went into academia. Publish or perish and I could write so my survival was guaranteed.

    But then I had my beautiful boy. All Mom’s love their children and think they are beautiful and all babies are beautiful. This is a universal international phenomena. However my son had not one but two(2) rare disorders. Holly Molly, I had to study biochemistry and learn medicine quick!! One doctor (He is renown) told me my son would be dead by two. Alex is sixteen(16). I can’t do anything but take care of him. We don’t receiv charity or help because the world does not understand rare diseases. So in the quiet moments, I write. I guess that makes me a writer. I just completed the first rough draft of my science fiction now. So I guess besides a Mom, which is my first and best title, I am also a writer.

    For a quick FTSF post I thought it was fantastic Kristi. Tucker knows the most important thing about you which is that you know how to have fun and he can count on you. You are a great writer my dear friend but a fantastic Mother!!August 12, 2016 – 2:48 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - JT!!! Thank you! Also, your book will be amazing, because you are amazing and it’s so true that the publishing world has changed so much. I’m not sure whether it’s better or worse, now!August 12, 2016 – 11:10 pmReplyCancel

  • Kelly L McKenzie - Would you like me to wash your balls? Oh my gawd. Hysterical. And the fact that your older than many of your son’s friends’ parents? You’re blessed. I am too. We can (most of the time) rise above all the unnecessary fuss and see it for what it is: sheer high school. Here’s to turning 80! You bring the KFC and I’ll bring the wine.August 12, 2016 – 3:24 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Right??? Even if it’s ONE BALL, how do you say, “can I wash your ball” with a straight face? Not possible, at least for me. And yeah, we are so blessed. I’ll totally bring the KFC and the wine, when we’re 80.August 12, 2016 – 11:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @TheGoldenSpoons - That’s a pretty interesting resume! I’m the opposite – always wanted to be a stay at home mom, but, then it was nothing like I had envisioned and, as much as I love & adore my girls, have always wondered about the career I never had (unless you count 4 years of teaching preschool.)August 12, 2016 – 12:39 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Isn’t it funny how much we wonder about the other lives we may have lived? I do still wonder what I’d be doing today had I stayed with my job(s)..and really, if I’d still been with one rather than the one when I got pregnant… I maybe would be. So weird.August 12, 2016 – 11:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Allison - Oh Kristi! What a fun post! I used to babysit for a $1 and hour, too. Isn’t that crazy? I hated babysitting, too. But I was always trying to put the kids to bed early, so I didn’t have to deal with them. The picture of you in the tux is adorable. And Billy Idol! I need more details…I’ll click the link. Your caddy story made me laugh. I never did time in the fast food trenches, thank God. I was a dishwasher at an Italian Restaurant…now that’s nasty. No electric dishwasher!August 12, 2016 – 4:13 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - xo Allie. It’s SO cray cray (being all cool with the kids these days) that we sat there for $1/hour and thought that was fine, but it actually was. I hated it too. UGH to the dishwashing, gross!!!August 12, 2016 – 11:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - Oh the days of free soda and beer Fridays! It was magical how the beer just showed up back in those days…Fun way to reminisce about the old work days. Mine wasn’t as colorful but I remember lots of corporate parties and some crazy team building offsites. 🙂August 13, 2016 – 6:56 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I miss beer Fridays 🙁 And I know what you mean about the “back in the days…” xo
      I didn’t even think about the crazy team building offsites!!!August 14, 2016 – 11:27 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - EWWW to KFC. It’s been more than a year since I’ve eaten anything from there but I’m grossed out like I ate it yesterday. So cool all the places you got to visit. Wow to $1 dollar an hour! I think it was the summer of 85, so I was 14 that I kept a little boy while his dad was at work. His dad had him two weeks over the summer. I made $25 for the whole week which I thought was excellent. And it was easy because he was the same age as my brother so they pretty much entertained themselves. I’d love to read more about your travel and finally “landing” in DC forever 😉August 16, 2016 – 12:00 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - How am I just seeing this now? And you know, I think KFC used to be better, like in the 80’s. I feel like it was better. Or maybe I was just less seasoned and had eaten less meals, because we tried it recently too and EW.
      Hm. Maybe I need to write about landing in DC forever. Or, at least for now. Thanks for the idea!! And about the travel. Sometimes I wish I knew about blogging way back then. It’d be fun to have gotten in when it was new and be able to go back and read… instead, I feel like I got in late and now am like “hm.”August 23, 2016 – 12:21 amReplyCancel

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