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March 16, 2009, 10:38
Sarah Wolf
Previous jobs
Hey all,

I need your input for a regular column in the next issue of The Texas Prosecutor.

I am collecting our members' stories about past jobs -- NOT in law enforcement or the legal field -- that have helped them be better DA investigators, prosecutors, and support staff. What did you learn in a previous job that continues to inform you today?

Please send me your stories! Keep them under 500 words, and email them to me at wolf (a t) tdcaa (d o t) com by Friday, March 27. Everyone who submits an article by that date will be entered to win a fabulous prize. How's that for motivation?

Thank you!
April 01, 2009, 18:36
David Newell
Blockbuster video. For obvious reasons.
April 02, 2009, 10:13
Sarah Wolf
... but I still need you to write 'em down and send them in! Surely folks out there have worked in retail, food service, dog walking, or SOMETHING that has assisted you in a prosecutor's office. Please keep it under 500 words and email it to me at wolf (a t) tdcaa (d o t) com.

Thank you!
April 02, 2009, 12:03
Originally posted by David Newell:
Blockbuster video. For obvious reasons.

I wondered why your email signature was "be kind, rewind". Old habits die hard, I guess.
April 02, 2009, 12:26
Scott Brumley
It must've changed. It used to be "Large adult entertainment section in the back."
April 02, 2009, 13:10
A.P. Merillat
Garbage truck for one day.
(Not that it prepared me to work in a prosecutor's office...)
Exit only and I wonder where the banjo goes on this barstoolmobile.
April 02, 2009, 13:10
A.P. Merillat
Congratulations, Scott, on your 1K post. Awesome.
April 02, 2009, 13:37
Andrea W
I used to be a delivery truck driver back in college, but I don't know that it taught me anything relevant to the legal field. I can get around Ft. Worth with every shortcut known to man, though. Smile

Congrats on the 1k, Scott. We're not worthy!
April 02, 2009, 13:47
Originally posted by A.P. Merillat:
Congratulations, Scott, on your 1K post. Awesome.

April 02, 2009, 13:51
Andrea W
Not everyone can be as awesome as you, Greg. Let the rest of us have our victories, even if they're in your mighty shadow. Wink
April 02, 2009, 13:53
My first job was at a Dairy Queen. Our manager, an alcoholic ex-navy man, would always buy a twelve pack on his way to work so he could have something "frosty" to consume on his long commute home. Since we had to clean after closing, it was rare before the manager left before midnight, so he couldn't buy his beer on the way home.

He would place the beer in the walk-in cooler, and invariably, he would forget to remove the beers before they froze and exploded. I only worked there a few months until I could stand it no more, but every weekend his beer froze and/or exploded and he had no beer for his drive home.

He never seemed to learn his lesson about putting beer in the freezer.

Maybe the lesson I learned is that he was stupid to even think about drinking and driving. The lesson I learned was never work at DQ.
April 02, 2009, 13:54
Registered Nurse-Maternity Ward
Registered Nurse-Geriatrics
Contract Laborer
Lawn Man
Two man other varied positions that I rather not admit to.
April 02, 2009, 14:14
ice cream shop,
Orange Julius,
drug store clerk,
children's clothing store clerk,
bar supply company order clerk,
and of course, babysitter

all were "real people" jobs so I had "real world" experience to prepare me for the big, bad gritty world of prosecution. never really wanted to work in a silk-stocking law firm.
April 02, 2009, 18:05
House Painter
PHOTON (it will cost you beer if you don't already know what it is)
PhotoTech at UT (very different from PHOTON)
Photography Sales
April 02, 2009, 21:56
Boyd Kennedy
After my first year at SFA an uncle invited me to come spend the summer in Atlanta, Georgia working for him at a big wholesale lumber yard. Most of the work was stacking lumber in the sun. But on occasion a rail car came in from the west coast, packed to the ceiling with redwood. Because I was the youngest and skinniest, I got to crawl in on top of it all and hand out boards one by one while getting muddy with sweat and red sawdust and getting a few burns from brushing the top of the car with bare skin. It's been 30 years and I vividly remember punching out on the last day and thinking I will never punch a timeclock again. I can still hear and feel the thump on the card.

It was my first experience in a big city. That is where I worked alongside the guy who stole bicycles, etc. from front yards. He cheerfully told me he drove around the block twice, and if it was still there, he figured they didn't want it any more. He also knew where to buy beer on election day (which was illegal in Georgia). Several of my co-workers routinely cashed their checks every Friday at the closest liquor store. I was unusual in that I had a bank account. Another eye-opener was riding with a co-worker on an errand, and being with him as he detoured to an apartment complex and bought drugs through a window. One day a guy who came out to apply for a job tried to steal a car after the interview and had to be run off. The forklift drivers threw their empty vodka bottles behind stacks of lumber, where they might not be found for months. I almost got in a fight by insisting that Texas was a lush, green place to a guy who accused me of lying because he had once driven all the way across Texas on I-20 and knew for a fact it was a desert. (He came through NE Texas at night.) There were also some very fine men there, and to a man, everybody worked hard and got along well with each other. Everybody was black except me and the thief.

It was great motivation to stay in school. I think it also gave me a better sense of how most people, including jurors and criminals, live and think, and an appreciation for the good things in life, like sick leave and a/c. That was not my only manual labor job, but it was by far the most educational.
April 03, 2009, 00:37
I was a dental assistant part-time while I was in high school, and full-time for 3 years after I got out of high school. I still have bad dreams that I have to go back to work at a dental office. I liked the office where they used nitrous better than the one whre they didn't.
April 03, 2009, 07:05
John Greenwood
Seven years as a Paramedic. I was subpoenaed in eight criminal trials and testified in two, including one during my first year of law school. It was my second year of law school before anyone even tried to explained why they needed me in the courtroom as opposed to just a copy of my run report.
April 03, 2009, 08:39
Worked at the mall (Mervyn's)
State Representative office manager
Hollywood Porn-Star*

*not really Hollywood
April 03, 2009, 08:49
Boeing - simulator Technician B-1B (bomber) flight and weapon systems simulators.
U S Navy - simulator technician P-3C (subchaser) flight and weapon/listening systems simulators.

Gives a good background in logic.
April 03, 2009, 08:59
Fred Edwards
Baptist Minister/Pastor...I kind of got the order wrong or so everybody tells me.