Back years ago, my grandparents used to reminisce about the days when Pawpaw was a traveling ironing board salesman. I’m not sure about the details, since I wasn’t around back then, but apparently one of Pawpaw’s first jobs as a married man was to go around door to door selling ironing boards. It didn’t last long, and it doesn’t seem like my grandmother, whom I call Mimi, ever took it very seriously and was glad when he finally got off the idea.
It reminds me of the time my brother did his first website gig. Nowadays, Blake works for a just salary at the prestigious Mad Genius laboratory, but back then, when he was doing his first website, he was only being paid 75 dollars (and a self-published book of poetry) for weeks of labor. It was a website for a massage therapist, a friend of a friend, and Blake still doesn’t like to talk about it to this day. Blake never got his money. He didn’t even get the poetry book either. Not that he wanted it.
Apparently, this is a curse that runs in the Watson family. I like to tell people my first job after graduating from grad school was my lecturer position at Mississippi State. Those closest to me know this is not the truth. No, I have a dark past I don’t often discuss, but blogging about it feels easier. You see, around June of 2011, months before Mississippi State’s foreign language department called me up for a job, I was working for one cent per hour on Cloudcrowd (or Crowdcloud — I can never remember). I thought I was all savvy with my crowdsourcing, not to mention I was desperate for work. My brother had already learned to avoid this type of thing back when he had worked for the massage therapist/poet. He laughed me to scorn when I made 12 cents over a weekend. Especially when the 12 cents was taken away from me after the crowdsourcing judges, also making cents on the hour, erroneously critiqued my work and sent me to crowdsourcing hell, where my 12 cents was taken away from my account. I had never been so angry. It was only 12 cents, but that was about 12 hours worth of labor.
As my brother is wont to point out, “from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away” (Matt. 13:12).
May 17, 2015, Byram, Miss.