What do you do / What did you do ?


Active Member
Mar 15, 2022
Reaction score
Dublin, Ireland
I've always been kind a black sheep, going against the grain. My dad being a entrepreneur wanted his sons to take up the business. It wasn't for me, I had too much of an artist mind, long hair, played R&R and made images. Cut your hair and get real job was what he kept telling me, but not in an aggressive way. Out of 8 kids, I was "the one" that had a mind of its own.

But while I stayed home (until 18) he let me be. As I was still studying, I spent my summers airbrushing motorcycles. Reproduced album covers on rich kids bedroom walls and ceilings, things like that. He saw I could do something else than what he knew about. He respected that and paid for my art school and eventually was proud of saying, this is my son, the artist.

When I left home, I did menial jobs here and there. I played in different bands as a bassist, did some gigs but nothing that'd pay the rent and at the same time seriously started painting. After a while, I had to decide between music or painting to make a living. I figured that if I didn't make it in the music business, it could be because of things out of my control. In painting, I was my own mind, own boss. If I failed, it was mea culpa.

So I quit the band, married the drummer's girl (my avatar photo) and bought more brushes and paint jars. I did illustration for publicity companies until the computer started replacing brushes. That was a good paying period. Before long, my own work was starting to sell well, so I pretty much stopped doing illustration. That was in 1980. I made painting my living since then. Stopped 4 years ago, because the market just died. Gallery representing me were closing one after the other and I didn't feel like chasing that market anymore.

Got married while we were both still in school, 47 years ago. Wife became a renown biologist-ecologist working in conservation. Both self employed all that time.

I was always good at finding ways to get what I needed without getting money out of my pocket.

I started windsurfing early 80's and after buying my first board and rig, I felt it could cost me an arm and a leg to satisfy that new passion. So I started a windsurfing business with my brother and a friend. I would do boat shows, rep on the beach, import contacts, all the fun part, and left the direct sale thing to them. I was the one building up the trademark. Then I could have any gear I wanted as a team rider. When things went south with that, another windsurf shop grabbed me as their team rider.

Ha - snap! I bought one of the first six Windsurfers (yes, capital W - teak boom and all!) in Ireland back in 1978, and in the early 80s set up my first business - a windsurfing school and shop etc. My dad had been lost at sea in '76 and I thought it was poetic that I should make my living from the sea. Young and idealistic!

Turns out, of course, that the weather in Donegal does not really encourage people to learn such a sport. I decided that my next business would have to be something that: the more it rained, the more people would use it!

So, in 1992 I founded the first ISP in Ireland. That turned out to be a pretty good move. I didn't get rich, but created a very satisfying career in the tech/telecoms industry.

Not bad considering that, to this day (I'm 60 next week), my only official qualifications are that of a windsurfing instructor and a sailing instructor!


Well-Known Member
Dec 30, 2020
Reaction score
Zaandam, The Netherlands
At the age of 13 i started out with a newspaper route for a free local newspaper and after a while i quit that and started a newspaper route for a subscription based newspaper which weren't as many adresses (around 390 vs 80) which payed nearly double so that was an easy choise.
At the age of 17 i started with a school course to become a bricklayer which i finished and did for a few years untill the recession, at some point we diverisified into tiling, pointing the mortar between bricks and plastering but alas it wasn't enough for the company to survive.
After that i did some work at a harbor mostly driving cars, trucks, busses and groundworking machinery (excavators etc) onto a ship to get shipped of to Africa. Doing that i have driven nearly anything from small Daihatsu's to Ferrari and Rolls Royces. Most was old junk but sometimes we had brand new Nissan Patrol's or Audi Q7/8's with no more than 5km/3miles on the odometer with all the foam padding and blankets still covering the paint. Some days it were old ambulances, fire trucks, coach busses. But it was always a lot of hours.. The ship had to leave on time and driving about 300 cars through a customs checkpoint and then onto the boat takes a lot longer than you'd think.. Often working 14/16 hours a day.. It was a nice experience but i got sick of the long hours quite quickly.

After that i did some work through an unemployement agency where i worked all kinds of jobs.. From working in a warehouse collecting orders to working at a veneer wholesale company (that stuff is much more expensive than one might think) I enjoyed the work for the time being but it was never long term.
Through the unemployement agency i also got to work at a couple of factories. First at a factory where they make fat used in food industries, but at the time they also saw a decline in demand so i had to go.
I then worked at a lemonade factory which was allright but alas the same thing..

After that i started at a industrial detergent factory. We made mostly handcleaners used in mechanic shops, carwash shampoo and wax and also a lot of detergents and cleaning agents for food industries. Unfortunately their biggest customer sold the company and the new owners decided they wanted to work with someone else which was a loss of roughly 100000 litres(26000 gallons) of cleaner a month.. so i had to go with a couple of others..

After that i started out as a factory operator at the factory i work at now. We make closures for the 200L(55gal) steel drums mostly used in (petro)chemical, food and farmacy industries. I started out making the seals they put over the plugs which are to prevent tampering with the product. I also worked on the machines with put washers around the flanges that get put in the lid and the plugs.
And last year i started out learning how to work the printing press to print the customers logo's onto the sheets we make the seals out of.

There are probably some other things i did for maybe less than a week through the unemployement agency but they don't come to mind at the moment..
Last edited:


May 13, 2021
Reaction score
Texas Panhandle
At 54 years of age, I retired in 2005 after 27 years as a cop in California. Two weeks later, I escaped to Texas and have never looked back. I spend most of my time these days enjoying my hobbies of guitars and amps, and guns and ammo. Its been 18 years since I retired but it seems like a lifetime ago. With two service pensions and a family trust, I only have my health to worry about. My wife, who is 12 years younger than I am, has a great job at the Pantex nuke plant, and makes more money than I ever did while working. We are blessed to have everything we will ever need and then some. I thank God every day for seeing me through my career safely and allowing me to enjoy my golden years, while they last.


Well-Known Member
Jun 16, 2017
Reaction score
Satan's Armpit, (aka St. Petersburg, FL)


Jan 23, 2017
Reaction score
After 25 years in aerospace, I got tired of building WMDs and landed a secure job with the local school district in 2000 as an IT tech. After 16 years of that, I retired. I had plans to work on my house and yard, train my dogs, listen to my record collection, read books and play my guitar.

The kids were all grown and moved out. I had been a guitarist in mega church bands for 30 years. The wife and I wanted to find a smaller church to attend that was closer to home than the 10 miles each way that we were driving. So, we joined a nice little place. Six months later, they hired me to be the music director. I began taking vocal lessons and singing. I am on staff, have an office and making a paycheck again. We perform some of my originals songs and I have won an award ($$$) and a scholarship.
It's a good thing I have a studio at home. Due to a medical condition, my medical doctor just pulled my drivers license last week. I see another major life change on the horizon. What will I do with all the gear that I may never gig again? The good news would be that I can spend more time composing music.

Latest posts