The Work You Do

chris field
10 min readAug 24, 2021
A beige, old model rotary telephone.
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

An alumni association from one of my old colleges telephoned the other week. “Hello, Mr. Field! Can you catch us up on your education since leaving our school?” Of course. I provided the highlights of the six colleges I attended and three master’s degrees I earned.

“Oh, my! So what’s the work you do, with all that education?”

I am a house dad.

“Haha. Seriously, what should I put down for the alumni magazine.”

House dad. Forty-nine-year-old house dad.

Not to say I hadn’t had lots of work. I even had a few jobs in corporate offices. In fact, for one job, I was lent out on contract from my company in a corporate office to another company in another corporate office. I was corporately squared! I reported to work for three months before being recalled, having never really understood what I was supposed to be doing in the loaner office. I spent most of my time logged into the second company’s secure system reading software testing logs. “Looks good, boss! The logs are all there.”

I started cooking in restaurants because my dad told me you could always count on it for not just a paycheck but a good meal. I found out restaurants do not always feed their people like they did in his day, but the work was pretty good. That is if you can survive the chaotic alcoholism that defines many post-shift…